Class of 2023 introduced to Foothill’s culture at freshmen orientation

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Class of 2023 introduced to Foothill’s culture at freshmen orientation

Incoming freshmen being prepared to explore Foothill for the first time

Incoming freshmen being prepared to explore Foothill for the first time

Siena Hager

Incoming freshmen being prepared to explore Foothill for the first time

Siena Hager

Siena Hager

Incoming freshmen being prepared to explore Foothill for the first time

Emma Yakel, Editor

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The crisp morning air surrounded Foothill on Friday, Aug. 16 as the class of 2023 flooded the entrance where they prepared to attend the annual freshman orientation. With chattering voices and hopes of the next four years on their mind, the new students walked into Spirito Hall flocked by cheering teachers who greeted them with a parachute tunnel. Along with teachers, Foothills FIRE (Foothill Reinforcement, Intervention and Enrichment) crew introduced themselves to the students who they would soon mentor.

Foothills freshmen orientation is specifically engineered by the organizers to be an event that is not about stress, rules and nervousness, but more about a warm welcome to a campus that would become a constant in their next four years.

Teacher Anthony Unchangco mentioned that the orientation may be an introduction but “the most important aspect is showing them our culture. Of course, it’s important to know where one building is and the next and where their classes are, but to give them their first impression of what the culture is at Foothill Tech, I don’t think anything can be more important than that.”

 

As the freshmen took their seats with the backdrop of blasting music and festive signs, the true event started with the entrance of Unchangco; who donned a golden, sparkly jacket. Accompanied by a feeling of welcomeness and excitement, Unchangco led the students in icebreaker ‘assessments’ as he commented in a joking manner that “Foothill doesn’t play games.” 

Following the enjoyment of the activities, Unchangco performed a short speech where he discussed life lessons such as the fact that everyone is “confined by the walls that you build yourself” and when we need to complete a task we “need to think a little outside the box [and] complete that task but not confine ourselves by rules, by walls.”

 

 

Once the festivities in Spirito Hall were finalized, the students moved to their FIRE classes: a group of 10 to 12 freshmen that are led by 2 to 3 junior or senior mentors. Scattered throughout the school in various classrooms, the FIRE classes continued to play more icebreaker games as they began to become more comfortable with the group that they would be with for the whole year. 

FIRE leader Kady Terry ‘22 commented that the efforts of each leader are an attempt to make  “them [freshmen] start feeling comfortable with the new people that they are going to be around all the time and the environment of the school in general like their teachers, the administration and the upperclassmen.”

 

After the games were completed, the incoming students went around to their classes in order to get a feel for where they were supposed to go and a bearing for the campus. Once they were done, they moved back to Spirito Hall for a closing speech done by Unchangco. 

Overall, as there may have been many aspects of the day and many accomplishments, Unchangco believes that the orientation should be a reassurance for the freshmen that “we don’t want them to be anyone other than who they are as they walk through those gates on campus,” which was evident as each and every one of the students were welcomed and celebrated.

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