Incoming juniors discuss 2021 orientation experience


Caleb Jenkins

For the second time in MSMS history, rising juniors are introduced to the faculty and staff through a virtual orientation.

Jillian Snodgrass, Copy Editor

New student orientation: the first opportunity for incoming MSMS juniors to meet one another, their future teachers and, in an ordinary year, explore campus. Just as last year, this year’s orientation was held virtually for the safety of everyone involved. The new juniors, however, still felt that it was effective and helpful.

Everett “CJ” Mason expressed his satisfaction with the orientation experience overall.

“Honestly, I loved it! Despite not being able to attend in person and meet future classmates as well as the staff, it was a pleasant experience and I personally felt as If I was welcomed with open arms by both the staff and current upperclassmen,” Mason said.

Orientation consisted of a series of Zoom meetings covering topics like the course selection process, residential life, parental involvement and more, at which the students were able to talk with and ask questions of faculty, administrators and residence staff. The main events occurred on Saturday, April 24.

Lauren Varner described feeling a sense of reassurance and confidence towards the coming year after attending orientation.

“I never felt like there was a question that could not be answered, and every additional aspect that was detailed simply made me more excited to begin studying there,” Varner said. “The advice from current students as well as the teachers’ statements were truly very helpful in allowing me to understand that I do not have to live up to high expectations of being the best anymore. Instead, I can simply pursue my own interests and explore more things about myself.”

Almost every junior noted that an unofficial meeting held by current MSMS students as an informal “get to know each other” time was the most memorable aspect of orientation.

“My most memorable part of the orientation was probably the unofficial New Student Orientation hosted by the upcoming seniors,” Madison Echols said. “They took the time out of their Friday afternoon to host a two-hour long Zoom answering every question we could think of, giving us advice and making sure that we felt welcome. The genuine kindness and hospitable atmosphere that they created made me even more excited to attend MSMS in the fall.”

Attending orientation virtually was a different experience for each student. For some, like Nathan George, it was much more convenient than driving to Columbus.

“Being virtual was very beneficial for me,” George said. “I work a full-time job, and traveling to the school for orientation would’ve been an inconvenience.”

Others, like Tkyra Bullock, would rather have been on campus, meeting people face-to-face. However, all of the students could find some good in the situation.

“Being virtual wasn’t bad but I would’ve most definitely preferred being in person,” Bullock said. “I think having that in-person interaction could’ve established more bonds than the online process did.”

Recalling the orientation Zooms, one of the new students said the sessions heightened her expectations of finding a like-minded community at MSMS.

“Where I am now, there are restrictions on how I present myself,” Varner said. “I am not allowed to voice my opinion unless it correlates to the opinions of my family, but when I go to MSMS, I will have the opportunity to talk freely about my beliefs and advocate for equality between peoples with like-minded students. I will not have to limit myself to what others want from me.”