-by Molly Zettler

Many of you may not know who I am, and that's perfectly okay, so firstly, let me start off by introducing myself. My name is Molly Zettler, I currently attend the high school OSDSS, and I am a grade 11 student. When I received the news about the amalgamation with the schools my first thought was "wow this is going to be chaotic". I wasn't worried about not knowing any people, or the fact that my new school is all the way across town, no I was actually worried about the chaos and stress this would cause amongst the other students. So what did I do? Easy, I joined Link Crew, most of you are probably wondering what Link Crew is, so here's a brief description. Link Crew is a group of senior students who come together, they give up three days of their summer vacation and come into the school, they try and make the school a more open and friendly environment for the oncoming grade nine's. These students go through training, team building activities, and learn how to interact with the grade nine's. Sounds easy right? Maybe it is for some of the kids who were apart of Link Crew, but for me, it was like I was a grade nine, I was completely lost in that school, I had no idea where I was going and in all honesty I was scared.

Let's move on to how I was helped, how I was made welcomed, when I first walked into OSDSS I immediately wanted to leave, not because I didn't like the people, but only because it was a new environment and I was petrified,Then I walked into that gym for the first time, we did good morning back rubs, which is actually really nice, because my shoulders were so tense, I bet I scared the girl giving me a massage cause of the knots in my shoulders! We sang silly songs and played Simon Says, sounds like your average first day of Kindergarten right? That's exactly what it felt like and I loved it, I loved the funny and warming zone I was in, I felt like I could be a goofball and no one would care.

I want you to think back to your first day of grade nine, what did you feel like walking through the doors of your high school? For me I felt small, I felt insecure and I felt as if I didn't belong, but Link Crew changed that, I remember my Link Crew leader, and I remember how kind she was to me, she tore down my walls and made me the person I am today. I ended up joining musical theatre because of her and was apart of the production Loserville. I still remember the games we played, and how I thought how stupid it was that I was singing songs and playing the human knot, but I realized that it was all worth it, because it related to my high school experience.

If you're in grade nine or ten and you're reading this right now wondering "should I join Link Crew?" The answer is YES! Please do, because it will change you, it will make you a better leader and you're giving back to the community. Think of it this way, someone helped you in grade nine, so now it's your turn, you help, you be the change, make someone feel at home, make someone want to come to high school. I can tell you that the feeling is amazing, just a couple minutes ago I received a comment saying "You made me not be afraid of high school and I love you" and it almost brought me to tears, because I did that, I made someone want to come to high school, I made someone want to learn. The feeling is incredible, knowing you made someone's next four years of their life more enjoyable, more comforting, and I can tell you that I will definitely be joining Link Crew next year.

On a side a note, I felt like I was one of the grade nines on the first day of school, my bus was late picking me up, I walked into my first class late, all eyes were on me and I panicked, I sat down in the seat closest to the door and tuned the teacher out, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to go home and how much I hated not knowing my way around. See, back at OSCVI I didn't have any issues with finding my way around, but now OSDSS is a maze to me and every day is a struggle. I'm constantly hoping I don't walk into the wrong class, and I did at one point and let me tell you, that was very awkward. I kind of stood in the doorway for a moment and then ran out of the class. I've gotten lost more times then I can count and it's only the first week of school, there's this part in the school called Cell Block, and it's literally just a big block and you can walk around it, I ended up walking around it three times trying to figure my way out before some kind person pointed to the exit.

So this article has mainly been me blabbing on about Link Crew and the struggles new students can go through, but those two subjects tie together quite nicely, because grade nines will feel the exact same way,;they'll walk around Cell Block and try to find their way around, in which point you can kindly help them find their way out, because you understand what it was like to be in grade nine and feel helpless. We have to understand that as a grade nine, things aren't easy, so just remember to be kind, help out whenever they need some guidance and please for the love of pete don't tell them room 302 is on the third floor, because there is no third floor - trust me, I tried looking for it, there is no third floor.

By the end of grade nine, those students will look back and remember their Link Crew Leader, they'll say "Hey, I remember that crazy girl Molly who was dancing around like a lunatic" and if that's what they remember me by, great. Link Crew made me feel like I belonged, it made me feel like I had a family, and I wasn't scared anymore, I knew that as long as I had my Link Crew family I would never be lost, because family means nobody will ever be left behind or forgotten. I know that in time, the students of OSDSS will learn to come together, they will learn to leave behind their angered thoughts and people will become a family, because that's what we need.

Thank you for reading this, I hope you think carefully about Link Crew, get involved; that's always the main message we send you. Link Crew is an amazing way to get involved and you receive volunteer hours, you make friends, and in the end, you'll have a second family. This has been a message from your friendly student of OSDSS, Molly Zettler, over and out.


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