Big Changes for Little Sisters

Sarah Vincent, Reporter

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We all remember our concerns from Freshmen Orientation; opening your locker, meeting new friends, finding all of your classrooms. Luckily for freshmen, there is an entire program dedicated to helping them navigate through all of the ins-and-outs of Pres.

The Big/Little Sister program places every freshman in a group with her peers and one junior or senior to help them become acquainted with their new second home.

Over the past two years, the program has made some improvements after moderators. Club moderators Heidi Olson and Katherine Georgiev decided to approach the program in a new way.

More activities are being planned, like t-shirt decorating and watching plays, causing excitement among the Big and Little Sisters about their meetings. At these events, the participants are able to talk about the activity rather than blankly stare at each other with nothing to say.

Georgiev said that planned activities also encourage freshmen to “dive straight into Pres” by getting involved in the arts and events like Mag Drive. She also shared her hope that when students are exposed to theatre productions for free and in a comfortable situation in a group with their Big Sisters, they will be more likely to come back to future shows. The new practice of going to see the fall musical, first implemented for last year’s production of Chicago, shows the entire freshman class how incredible theatre is at Pres.

Not only does the Big/Little Sister program encourage involvement in the arts, but also exposes them to the critical traditions during Mag Drive. Everyone can agree that entering freshman year, nobody can possibly be prepared for the craziness that is Mag Drive.

Whether it be the shock of of the kickoff rally, or the commonly forgotten rule that donations can only be doubled in $60 increments, freshmen don’t know what to expect from Mag Drive. The Big/Little Sister program now aims to fix this.

Another positive change includes focusing more on the sanity of the freshmen by helping them  to prepare for finals. This includes an event dedicated towards getting organized for finals, including everything a student may need to know, from color coding their study guides to tips on how to best study.

The experience in general of being a Little Sister seems to be improving as well. Katelyn Hartley, junior, remembers her experience as a Little Sister as boring and awkward. She said, “The Big Sisters did not talk. They just stared at me. Sometimes they did not even bother to show up, so neither did I.” As a current Big Sister, Hartley tries to reflect on her experience, which she found to be less than helpful, and make sure that she is present and communicative with her Little Sisters.

Hartley said that she has noticed a great difference in the program, stating, “[The program] is trying to be more interactive.” This is the exact difference that Georgiev tried to implement, and from the looks of it, is working.

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