New Additions and Tricky Transitions

How new students adjust mid-year with Covid Restrictions


8th grader Jacqueline Stenzel, who came to Trinity at the start of the second semester, enjoys a socially distant lunch with her friends.

Peyton Alch , Intro Writer

The second semester has hit the ground running- this time with six new students in tow. 

Eight graders Ashley Cao and Jacqueline Stenzel are just two of those six new additions to the student body. Coming to a new school is hard enough, but the pandemic has added unique challenges that these students face.

Jacqueline Stenzel

Coming from New York, Jacqueline Stenzel and her family moved to Florida in late January for a change of pace. 

Because she started online, Stenzel said she didn’t think the pandemic really affected her transition to school, but in fact allowed her to slowly get into the groove.

“I dealt with coming to Trinity by studying hard,” Stenzel said. “I started the semester online so it was easier to adjust. Especially because of the block schedule, that has helped me to adapt to each class individually.”

Though the pandemic has not affected her transition to Trinity much, there are still many aspects of Trinity that she had to get used to.

“My previous school was a public school, and it was one building unlike Trinity, which is a private school and has a really different layout,” Stenzel said. “And it’s way hotter here and the classes are much longer, so I’d say it was really different to adapt to a whole new environment that I’m not used to.”

She also said that while it was not too hard to make friends, having to socially distance has made it more of a challenge. Stenzel said that her teachers have been really helpful in getting her caught up with the material. 

“The teachers have also helped me a lot,” Stenzel said. “During study period, they would help me catch up and get to where everyone else is.”

Stenzel said her smooth transition into Trinity has helped her stay motivated and to keep working hard. She said a big reason she likes the school is because of the people here. 

“Personally, I thought it was pretty easy to adapt to Trinity,” Stenzel said. “I think the people are really nice here, and it’s a really great environment that I’m happy to be apart of.”

Ashley Cao

Eighth-grader Ashley Cao moved here from Beijing, China. She attended the Springboard International Language School and is learning to adjust to a new school and country. 

She said that coming to Trinity was a big adjustment because of the difference in cultures. 

“Trinity has been good, but I’m coming from another country, so it’s kind of hard for me to really join everyone because of the different cultures and everything,” Cao said.

Cao transitioned from being online at her school in China to being in person here at Trinity. She said how it was harder to get back into the normality of in-person school, especially in a whole new country. 

“It was hard because obviously it’s like different countries, and it’s a very different teaching style than what I’m used to,” Cao said. “It’s also totally different because of the pandemic and how everything is always changing.”

She said that at her previous school, the students were not as independent and the teachers helped them more. 

“The students at Trinity are very independent and a lot of the work requires you to learn outside of class,” Cao says. “While at my old school there was a lot more group teaching, and everyone learned at the same pace.”

Cao said she chose to attend Trinity for several reasons, including the fact that she thought Trinity would be the best fit for her to further her education. 

“I visited a lot of schools in Orlando,” Cao said. “I chose this one because I feel like it has a really good environment, and it is big. The school isn’t very old, and I feel quite safe here.” 

Cao described her time at Trinity so far as really good. She looks forward to making the most out of her education here, even though the pandemic has changed her experience. 

“I really like it,” Cao said. “It’s been really welcoming, and I am happy to be here.”