Arriving seniors find their place

Gillian Maraccini and Katie Morris

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Walking through the doors on the first day of school can be a frightening moment for anyone- let alone one who has just moved to a new school as a senior.

Rayne Knapp joined Northgate this year, saying goodbye to Berean Christian High School.

“That school was very strict,” Knapp explained. “I didn’t like the people because of the exclusiveness and cliques.”

Knapp said she enjoys the people much more here at Northgate. Knapp shares that she tries to reach out and talk to people to make friends and adjust to a new school. She says that she feels welcomed at Northgate.

“I’m excited for Ball because at my old school we weren’t allowed to have dances,” Knapp added.

Braden Beasley is also new to Northgate and to the state. He previously attended Northeastern High School in North Carolina.

Beasley said he enjoys Northgate because it has a bigger campus, the people are different, and there is more freedom. He said he has adjusted “pretty well.”

Beasley recalled that he was also very welcomed, especially at orientation, where “everyone seemed nice and happy to help.”

“I have a few friends that I sit with at lunch. It was pretty easy,” he said.

For others, such as Celine Chen, this is their first full year at Northgate as a senior. Chen attended school previously in Taiwan.

“The school was much smaller in Taiwan. There were only forty people in my grade,” said Chen, who started at Northgate spring semester of last year. “There, everyone got to know each other better.”

Celestina Olguin is also a new addition to the Northgate community. She attended Clements in Sugarland, Texas.

“The dress code is very different as well as the whole school layout,” Olguin noted.

Olguin said that she and her classmates couldn’t wear leggings and had to wear jeans. Shorts weren’t allowed. In addition, colored hair wasn’t allowed. Boys also weren’t allowed to have beards or mustaches, either.

“They had razors in the office for boys that had facial hair!” Olguin exclaimed.

The Midnight Rodeo was a popular tradition in Sugarland. “There was country music playing and a lot of dancing,” Olguin told.

She is looking forward to being in California for her senior year and said that she is excited “to have a different experience.”

Alyssa Porter moved from Burbank, California, where she attended John Burroughs High School.

“Northgate is smaller and it takes time to get used to being inside all day,” Porter said.

Porter and her family may take time to adjust since there are so many siblings.

“I have four step sisters that are all older, a five-year-old sister and a one-and-a-half-year-old brother,” Porter said.

Porter participated in activities at her old school. “I did volleyball, but I stopped playing because I started to work,” said Porter, who works at The GAP in Broadway Plaza.

Although transitioning to a new school especially as a senior can be intimidating, it’s good to know that the Northgate students have made it such a positive and memorable experience for these new students.

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