BY ALEXANDRA SANSONE
New students stood in lines that long passed the breezeway entrance in order to check into CCHS’s inaugural Cowboy Corral. The first event of its kind at CCHS, Cowboy Corral was organized by staff members Dwayne Dixon and Stephen Franzone with hopes that it would relieve the nerves of those new to the Cowboy way of life.
“Especially for me, when I was a freshman at CCHS, I not only was new to the school as a freshman, I was new to the area,” Franzone said. “So I think it would have been awesome to have something where I could have gotten together with random groups [of other students] and gone around, got to know the school, got to know the people here and do all that.”
The group of prospective Cowboys from all grade levels, primarily comprised of incoming freshmen, were operating on nervous energy as they sought out familiar faces on an unfamiliar campus. Each student paid a fee of $10 to receive two meals, a CCHS lanyard, a temporary identification card, a shirt, rubber wrist-bands and pencils throughout the event.
Those in attendance were also taken on a tour of campus and the various extracurriculars offered after a presentation featuring suggestions from teachers, administrators and students for a rewarding high school experience.
“Your life doesn’t start the moment you graduate high school, your life is happening now.”
“Take advantage of the opportunities presented [to] you,” Student Government Association (SGA) Adviser and English teacher Natalie Flaten said. “Your life doesn’t start the moment you graduate high school, your life is happening now. Don’t wait until your senior year to get involved with it.”
Student volunteers ended the presentation by demonstrating that new students should not be afraid to ask for help should they become lost. Senior Kimberly Slinkosky shared that she embarrassingly walked into the wrong classroom her freshman year and encouraged students to ask the SGA officers stationed around the school on the first day for help in order to avoid repeating her mistake.
Students then moved to the cafeteria where they spoke to current CCHS student leaders concerning the available clubs at their new school before splitting into groups to tour the campus.
“It’s so big here, and all the numbers can be kind of confusing,” freshman Rachel Weiss said. “But with the tour, we are able to point things out on the map.”
“Be prepared for [the first day] to be confusing.”
The event helped both ease the nerves and increase the enthusiasm of some of those who attended. Incoming freshman Kassandra Brooks, for example, explained that although she still felt nervous for the upcoming school year after Cowboy Corral, she is also starting to grow excited now that she has met other freshmen and exchanged class schedules.
“Say you’re in class the first day and you’re learning, you can’t really talk to and interact with your classmates,” Weiss said. “But, like, here you get to know people. It was a good way to meet certain people… [and] get rid of all the nerves that you’d end up with in the classroom.”
For those who weren’t able to attend the Cowboy Corral, Weiss and Brooks recommend preparing for the confusion.
“Be prepared for [the first day] to be confusing and just focus on getting to class and ask the upperclassmen [for help],” Brooks said. “Talk to them.”
Photo by Alexandra Sansone