Eighth grade mixer excites

To help ease the transition from middle school to high school, Link Crew held their annual Eighth Grade Mixer. The mixer helped students get to know each other and the school better.


Arrowhead photo by Audrey Bucher

Making memories…Hanging out in the concourse, (from left) eighth-graders Timmy Meehan, Liam Shaw, Matthew Gerhart and Link Crew member Olivia Koch take a break from the dance floor at the Eighth Grade Mixer on May 6.

Due to the often anxiety-inducing change from middle school to high school, Link Crew holds various events to introduce incoming freshmen to the high school, such as this year’s Eighth Grade Mixer.
Link Crew is a program where juniors and seniors help facilitate activities and an overall welcoming and accepting environment at the high school to make the transition from middle to high school smoother for the incoming freshmen.
“We do take [the transition from eighth to ninth grade] very seriously,” Link Crew advisor Nickole Trout said. “It’s one of the most important things to determine how a student’s going to feel about the next four years.
The Eighth Grade Mixer is one of the first events to aid in this transition.
“The goal of the eighth Grade Mixer is to give the eighth grade students their first taste of what it means to be involved in a social aspect of high school,” Link Crew advisor Matthew Haines said.
The mixer involved dancing, music, games and a lot of socializing.
“I just think high school’s going to be a really great experience,” eighth-grader Garrett Grant said at the mixer. “I just hear that this is supposed to be the most important part, but I’m just going to enjoy high school throughout.”
Link Crew member Paige Guinther said that she didn’t go to the mixer when she was in eighth grade, so her impressions of what high school will be like mostly came from Disney Channel “where they were like, ‘[The seniors] are going to bully you.’”
According to Guinther, this turned out to be untrue, as the upperclassmen are “here to help” the incoming freshmen.
“In essence, [the mixer] is a dance icebreaker, to kind of just make [the incoming freshmen] feel more comfortable,” Link Crew advisor Daniel Glatts said.
Not only is the mixer an opportunity for the eighth-graders to get to know each other, but for the Link Crew members at the high school to get to know the students they will be mentoring during the upcoming school year.
“I’m most excited to meet all of the eighth-graders and to see them all next year,” Link Crew member Alicia Jones said.
The ultimate idea behind Link Crew and making these connections at the mixer is that the “all of the incoming freshmen [will] have someone to go to,” Haines said, “who has done this portion of life before and can offer up some guidance and advice,” Haines said.
According to Guinther, at the mixer, “try[ing] to connect to people and form[ing] friendships” is the “most important thing.”
Link Crew member Olivia Nogami said that she is “most excited about getting everyone to be friends.”
The tropical-themed mixer featured Glatts as the DJ, a dance-off and more dancing.
“I love this dance. It’s actually really fun,” eighth-grader Trinity Forbes said.
Eighth-grader Lamar Jackson agreed with Forbes’ assessment. “I’m very hyped,” Jackson said.