Incoming Freshmen Get First Glimpse of West During Curriculum & Activities Night

By Sonja Malek, Academics Editor

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On the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 24, West hosted incoming eighth graders and their families at the annual Curriculum and Activities Night. The night is meant to introduce students to West’s halls, get information about registration for 2018-19, and showcase the many clubs and activities West has to offer in an effort to recruit new members for the following year.

Students and their parents picked up information packets before heading into the auditorium for some opening remarks. Students and parents were then able to take tours of the school and its many facilities and get a feel for what walking in West’s halls might be like next year.

The most anticipated part of Curriculum Night for incoming and current students alike is the ability to see many of the different clubs offered. The contest gym and fieldhouse were filled with booths and tables for cultural, academic, and athletic clubs and teams. Ping pong club set up ping pong tables were incoming students could play, and students walked around with German and Greek flags draped across their shoulders.

Senior Michael Rohn believes that this event is a necessary step in the students’ transition from junior high to Niles West.

“I worked the Science Olympiad table, and it’s great to see such energy from incoming freshmen,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for them to come out and see what West has to offer, and I remember coming to it myself and becoming interested in some of the clubs that I’m now a big part of.”

Senior Jane Hwang felt similarly. Although it may be difficult to gain attention from the students who are being pulled left and right by so many different clubs, Hwang felt that students who stuck around to talk were able to benefit from these interactions.

“I’m mainly here for Chinese club, as well as for a bunch of different clubs I’m a part of,” Hwang said. “Being involved in so many activities has given me so many opportunities. I felt like a lot of the kids who are willing to listen to you, even if they seemed a little reluctant or shy, can really benefit from what the current students have to say.  Being able to talk to them like this is fun for me and shows parents and students all that Niles West has to offer.”

From the perspective of many eighth graders, walking into an enormous space with so many different things going on at the same time can be overwhelming. However, as the night went on, many felt that they were able to open up to hearing about the new activities and opportunities.

“It was a little weird to go up and talk to people at first, but I ended up getting information from a lot of different clubs,” one eighth grader said. “I’m excited to try something new next year and meet people who are interested in the same things as me.”