From the anticipated tapping of the seal on the first day of freshman year to the excitement of learning who your partner is for Senior/Freshman appreciation week, the transition from Middle to Upper School offers many exciting milestones for our Lynx.
Of these traditions, one of the most beloved is the annual Freshman Class Trip, a team-building and group-bonding experience that helps students get to know new members of their class and build relationships with the ninth-grade faculty.
The Lynx custom typically involves freshmen going on a four-day excursion without their phones, but students couldn't go this year due to the pandemic.
However, that didn't stop students and advisors from finding an alternative, and in response to the Freshman Class Trip cancellation, Phone Free Freshman Parties (PFFP) was created.
"Without the freshman class trip, we had to find a creative way for students to network," said freshman advisor Courtney Carlton.
The socially distant gathering involves going outside every Friday during advisory to connect with other Freshmen in the class. Since students currently only visit two courses a day, many don't see their whole grade level. Through the PFFP, they can connect with at least all Freshmen on campus before they break for lunch. It also gives them a way to get fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.
"I enjoy it because it's nice to be outside and socialize and see people we don't normally see during the school day," said Yamen Ahmed '24.
Although students don't face a huge transition academically because the Middle Years Programme (MYP) continues from 5th to 10th grade, the social changes can be a bit more complicated. The freshmen advisors noticed that many students, particularly new students, seemed isolated, so they started brainstorming with their advisories to replace the trip and build friendships in the ninth grade.
"Getting the kids on their feet, outside, and giving them room to run around is super helpful for the freshmen's mental health," said freshman advisor Heather Clagett.
Although everyone looks forward to the return of some of our favorite Lausanne traditions, the Phone Free Freshman Party (PFFP) provides a solution to help students communicate outside of the classroom.
"Since we didn't get to go on the trip, I appreciate being able to do this," said Neil Seth '24. "It's nice to get fresh air, see my friends and meet new people."