Entering a new environment is always a nerve racking experience, especially when this new environment is a high school with almost 400 other girls! At Mercy, we have a solution for this! For years, Mercy’s tradition has been that each freshman has one senior to be her guide, also known as a “Big Sister.” For the 2019-2020 school year, our recruitment director, Anne McGill, decided it was time for a change.
Each freshman who enrolled at Mercy was put into a group of around 10-11 girls, combined of other freshmen and seniors.
When asked about the switch, Mrs. McGill said, “… some of the Little and Big sisters seemed almost uncomfortable with the one on one interaction and they didn’t mesh well with their sister… when talking to girls about Big Sisters I would say probably 20 percent of our girls have a really outstanding experience with their big sister, whereas maybe 60 percent of them are more, ‘meh, it was okay’ and there were probably a good handful, maybe 20 percent that had a horrible experience. And for those 20 percent.. that’s enough for me to make a change to make it better for everyone.”
On the 16th of August, Mercy celebrated the start of school with the annual Welcome Day, which consists of a greenie parade and a fun day at Schroeder Park. This is a great day for freshmen to bond with classmates and feel the true spirit of Mercy.
At the picnic, I had the lovely opportunity to interview the “Butterfly Blush” sister group. Kayleen Gruhn ‘19 said, “I was actually pretty nervous when I was informed that there were groups, just that I wouldn’t bond with everyone, but I felt like after time went on we all got very close and I do love everyone equally but I’m close to them in different ways.”
This group of sisters, with captain Caitlyn Thomas ‘19, seemed very comfortable and friendly with one another, and freshman Rose Wallach mentioned that, “Having a big sister group really helped because we got to meet other freshmen in the group, but as well we each had a bunch of older seniors who care for us!”
The general vibe of the switch from one on one to groups seems to be that the seniors were nervous, almost disheartened, but it turned out to be something quite amazing!