Help Me Help Your Juniors

Orientation ended with MSMS’ induction ceremony, The Ceremony of Lights. School officials designed everything leading up to that moment to emphasize the responsibilities, opportunities, and advantages (and fun!) involved with being at MSMS. This year’s orientation marks the first time since 2020 that two full graduating classes have been on campus at the same time; it’s possible that we are rusty when it comes to getting so many students and staff on the same page at the same time.

For the sake of the MSMS Class of 2024, let me know what portions of orientation merit reconsideration. What did you think proved really helpful? What would you change if you were in charge?

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23 Responses to Help Me Help Your Juniors

  1. David Johnson says:

    I have two main complaints. One, the changes in the schedule that we were given were confusing. Two, the half-period classes were incredibly fast and confused me.
    If I was in charge I would have tried to set the schedule to have be more set in stone.

    • Cali Orman says:

      I have to agree. The constantly changing schedule was hard to follow, although i did appreciate the slow integration into the MSMS life. I enjoyed having shortened classes because it allowed us time to acclimate without the stress of a regular academic day. I did enjoy the ceremony of lights to an extent but I do believe we could have gone about it in a more organized and timely manner. The name itself was misleading to me. For a ceremony of “lights” there did not seem to be that much of an emphasis on the light part. I do believe next years incoming juniors would appreciate spraying for wasps before arriving on campus.

    • Arika Gardner says:

      Yes, the 4 days of the first week of school was very confusing. I had two absentees the first day, because I was in my correct classes, at the wrong time. Also, the orientation seminars should be more thought out. Orientation seemed rushed and last minute.

  2. Madison Echols says:

    I enjoyed orientation week for the most part and appreciated the hard work the faculty and staff contributed to put it together and have us on campus. I also appreciate that we didn’t have a week of only seminars and instead got to go to classes. I remember someone telling me how juniors used to have a few days of only seminars, and I can tell that I would’ve hated that. However, my appreciation doesn’t negate that I feel some things could’ve been done better. My main complaints are the same as David’s and Carli’s; the fact that the schedule was not finalized and unchanged after being sent out to us was confusing. I was almost late to a couple of my classes last week because of the sudden schedule change. I wasn’t as much annoyed over the shortened days as I was that the lengths of the shortened academic days were different each day. I’m not sure if it had to be that way, and with the seminars, opening convocation, and other orientation events that was just how class times had to be, but it was a little confusing for me. If more consistent times could be implemented, I’m sure the future juniors would appreciate that, but at the same time, it’s not the end of the world.

  3. Arika Gardner says:

    Rent Auditorium is a a good 7-15 minute walk from the dorms depending on if you speed walk or not. Instead of us walking, we should have taken the bus to Rent Auditorium. It would have saved so much time and would have been more convenient for the girls who wore heels. The last minute change from walking in to just sitting down in our designated seats was also very confusing. They could have just told us to walk is and fill in rows while putting a seat between yourself and the person next to you. Also, they should at least ask us to learn the alma mater. Why have an alma mater that represents our school when no one even knows it. An alma mater is the pride of a school, and I believe that knowing the alma mater is truly showing that MSMS pride.

  4. Kaylee Hall says:

    The schedule was the main confusing thing for me, I wish it would’ve been a normal schedule instead. I appreciated the schedule but I wish it would’ve been better. I didn’t like how the emails were sent out instead of a reformed schedule.

  5. Nicolas Neal says:

    I felt that most of early orientation occupied more time than was necessary. I would have preferred more time allotted to being in our dorms or touring campus than this time being reserved for often repetitive meetings about the same instructions and rules.

  6. Nathan George says:

    When it comes to orientation week overall, I enjoyed it. The compacted classes alongside orientation events allowed for a chance to meet your teachers and get an overview of classes while also eliminating orientation events in the same day. However, events such as the suicide prevention course provoked many negative emotions from me and my classmates. I believe that this event should be eliminated or highly revised. Ceremony of lights was slightly underwhelming because I was under the impression each student would light their own personal candle; however, the ceremony wasn’t a total waste of time. Hearing from former MSMS alumni filled me with the true spirit of MSMS- connection.

  7. Lexi Holdiness says:

    For the MSMS class of 2024, I hope orientation week is less stressful than it was for the class of 2023. The hybrid days consisted of early mornings and busy afternoons. Although it created an opportunity for students to meet their teachers in a relaxed fashion, it also left students exhausted and confused. The seminar rotations were even worse. The constant meetings created no time for students to even breathe. However, the nightly activities were definitely useful. The beloved karaoke/ice cream and block parties created a phenomenal atmosphere where students could simply “vibe”. The class of 2024, should definitely get the opportunity to experience these nights.
    The week began with the formal opening convocation and ended with the ever-anticipated Ceremony of Lights- an ongoing tradition to formally induct the new class. The ceremony of lights was extensive but fulfilling. Students endured multiple heartfelt speeches and plenty of standing. Patience is definitely a virtue. Towards the end of the ceremony, the shared scent of accomplishment drifted through the air. We were now officially students of MSMS. We had successfully survived orientation week and the formal induction ceremony. The Ceremony of lights is a vital part of orientation week at MSMS, and I’m happy that I was able to experience it.
    As for the class of 2024, I hope their orientation week is well planned and communicated. Truly, that was the major factor this past week lacked. It constantly felt like no one really knew what they were doing, and I hope that’s not the same for the class of 2024!

  8. Dia Kher says:

    Orientation week was more hectic than I expected; the different class lengths to fit in the seminars were rather confusing. I would have kept the schedule changes constant throughout the week. However, I did like being able to go to class everyday instead of sitting for hours listening to different seminars each day. I also appreciated the designated time for the juniors and seniors to bond while having a slow integration into MSMS culture and workload. The hard work from the faculty and staff is not overlooked!

  9. Christina Zhang says:

    Overall, orientation week was manageable and informative. I enjoyed the mix of both orientation schedule and class time, since we had time to explore what we liked both inside and outside of the classroom. The early jump into classes also allowed for students to change their schedule more accurately based off first-hand experience. However, the sudden schedule changes during orientation week were confusing and inconsiderate towards students. I am thankful that we had the chance to explore campus and all the activities that are available to us, such as the gym and library, which definitely motivated to actually partake in such activities. I appreciate the faculty for organizing such a stressful week despite the bumps in the road.

  10. Nora Courtney says:

    While orientation was overall pretty successful, there were a few issues with the scheduling of some events. There were many occasions where the time or location of a certain event was rescheduled very last minute, and many people did not receive the emails about the changes in a timely manner. If I were in charge, I would have either been more precise about the location or times a meeting is held, or I would have sent out emails further in advance about a change. Another issue I noticed was it seemed like the meetings we went to were repetitive. It would have been far more efficient if some of the meetings were longer and covered more topics, rather than taking up an entire week.

  11. Gordon Welch says:

    I thought orientation was pretty good. If I could change anything, I would probably give more free time to the incoming juniors and shorten some of the orientation events. I found the tours of the main academic building, hogarth, and stark to be the most helpful in readying me for MSMS. Overall, I would rate the orientation experience an 8/10. Some minor flaws, in my opinion, but it was definitely a good first week experience.

  12. Everett “CJ” Mason, Jr. says:

    Orientation week, in general, was well-thought out and enjoyable. Coming in as someone completely new to this type of environment, I felt that the balance between orientation and class-time was fairly proportional. Especially with a majority of the first week involving schedule changes with students constantly going in and out of classes, there was a heavy emphasis by the faculty of not overwhelming students. However, that is not to say that it did not have faults. Some seminars were not very effective due to either insensitivity or a lack of interaction with students. Also, the Ceremony of Lights was slightly disorganized and confusing. The schedule seems to be the most common issue since it was not always effectively communicated to everyone, even some teachers were confused. After hearing what our seniors have said about their orientation experience, it seems as if ours was much better. Nonetheless, I personally enjoyed it a lot and hope that some of the issues can be fixed for next year.

  13. Karlin Campbell says:

    While I feel like the introduction to dormitory life was done relatively well for how rusty everyone must have been, I must say that the super-fast class schedule confused me as well as many other students and it gave us a false idea of what the upcoming weeks would be like during our time here at MSMS. Another way it could be done could be full ‘A’ days as well as possibly shortened ‘B’ and ‘C’ days, as this would get students more accustomed to the long days while also giving them more time to get used to life on campus during their further shortened “short days.”

  14. Aaron Sharp says:

    I must say, I was quite disappointed when no goat was killed, but the ceremony of lights wasn’t celebrating our acceptance, it was celebrating the new family that MSMS has given birth to this year. At the ceremony they said “There will be three classes you will meet. Your class, the class ahead of you, and the class above.” And I must say I am very excited to meet the two classes that I can this year. The suicide prevention seminar, on the other hand, was not as beneficial towards this school. The thought behind it was good hearted, but the execution triggered more than it helped. It was a step up from last years “Suicide Kahoot”, but still is not the solution this school needs. MSMS should change the Suicide Prevention Seminar to a Street Relief Seminar. Just the word suicide can hurt so many peoples mental state instantly, and can really cause a snowball of emotions. Although this one seminar was not well thought out, the whole week in retrospect was very well put together, and we should all appreciate the work that the MSMS staff put into planning it.

  15. James Talamo says:

    The orientation week accomplished its goal, that part is undeniable. I learned where everything was, got moved in, and got to interact with teachers and peers. However, the scheduling issues, as well as last minute instructions made the experience so much harder than it needed to be. As for next years orientation I feel like a lot more planning needs to go into events and scheduling.

  16. Willem says:

    The fun events proved really helpful to find a big friend group that I could hang with for the rest of the year. One thing I would change about orientation is explaining to the Juniors just the scale and amount of work that they would be facing the coming year. I’ve been through one week of intensive work and it’s already more than I am equipped to handle.

    • Maurisha Arnold says:

      I completely agree with you. Although they did mention a rigorous workload, it’s nothing I could have ever imagined. I did make a lot of friends during the orientation as well, but the orientation itself was very tiring. It had many sessions that were repetitive and could’ve been put into one. Also, one of the sessions was very triggering for some. I understand some of the processes they are trying to accomplish, but they also have to look at it through the eyes of juniors. Some of the scheduling was not specific or made everything confusing. I would change the amount of orientations and how the schedules are shortened. It’d just be easier, for me at least, to be placed into what it’s really going to be like.

      The Ceremony of Lights felt very special to me. It really made me feel like I was a part of something special, which I am. It was kind of confusing because we did not follow through with what they originally planned at the rehearsal, but I’ve been enjoying my time here. My favorite classes are ones I wouldn’t expect (including American Lit)!

  17. Hong Zheng says:

    The orientation was an overall success in my opinion, but I do have two complaints. One, the schedule was confusing. The A, B, and C days confused me, and I felt like it could have been explained a bit more clear. My second complaint deals with the unexplained location of each class. Instead of exploring every inch of the campus, I think we should have gotten a chance to familiarize ourselves with the location of our classes. The number of times I was lost wandering the halls on the first day frustrated me. Other than that, I think MSMS did an amazing job introducing students to their new life. In my opinion, the dorm move-in was perfectly executed. Although slow, I do appreciate the orientation week lasting a whole week. It made adjusting to MSMS much easier. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed orientation week, and thank all the staff members!

  18. Richard Zheng says:

    The orientation was an utter failure, to me at least. The orientations usually happened after an abbreviated or a normal school day. The orientations were often drawn out and boring. I found myself dozing off through most of them; Sometimes, I wake up to ask the person next to me what has happened and they stare at me blankly, also distracted. None of the orientation was memorable, the instructions given were often wrong or just plain unclear. Asking seniors and my sister proved more helpful than the 5+ hours of hellishly boring orientation that we were required to attend. Orientation should be drawn out over 3 days where we do not have class at all and for it to be quick. The emissaries should continue to be actively involved with their junior as that is where I got all my important information about how MSMS works.

  19. Geethika Polepalli says:

    Most of the orientation was not very helpful in my experience. First off, most of the sessions were very long and boring. Many people would doze off, and nothing would be gained from these sessions. Some of the sessions were also very uncomfortable for students to sit through, such as the Suicide Prevention and the Diversity and Inclusion seminars. The entire shortened schedule was a disaster and never needed to happen. It was very confusing and very stressful. Many students also got a tardy for being late to a class during this shortened schedule because the timings kept changing. The main sessions that were the most useful were the safety seminar and the campus tours. Most of my useful information came from my emissary and from other seniors that would tell me what I actually needed to hear to do good at MSMS.

  20. Claire Ellison says:

    I enjoyed the idea behind the schedule of the first week of school. Spreading the seminars throughout the first week instead of back-to-back. However, the schedule was confusing and caused issues to me and lots of my peers. For example, I was late to my first class on the first day due to misunderstanding the schedule. Another issue was that every second of our time was taken up. It did not allow me to become familiar with my new peers in an unstructured location. However, something I enjoyed profusely was the social events that occurred throughout the week. They were fun and well put together. I felt closer to a new group of people after every event.

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