Student 2 Student introduces new students to life at PA

Hanna Keplinger

By Hanna Keplinger

On the first day of the school year, junior transfer student Jazzmin Smeltzer walked into PA like every other student, but there was one significant difference between Smeltzer and most of the students she found herself surrounded by. She knew no one except the little sister she transferred alongside.

“It was exciting but also scary,” said Smeltzer. “I was afraid that I would do something wrong.” 

Started by seniors Emma Saunders and Liz Kline, the Student 2 Student (S2S) club was created in order to give transfer students like Smeltzer a place where they can feel less isolated in their new school. “Liz and I are both transfer students and we just really wanted other students to have a place where they can be connected with their city and their school and make friends,” said Saunders. “We know how hard it is to do that without something like this.” 

Kline added, “We hope to get the club up and running for future years, and to get it to a place where it is well known and truly aids new students.”

Saunders and Kline both had their own stories regarding their difficult transitions from other schools to Princess Anne, highlighting the need for resources like this. 

Saunders, who transferred to PA as a junior last year, said, “It was scary. It took a really long time for me to get acquainted with the school, and I didn’t have people that I would call good friends until the second semester, so it was really lonely. I didn’t really want to do any activities like hallways because I didn’t want to stand out. I really would have liked to have something like S2S.”

Kline, who also transferred to PA last year, said, “I came from a school of 200 high schoolers total, and now my school has almost nine times the amount of students. You don’t know anything about clubs, applications, how sports work, which teachers are kind of notorious, and which are the kindest people you’ll ever meet. You just spend a lot of time alone trying to figure all of it out.” 

Saunders and Kline structure club meetings and activities to accommodate transfer students and what they know will help them. “We’ll start by introducing ourselves because there’s always new student coming in,” said Saunders.  

Kline added, “We try to do some sort of fun game that’s not the stereotypical icebreaker so that we can really get people to be social and make some new connections within the school.” 

Saunders said, “We’ll also sometimes have a military counselor come in because she helps military kids get acquainted with the school. We also usually try to have snacks.”

Saunders and Kline are also working on creating different programs and events for the club members. For example, they are currently trying to set up a system in which upperclassmen mentors are paired up with the club members in order to provide them with someone who can help them navigate and get used to the school. “We’re also trying to set up events at things like sports games so that they can attend them with friends,” Saunders said. 

The club is already helping its members get comfortable in their new environments. Smeltzer said, “The club is fun and a place where I feel accepted. Both my sister and I love and look forward to it.”

Saunders and Kline encourage any transfer student on the fence about joining S2S to do it anyways. Saunders said, “It’s a little slow right now. We have a lot more mentors than actual students right now, but we’re working on getting more.” 

Kline added, “We just want to try to help other students who might have the same problems that we did so we can ultimately help them have a less anxiety-inducing experience.”