Welcomed, impressed, overwhelmed: What it’s like to be a new ninth grader at RE

In the 2021-2022 school year, many new students have joined Ransom Everglades. In ninth grade alone, there are twenty new students, all of whom have found themselves suddenly displaced from the comforts of their previous friends and school communities. These ninth graders not only have to face a new student community without friends from before, but a new campus that is unfamiliar even to students who attended the Ransom Everglades Middle School. 

Carlos Del Cañal Fernandez ’25 said that the most difficult part of being a new student at Ransom Everglades has been adapting the new teaching style, which is very different from the way subjects were taught at his middle school (St. Kevin’s in Kendall). Fernandez was happy to find that Ransom Everglades places an equal emphasis on academics, whereas other schools seemed to place more emphasis on athletics.  

Briana Girala ’25 found that the workload at RE has greatly increased from her middle school (I-Preparatory Academy). At her middle school, she also didn’t have to change classrooms for different teachers, as students do at Ransom Everglades. 

Other students, such as Catherine Zhou ’25, have been struck by the campus and the buildings. She thought that the new STEM building is very impressive, and that the spinning chairs are especially fun. Catherine thought an impressive aspect of the new school was the resources available that she didn’t have at her middle school (George Washington Carver Middle School). Likewise, Mia Campbell ’25 spoke highly of the glass surfaces of the STEM building, which allow one to look through them during classes and provide an air of openness. Mia came from Rockway, and she has noticed that the pace of teaching and learning at Ransom Everglades is much quicker than at her middle school. 

Most of the new students mentioned that the Ransom Everglades community has been a pleasant surprise. Kayra Serpenguzel ’25 said she liked the new community and appreciated how the students were all so welcoming.  

According to Sofia Rakhimi ’25, at some public schools, “kids are just straight-up aggressive to you.” Rakhimi came from a public school in California called Redwood Middle School. From her perspective, Ransom Everglades students and teachers are welcoming and provide mutual support, even to outsiders. When Sofia moved, she saw the different cultures and people of the Bay Area and Miami. She also said, however, that both areas are very competitive environments, educationally and athletically. 

To Sofia, the hardest part of integrating with the Ransom Everglades community has been forming new bonds and letting go of the old ones. “Letting go of the bonds I’ve had for eight years, and dealing with people who have already formed bonds for four years is really tough,” she said. “I don’t have any strong bonds at the moment.” 

Students new to Ransom Everglades in 2021 have many obstacles to overcome, but many of them have found their new community to be supportive and welcoming. Even though some students have had to leave their homes behind, they seem to be integrating well into Ransom Everglades’ distinct social and academic cultures.