Campus tours ease stress on freshmen coming to campus

March 30, 2021 — by Avani Kongetira and Audrey Mah
campus tours
Photo by Michelle Lim

Senior Alyssa Pinai guides a group of freshmen around the math quad.

After spending almost an entire school year in a virtual setting, roughly half of the Class of 2024 trickled onto campus recently  — some of them for the first time — in walking tours designed to ease their transition. 

Campus tours, organized by administrators and held March 17-19, gave freshmen returning for Phases 3A and 3B a chance to familiarize themselves with the campus and COVID-19 precautions.

Link Crew and leadership students led more than 150 freshmen in groups of eight or fewer through the different parts of campus, reminding them of expectations regarding mask-wearing, social distancing and the school’s new one-way traffic map. 

Sophomore Anand Agrawal, who led a campus tour, used his personal experiences to draw interest from the freshmen. 

“The freshmen weren’t too interactive,” he said. “But I do think it’ll stay with them and help ease them back on campus.”

Freshman Jay Lim said the campus tour allowed him to see what the campus was really like for the first time, which felt strange after nearly a year of being a high school student. 

He added the tour helped him feel more comfortable about being on the campus in the future. Lim is looking forward to in-person school due to the benefits that come with physically being in a classroom.

“I think in-person school is important because you’ll be able to directly talk to your teachers about questions and problems you may have after class, and you can see your classmates during group work and projects,” Lim said.

For her part, freshman Chloe Lee said she is excited to have more of a normal high school experience.

“I think social interaction is important in school life, and because of having classes through Zoom, it has been awkward and hard to make friends,” Lee said. “I am also excited to be a part of school spirit and events because it will make me happy, which will be helpful since I feel tired and unmotivated these days.”

Still, Lee said she feels nervous about returning to in-person learning because of the ongoing pandemic.

For freshman Naina Tallak, going in-person for school means shifting her mindset and routines. 

According to Tallak, going to school in person requires more discipline. 

“You can’t just slack off and go on your phone during class anymore, which encourages us to pay more attention and retain the information,” Tallak said.

Although online school may have made for a less stressful transition into high school, Tallak said learning on campus will help her understand class material better and offer a welcome change of pace.

“Going on the campus tour felt calming and less confining than my bedroom where I spend most of my day working,” Tallak said. “I think it would be good for myself to have some freedom to roam outside in between classes, and I think that a change of environment will help motivate me more.”