The transition from grade school to freshman year is hard for many students. New faces, classrooms, and rules can be very intimidating when first starting high school. To make the shift from school to school more smooth, here at Mercy we kick off our first week of classes with ‘Welcome Week’. Traditions, celebrations, and fun all make up these beloved five days.
The welcoming officially starts when each freshman and incoming faculty member is capped with a plastic green hat called a ‘greenie’. Although at times, whether it be because of the hot classrooms, or the fact that leprechaun hats aren’t the latest fashion, the greenies become a burden for their wearer, their main purpose (besides the fun) is to act as the’ “scarlet letter” to mark new Monarchs (who may need help finding a class or two). Throughout the week, senior big sisters and returning staff members are to ‘steal’ the green hats from their holder and decorate them for Friday’s parade. Alumna Emily Coleman ‘18, whose group was dressed as The Backstreet Boys, said her favorite part of the week was the greenie parade because of all the new freshmen she met.
Following the parade, which features groups dressed as anything from Toy Story to Bob Ross, the whole school walks down to Schroeder-Vogel park for games, potlucks, and fun. On this afternoon, it’s common to see new girls disperse into friend groups and feel more comfortable as sisters. Anna Bushman ‘20 says that she loves seeing the freshmen get so excited about officially being Mercy girls.
Not many schools have a whole week dedicated to making new students, teachers, and faculty members feel welcomed, but Mercy places a high value on community. Current freshman Ellie Brock said, “After this week I met a lot of new friends and feel like I belong to a second family”.