Freshmen Battle of the Homerooms: A Great Success!


Bridget Kulcsar

Big Sib Director Zaid Sarmad ’18.

Students in homerooms A02, A04, and A06 cheered as they took the crown for agility ball in the East gym. This fun, upbeat event was the Freshmen Battle of the Homerooms. It was created in response to the slight sense of being overwhelmed that many freshmen used to feel making the transition to high school. At the event, the freshmen were presented with opportunities to talk to one another and to share their experiences in high school so far. For an incoming freshman, commuting to school may be a totally new experience; it can include figuring out subway and bus schedules or the location of his or her pickup along the Vallo route. In addition to this, when coming into high school, freshmen meet a variety of people from each borough.

Although they are being exposed to greater diversity at our school, it can be hard to connect with people who they did not necessarily grow up with throughout elementary and middle school. Additionally, classes are no longer in one specific room all day, and freshmen have to find their way around the school, sometimes going from the basement all the way up to the third floor.

Since the school year began, the ‘Freshmen Battle of the Homerooms’ underwent many revisions, from a change of name to an entire change of concept. Earlier on, the event was called ‘The Freshmen Mixer’, first thought of as a dance for the freshmen to attend. However, the S.O. decided to clear the slate and replace the dance with an even more enjoyable event that included an agility ball tournament and a “speed-friending” game.
The process of organizing the event was time-consuming, but worth it.

“It was difficult to estimate how many freshmen were actually going to show up and along with that, how to keep it all running properly. Once we got past that, it wasn’t bad at all!” said Big Sib Director Zaid Sarmad ’18.

The event officially launched on October 12, 2017, after being in the making for a long time. Snacks and music were provided, and all students and Big Sibs of all freshmen homerooms attended. Agility ball players battled for a trophy and candy. Freshmen also got to play a game where they guessed how many jellybeans are in a jar; the person with the closest response got to take home the jar after a quick “speed-friending” game.    

Going back three years, as a freshman, I would have enjoyed having the Battle of the Homerooms. As a Big Sib in the event, I felt very attached to the freshmen, and I hope the freshmen felt the same way.”

During this year’s battle, even-numbered homerooms competed against odd-number homerooms.

The speed dating mingling consisted of two rings of freshmen (inner and outer) and they would face each other. After talking and introducing themselves for three minutes, the rings would rotate so the freshmen would be facing new people,” said Big Sib Matthew Choi ’18. Basically, the speed dating had rounds where freshmen would face each other and introduce themselves for three minutes; it would rotate so everyone gets some differently every round.

From freshmen to upperclassmen, many thought the event was a great success.

Going back three years, as a freshman, I would have enjoyed having the Battle of the Homerooms. As a Big Sib in the event, I felt very attached to the freshmen, and I hope the freshmen felt the same way,” said Big Sib Farhan Rahman ’18.

Additionally, Big Sib Matthew Choi ’18 said, “I think this was a fun event, and I kind of wished I had this event as a freshman. It was a good way for the freshmen to get to know each other and connect with their Big Sibs. I definitely think this event should be continued.”

For most Big Sibs who volunteered, they thought that the event was not only successful but a good break from the stressful college application process. For freshmen, the Battle of the Homerooms was also a fun and inviting experience.

Eileen Tan
Timothy McCarthy ’21

“Overall, the atmosphere was great, and I felt like I connected with my Big Sibs a lot more after playing agility ball with them in the gym,” said Timothy McCarthy ’21.

Gerald Deng ’21 agreed, saying, “I was able to be myself with my Big Sibs and to my friends in my homeroom because of the event.”

Eileen Tan
Gerald Deng ’21.

However, a few students saw room for improvement in a few areas. Kelly Xiao ’18, for instance, said, “The event began a month into the school year, so it kind of defeated the purpose of coming out and meeting people. Also, if I was a shy freshman at the time, I wouldn’t really prefer going to the event itself; I would have liked a different type of event on a smaller scale.”

Overall, the event was successful and many students want the Freshmen Battle of the Homerooms to become an annual event.