Students entering Salisbury High get pointers on high school life

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 25, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
Freshmen beware. There is no fourth floor at Salisbury High School and the pool underneath the gym floor is nothing more than a tall tale.
Math teacher Jeniffer Cross warned new students about these pranks, conjured up by upperclassmen to trick unsuspecting ninth-graders, during the school’s freshman orientation on Wednesday.
She also told them to be prepared for class each day and ask plenty of questions.
Theater teacher Debbie Hubbard said the best advice she could offer freshmen would be to relax.
“Stay calm,” she said. “Sometimes things are confusing the first few days. Figure out where you are going and ask questions if you need help.”
Algebra teacher Sidney Allen said students should get a calendar to keep track of their assignments and be sure to eat breakfast every day.
They should get plenty of sleep so they’ll be well-rested for school, she said. “And just come in with a positive attitude.”
Mallory Hodge, a physical education teacher and volleyball coach, encouraged students to give it their all.
“Come in and work hard,” she said. “This is your fresh start .. you can kind of shed that baggage that you might have encountered in middle school.”
Students were also pushed to become active in clubs and sports.
“Start to get yourself involved here in life at Salisbury High School,” Hubbard said.
Hodge said being part of a team is a good way to meet new people and gain confidence.
As the students moved from class to class Wednesday, simulating their first day of school, some expressed excitement, others anxiety.
Freshmen Mary Seifert, Ashley Blaire, Nalani Goodlett and Maddie Gentry talked frantically and shared laughs in Allen’s class Wednesday.
The girls said they are ready to start high school.
Both Seifert and Gentry said they are looking forward to a fresh start.
“I worry about being the youngest and the peer pressure from the older people,” Gentry said. “You want to fit in and be cool, but I have to keep my distance and do the right stuff.”
Jalessa Smoot said she’s nervous about lunchtime.
“I don’t really know that many people here,” she said. “I hope I can make some new friends.”
Goodlett said meeting new people is also one of her top priorities.
“I don’t want to end up hanging out with the wrong crowd,” she said.
Both Blaire and Gentry hope to join the school’s volleyball team, and Dejarvea Eller has been working on his running game this summer to prepare for football season.
Some of the students have taken steps to prepare for the first day of their freshman year.
“I’ve been trying to wake up early and go to sleep by a certain time, but it isn’t working,” Goodlett said.
Both Smoot and her friend, Briyelle Houston, attended the school’s Science and Math Academy during the summer.
A couple of the girls said finding the right attire for the new school year has been their top priority.
“I’ve been shopping and basically just trying to get my mind ready for high school,” Blaire said.
And while some are pumped for the experience that awaits them in the next four years, Eller said he’s ready to move on already.
“I’m looking forward to graduating in 2015,” he said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.