Sit as Strangers, Walk out as Friends
The first day of a new school is always an exciting, yet challenging experience. Treading down unfamiliar hallways and trying to find the way around a new school, while trying to make friends at the same time can be daunting. Although, Pilibos has always prided itself on being a warm and welcoming environment for incoming students, this year was a little bit different. We were thrilled to welcome over 150 new students to the Pilibos family this academic year. To help make this transition easier, incoming middle and high school students were invited to participate in “Sit as Strangers, Walk Out as Friends” lunch sessions hosted by the Pilibos Administration. New students were personally invited to the designated “VIP lounge” where free lunch was provided by Koko’s Catering. The lunch session brought together Pilibos student leadership ambassadors from the class of 2016, current and new students, and surprise visits from members of the administration, faculty, and even alumni. During the event, all guests enjoyed a delicious meal and engaged in friendly conversations. “Sit as Strangers, Walk Out as Friends” helped connect new and current students, grow and strengthen the Pilibos family, and ensure every student has an exciting and successful year. Hesitantly, students entered as strangers, but towards the end they truly walked out as friends. Sharing a meal with new and old friends alike created an atmosphere where new students did not feel alone and older students were able to break down all real and imagined barriers of attending a new high school.
Arpi Beshlikyan, one of the leadership ambassadors of the class of 2016, described this event as a unique experience. She said, “To have the school organize this lunch was very thoughtful for the new students. It gave them the opportunity to ask questions, become familiarized with some of the school culture, and essentially made them feel comfortable in their new home.” Pilibos exemplified to newcomers that this family is always ready and willing to spread its wings and welcome new friends.