There’s No Pressure With Our Peers: A Freshman Account on Peers


We freshman first met our peers on the football field on September 4th, about three months ago. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, my heart was beating fast, and my palms were sweaty: It was Freshman Orientation.

I remember everyone in my group was quiet and nervous; after all, we had only met about half of the people in our group since it was the first real school function with Woodcliff Lake and Montvale pushed together.

The groups were awkward, although the peers tried to make it as upbeat and easy as possible. But after having to participate in a human chair, I’m pretty sure we were all a little closer than we wanted to be. Our peers gave us great advice about teachers, ways to get to classes, and much more by the end of the orientation!

Then, three weeks later, we were all brought together again for Freshman Field Day. The change within our groups was remarkable! Freshmen were cracking jokes right and left and as the day went on, we began to all become if not friends then at least significantly more comfortable with each other.

After all, throwing someone over a bar, competing in a tug of war, and trust falls from menacing heights tend to be bonding experiences. As well as playing games, we talked about how our classes were going and everyone was delighted to hear stories from other group members. After this we all got together and talked in a circle. Then, Mrs. Schwartzman, the peer advisor, asked us all if we had a good time with our peers. Everyone erupted in cheers, which needs no further explanation.

Four short weeks later we met for a program on peer pressure in which the peers performed short skits, showcasing the effects drugs and alcohol can have in your life. After they finished asking us questions about what we just observed, we went back into our individual peer groups.

We performed our own skits about cheating on a test, underage drinking, and dating someone your friends do not approve of. After we performed them within four other groups, all 20 groups joined together to discuss the importance of our day, showing us all that there was no pressure with our peers.

Without these experiences, our first few months of high school would be much different and might have changed our high school experiences. The peers program has been in tact for the past few years and has ultimately been a success.

It is wonderful knowing you are able to talk to upperclassmen if you ever have issues at school. It also gives you a new perspective on how to handle problems. The peers program has introduced freshman to new people, who may end up being our best friends at the end of our four years here.