Freshmen Attend Orientation at Fish Bowl

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Freshmen Attend Orientation at Fish Bowl

Students cheer during the pep rally at Fish Bowl.

Students cheer during the pep rally at Fish Bowl.

Photo By Amy Vo

Students cheer during the pep rally at Fish Bowl.

Photo By Amy Vo

Photo By Amy Vo

Students cheer during the pep rally at Fish Bowl.

By Amy Vo and Anna Chuo

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Freshmen had the opportunity to make their first impressions of Westwood at Fish Bowl on Friday, Aug. 19. The freshman orientation included a club fair, a classroom briefing session, a pep rally, and a dance.

“One of the things we fear is that because our school is so academically strong a lot of kids have anxiety coming in like ‘What’s that going to feel like?’ ‘Am I going to be ready for that?’” Principal Mario Acosta said. “So the Fish Bowl piece is that it’s a happy place, it’s a fun place, make friends, join clubs, and realize that we have a very well-rounded culture here.”

The club fair gave freshmen a chance to sign up for clubs that may interest them and meet with friends they hadn’t seen during summer break.

“[Having the club booths] gives the freshmen an opportunity to come in and learn who you are and get connected.” Lucas Tobar ‘17, who was managing the Medical Club booth, said. “For the club, it’s a great opportunity to meet all the freshmen that you’re seeing to join our club.”

Students also attended a pep rally, which included performances by the SunDancers and cheerleaders as well as an appearance by the Student Council (StuCo). Freshmen took part in a dance following the pep rally, where they had a chance to eat, listen to music, and socialize with other freshmen as well as upperclassmen and teachers.

“I did Fish Bowl when my senior was a freshman,” Westwood parent Sharon Cooper said, “and I love coming to these and volunteering anytime I have an opportunity because it does give you insight into how serious the school is in terms of commitment to the kids and also the kind of the services they’re providing for the kids.”

Both parent, teacher, and student volunteers working at Fish Bowl helped keep activities running smoothly and contributed to making a comfortable and welcoming mood at the orientation.

“I think [Westwood has] an accepting atmosphere, like laid back and comfortable,” Emma Greene ‘20 said. “The rumors you hear in middle school aren’t true. I heard that it was going to be really hard, and everything would be really strict, but I don’t think it’s going to be that way.”

At Fish Bowl, teachers and staff make it a priority to show the culture and students of Westwood to help the incoming class feel more prepared and excited for their first year of high school. The annual event strove to help the incoming freshmen ease their worries about starting high school and provide a great start to the new year.

“We’re trying to show [the freshmen] that there are a lot of people that care about them, and that this is a place that’s safe, and it’s a place that we can have fun,” Assistant Principal Sal Espinosa said.