Earlier in 2020, everyone’s school year ended virtually, and the class of 2024 had their 8th grade year cut short. When we came to Merion this September, most of the freshmen girls decided on the hybrid schedule: blue and gold cohorts going two days a week, and having asynchronous days at home. From our survey, a majority of the class had a very easy transition from middle school to high school. Even though we haven’t been at Merion long, the freshman class already loves being part of the sisterhood. Christine Link ’24, a member of the blue cohort said her favorite part about school so far is the community, “I love the sisterhood and the fact that everyone is so nice.”
Merion Mercy Academy is still living mercy and seeking justice, despite the Covid-19 safety restrictions put in place for the 2020-2021 academic year. The entire school has had to make many sacrifices this fall, so that our community could come back to in-person learning. Our freshman class of 2024 has had an interesting experience: starting high school during a global pandemic. All of us are very grateful for our new school, but how has Covid-19 really affected our freshman year so far?
Although we had to change a few things because of the pandemic, Merion freshmen are satisfied with the precautions the school has taken and are loving their freshman year. Out of 35 students who filled out our google form, nine girls thought Ruvna was the best thing Merion has done with Covid-19. Other students thought that lunch pickups and the asynchronous lounge were great ideas. Emily Oliver ’24, who participates in Merion field hockey and plans to play basketball, states, “I think they did an amazing job with fall sports and how they can still let us play.” Overall, the freshmen are very happy with what Merion has done in response to Covid in order for school to stay open.
Merion is focused on many things including community, sisterhood, and service being. The class of 2024’s favorite parts of Merion range widely, from general things like the teachers to specific favorites like handbells and Weenie Roast. 8 girls said the best part of MMA so far is making friends, while another nine love all the people and the community. One of my personal favorites, “Mr Pidots rants in the morning,” from a student who wishes to remain nameless. Another one, which I believe describes Merion very accurately from Emma Pallante ’24, put simply “the warm and welcoming community.”
Freshman Dillan Grimes says, “My teachers are great! They are very understanding of the tough times that we are all going through. They were also very helpful with the adjustment to high school.” Teachers have also faced some challenges this school year. Using new programs and teaching techniques for online learning can be difficult. The freshman class appreciates their teachers and all of their hard work.
Merion has a club, a sport, or a class for everyone and the survey taken by Merion freshman showed that. Some girls joined only a few clubs, while others signed up for as many as 6! One of the best things about is MMA is you can try out all different types of clubs- get a perfect mix of all the things you love to do. Some of the most popular clubs among the freshmen were Kate’s girls, mock trial, women for political activism, and mercy works. We also received a wide variety of sports the Class of 2024 played, mostly field hockey, volleyball, and soccer- with hopes to do crew, basketball, and track this winter and spring.
This year has been difficult for all of us, and our heart goes out to our senior sisters who welcomed us to the Merion community with open arms. Bringing us back to school took a lot of hard work and planning for the staffulty, The freshman class showed various interests in the clubs and sports they chose to take part in their first semester of high school. Even if we are experiencing the sisterhood six feet apart, we feel closer than ever.