by Julia Wong, Staff Writer, March 2021

Starting a new school in the middle of a pandemic can be hard – but in the case of Class VI, this is the experience of the entire grade. Every class’s first year at Nobles is formative in determining the community made, and this year is no different. To discover how Nobles’s newest community members are finding their place, several Class VI students were asked their favorite ways they have been able to connect with their peers thus far.

In Touch Via Touchscreen
In times when being in person can be difficult and dangerous, tech offers the most viable alternative to fostering and maintaining friendships and is something Class VI has certainly utilized. After creating large group chats towards the beginning of the year, Class VI has kept in touch using all different platforms. “At the beginning of the year, when I didn’t really know a lot of people, I’d reach out to them by text,” Julian Fynn-Thompson (Class VI) said. “We schedule Zoom activities, and do stuff via Zoom.”“FaceTime and Email are really helpful,” Corinna Wise (Class VI) reaffirmed. Finding creative ways to utilize outside of school social media and technology have proven to be invaluable in helping connect the grade.
Friends Who Eat Together Stick Together
With the newly instituted S-Block, lunches have proven to be a vital space for Class VI to connect. Many commented that their eating companions quickly became their “group,” and that lunch is one of the few they have to engage in casual conversation. “If we all have the same break, we’ll meet in the Library or Castle, and just eat snacks or hang out,” Wise said, referencing the free time during a lunch period.Additionally, in the fall, structured activities within the period allowed for students to get to know another. “At the beginning of the year, there was Sixie lunch, where half the people in the grade would have lunch with Mr. Gifford, and we kind of got to know each other doing these icebreaker activities,” Isabella Kong (Class VI) said, highlighting the contributions of these school-sponsored spaces in making the grade cohesive.
Connection via Clubs
While the clubs have lent themselves as a much needed social space to many across all grades the year, Class VI has made especially notable use of the groups to meet their all-new grade. Introducing the students to peers they may not have yet met, the club blocks have proven themselves integral in meeting their Class VI classmates. “Clubs have been really fun: I can see and meet friends and other people in my class,” Mathilde Senter (Class VI) said. “In the Fall, I was in Trivia Club, and right now, I’m in Movie Club,” she added, commenting  on her appreciation for the friendly attitudes of members in both.
Head of School Cathy Hall walks with two Class VI students this fall.
Teammates Make the Best Friends
While Nobles culture has long dictated that afternoon programs play no small role in who you know and even your close friends, Class VI has used the opportunity to get to know classmates with similar athletic passions and experience a different social environment than during the academic day. “I think I made my strongest friendships through sports. I play soccer, and at the beginning of the year, it let me make friendships separate from academics,” Fynn-Thompson said.“In the Fall, I did cross country, and that was the best experience ever. It was a really supportive group,” Senter said, similarly asserting that the important role athletic programs have played in allowing for the natural formation of friendships.
Camp Nobles
After school in early December, Class VI students had the opportunity to engage in a fun activity unlike ones found in a normal, non-pandemic year. Walking around the trails of campus, the students were able to bond with their advisories, some even meeting other advisory groups on their journey. “We got together with our advisors, did a picture scavenger hunt and made s’mores,” said Siena Marconi (Class VI), commenting that it was one of the most memorable events of the year. “That was probably one of my favorite events in school,” agreed Fynn-Thompson.

With the perseverance of a true Nobles class, Class VI has found ways to form bonds and begin their journey together, finding the bright side in a challenging situation. “It’s been a little bit hard, but I feel that when I go in-school, it makes me feel really happy to be in person and not take those days for granted,” Senter said. In the spirit of optimism for the future, hopefully, the youngest members of our community can keep enjoying opportunities  and working to create friendships that last their Nobles experience!