Being the ‘new kid’


Natalie Ham

The new digital sign outside of the school entrance welcomes all Homestead students as they enter the building.

Moving schools can come with many new experiences, which differ depending on the person. Some people settle in well and make friends easily, but others struggle more, whether it be with grades or even making friends. Mickey Vandermeuse, sophomore, Sadie Shaw, junior, and
Lauryn Evans, junior all shared their different experiences of being the ‘new kid’ at school.

Vandermeuse, Shaw and Evans all began their first year at Homestead at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year

Lauryn Evans, junior, moved to Homestead because she wanted to stop being compared to her older sister. The two are close in age and had the same teachers at her previous school. Evans described her sister as “very academically intelligent and quiet and well mannered and I’m like the complete opposite.”

Throughout her years of school, from the time she was little, Evans would get comments from teachers telling her to “be more like your sister.” “I lowkey got tired of always trying to be like my sister so I thought switching schools would be what’s best for me and it really was,” Evans said.

Evans has adjusted well to the change in environment and has made a lot of great new friends since moving to Homestead. “I think I’ve settled in quite well. I mean everyone is shocked when I say it’s my first year because I fit in so well here.” she stated.

At first, being at a new place was difficult for Evans, but the kids were “nice and welcoming,” which made her feel better. Evans was lucky enough to have known people from Homestead prior to when she switched schools and by the end of the first week, she had a good handful of friends.

She did find adapting to a new teaching style and school structure to be struggling. She described her previous school as “a very loose, student-managed school,” and Homestead as “stricter with a lot more rules.” Although academically, Evans does prefer Homestead.

One thing Evans made sure to do on her first day was be herself. “I told myself don’t try and be someone you’re not and I didn’t and now I have a great group of friends,” Evans said.

Evans wasn’t the only one who settled in and made a good group of friends at Homestead, Sadie Shaw, junior, moved to Mequon last summer from Tampa, FL right before her junior year. Her dad got a new job in Milwaukee, so her family moved to Mequon.

Shaw’s family moved over the summer, so she got to settle in before the school year started. She made most of her friends through her classes and rowing club outside of school.

“Making friends is only as difficult as you make it. If you just be yourself, it’s easy to find the right people anywhere,” Shaw said.

When moving, Shaw was most excited to see what living and going to school in Wisconsin was like. “Florida and Wisconsin are so different, it was interesting to see the difference in lifestyle, especially day-to-day for students,” Shaw said.

Shaw found it the most challenging adjusting to a different lifestyle, and especially the Wisconsin weather.

Along with Evans and Shaw, Mickey Vandermeuse, sophomore, was a new student at the beginning of the school year.

Vandermeuse is a hockey player and moved to be closer to the rink, along with the better school system compared to her previous school.

When she moved to Homestead, Vandermeuse’s grades remained the same “which is surprising coming from a lower education ranked school,” she said. She had all A’s first trimester and was named ‘Highlander of the Month’ for science.

Vandermeuse found finding the right group of friends to be challenging. “Socially, finding your group of people and like still now, just trying to find the right mesh and people you have the same interests in is hard,” she said.

Vandermeuse has found people with whom she shares interests and realized that she finds herself in a lot of the girls she’s met, “I feel like I kind of fit in better at this school than my old school.”

Vandermeuse was most excited about being closer to the rink because she loves hockey. She was also excited about having a new chance to start over and find a new group of people and having the chance to get a better education so she’s able to go to a better college in the future.

All three girls have settled in comfortably at Homestead with a good social group.

Evans’ advice for future transfer students is “just don’t stress it, everything will fall into place, and you will eventually find friends. The first day or two is always the hardest but once you get into a nice rhythm then you’ll be fine.”

Vandermeuse said, to “Keep an open mind, don’t give up. iI’s gonna be hard now, but once you look on the brightside, a lot of people say glass half full not half empty, and yeah just keep an open mind, have a good attitude, try and stay as positive as you can because if you don’t, people are gonna latch onto that and it’ll be a bad experience for you!”

Shaw said, “Some advice I would give to future transfer students is believe in yourself and put yourself out there. Be involved in classes and join sports to find where you belong. Homestead has so many different crowds of people, anyone can find the activity for them.”