Excitement verged on slight chaos Tuesday morning as T.C. Williams High School students, myself included, began their first day in the new building.
For many, the first challenge of the day was finding a way to get to school. My sister Katie and I live too close to T.C. to get a bus, so we decided to take my moped to school and park on the Circle. Most students didn’t even try to park on T.C. property, choosing instead to park on the neighborhood streets. Some persuaded their parents to drop them off at school, which probably added to the unusually large number of cars driving in and out of the Chinquapin driveway. Thankfully, there is a new stoplight at the driveway that moderately maintains traffic flow.
Navigating to class
After finally getting to school, the next step was to locate my classroom. With my map in hand, it wasn’t too difficult to find my room. The hardest part was actually walking there. Since the rotunda is the only way to exit or enter the building, it naturally backs up from the amount of foot traffic. The main hallways also became crowded quickly, and I was very happy to not be claustrophobic.
When I got to my first class, English, things were beginning to settle down. Most of the students were on time to their classes, but there was always some confusion when it was time to change rooms.
“The biggest challenge is finding out where things are now, especially the bathrooms,” said senior Alex Bijak. “I couldn’t find one until after lunch.”
Senior Zach Marcus was also thrown off by the new building. “I don’t really feel like a senior since I don’t know my way around at all. Everyone is equally lost.”
The most confusing part of the day was lunch since, unlike last year, it is built into classes. A lot of kids simply went to the first (‘A’) lunch period like senior Jennifer Lee.
“My psych teacher told me to go to lunch at the wrong time, and so when I walked into government after ‘A’ lunch, everyone was already there,” she said. “It was a few minutes before I found out I was half an hour late to class.”
Once the lunch schedule was understood, there weren’t many other complications. Some people complained about the shortening of lunch, saying it made it more difficult to buy food from the cafeteria. Luckily, I packed a lunch and so had enough time to finish my food. I also got to compare schedules with my friends and find out how they were faring in the T.C. labyrinth.
By the end of the day, I was already settling into my normal rhythm and resigning myself to the fact that I was back at school. Although it was an eventful and sometimes hectic day, the first day at the new T.C. went relatively smoothly. Let’s hope tomorrow goes as well.
Rebecca Newsham is a senior at T.C. Williams High School and an intern with The Alexandria Times.