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The Great “First Week of School” Debate

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This year, rather than the typical “dreaded first day of classes,” Prep faculty and administration decided to shake things up a little! Before school officially started, there were a couple of community-centered events. On Monday, August 21st, the Prep community gathered for an all-school picnic. The next day, there was an opportunity to volunteer at La Cruz, an income-based housing complex in South Saint Cloud. On the first day of school, we participated in multiple activities with our advisings and grade levels, in addition to some school-wide events. In our advisings, we played multiple brain games and puzzles to work on thinking “outside of the box.” With our grade levels we “broke the ice” with some games to get to know each other better. The rest of the afternoon was spent running around campus for a scavenger hunt. Thursday was our Convocation, the official start of the 2017-2018 school year, and, conveniently, picture day. The rest of Thursday and Friday morning we attended classes, and Friday afternoon we had our annual “Prep Fest.” There were minute-to-win-it games and other activities, played by one member from each grade. The day came to a close, and our 161st school year was well underway!

Below, Cullin Egge ’18 and Lizzy Kolb ’19 give their opinions on the first week of school this year.

Pro Alternative First Week of School: Cullin Egge

In my opinion, the first week of school was an inviting and invigorating experience for all students to share. The school picnic was an awesome opportunity for new students to meet their classmates and teachers and for returning students to reconnect with friends. And teachers. Don’t forget about them! The day of volunteering brought our community together, but also gave us the opportunity to locally spread some of our Benedictine values. Both of these events were great bonding experiences for all involved, especially for those new students who hadn’t yet got the chance to familiarize with peers. While some students may have thought the bonding activities on the first day of school were unnecessary and boring, Senior Genesis Knoblach thoroughly enjoyed these activities, saying “[They] gave day students the opportunity to learn more about the resident students,” further explaining, “Normally we wouldn’t mix so much.” Although it was very hot and sticky outside, I think, overall, the scavenger hunt was an amusing and entertaining activity. Our Student Council President, Regan Mies, brought some great advice with her to the convocation, where she gave a heartwarming speech to the school. Picture day comes around every year, but for seniors, it was our last “Cheeeese!” before graduating this Spring. The energy in the air at the Prep Fest was electric! It was fun for those participating, but even more so for those watching! The colloquium was a blast, and a great way to end the first week of school. For me, this year’s spin on the typical “first week of school” was a fun and refreshing start to the year, and hopefully a kick-off to the best year yet!

Pro Traditional First Week of School: Lizzy Kolb 

While some may have enjoyed the festivities during the first few days of school, I was not the biggest fan. Trust me, I am a fan of playing a couple get to know you games, but these games reminded me a little bit more of forced family fun than anything else. I felt as though I had been plopped right into the middle of an awkward family reunion. The only practical benefit that I could see from our first three days of school would be to introduce middle schoolers, freshmen, and incoming students to the rest of the school population. However, they had spent the prior week doing just that. Our peer mentors were working hard before the year started to make sure that all new students had a smooth transition into life at Prep. Peer Mentor and Student Council Secretary Tina Chen gave me her opinion about the beginning of the school year saying, “After nine full days of ice breaker activities, I was completely burnt out.” If I thought that I had to play too many name games, I can only imagine how the new students and peer mentors felt. Even for those of us who weren’t peer mentors, the days felt long, but it wasn’t the same type of tired. Instead of knowing that I had worked hard that day and had given it my all, the only thing that I had really done was figured out some clues in a picture scavenger hunt. I would have rather been spending that time talking to my teachers or learning something in class. Either way, the 2017-18 school year here at Prep has begun, and although I cannot know for certain what events are in store for next year’s first week of school, I can at least know that I won’t have to play another ice breaker game for at least a few months.

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