On Friday, Aug. 17, the incoming class of 2022 saw their summer vacation draw to a close as they got a taste of their next four years at Foothill. At the annual freshman orientation, the new students had the opportunity to interact with each other, meet their FIRE (Foothill Intervention, Reinforcement and Enrichment) crew mentors and see their schedules for the first time.
More than just a traditional introduction of school rules, the students were greeted into Spirito Hall by all of their future teachers and FIRE crew members.
“Rather than just a meeting where we go over policies and rules, [the orientation] is really about connecting,” said FIRE coordinator and freshmen ambassador Conni Carr.
Orientation was in full swing when athletic director Anthony Unchangco greeted the crowd with bleached hair in his traditional studded jacket. After leading a few icebreaker games, Unchangco described the three types of people in his games and at Foothill: the doer, the watcher and the passerby.
Unchangco encouraged them to never stick to one role by saying that “we are limited to the walls we build ourselves.”
The freshmen were then broken up and sent to their FIRE classes, where they would engage in various bonding activities with their fellow classmates and leaders. After seeing their schedules and visiting their classes, freshmen headed back to Spirito Hall for a final goodbye before the start of the school year.
Unchangco presented to the crowd his “time is money” metaphor, threatening to tear up a one dollar bill and then a twenty dollar bill, comparing money to valuable time that nobody should waste.
“What choices are you gonna make?” Unchangco asked in reference to students’ time at Foothill. “With time and money, you can spend it, you can waste it or you can invest it.”
When the students entered orientation, Unchangco’s goal was to get them comfortable with the “unique” atmosphere of Foothill.
“Foothill’s environment is so unique,” he said. “We are very accepting of everyone and who they are as individuals. We want to make the freshmen know that it’s okay to be whoever you are and we accept you as you are.”
Carr’s objective for the incoming class was for them to “connect with both their peers […] and to give them a connection to upper-grade students.”
Preparations for the orientation began in March as soon as FIRE leaders were chosen by Carr. These FIRE leaders were selected based on the level of assistance they would be able to provide to incoming high schoolers both academically and socially. To prepare these leaders for their duties during the orientation as well as for the upcoming school year, the leaders spent two and a half days training with Carr.
Thinglink credit: Jill Vallance / The Foothill Dragon Press
The class of 2022 stepped onto Foothill’s campus to get acquainted not just with each other and their teachers, but with Foothill’s environment, too.
Leilani Magana ‘22 is impressed by a certain quality that many people at Foothill possess.
“They have this ambition to be greater than what they are and achieve more and more things each year,” she observed.
In his final message to the incoming class, Unchangco relayed a quote by Dr. Seuss that he wanted to resonate with them.
“Today you are you and that is true, no one is more you’er than you,” he said.