Florida Is Great, But Why Can’t Freshmen Have Travel Options?


Courtesy of Margaret Rosser

Dankwa Nnoma-Addison, Staff Writer

At SSFS, intersession is a special part of the school’s culture. The school dedicates a week before Spring Break to learn about the outside world. There are service and cultural immersion trips across the country or around the world. Unlike other grades, the 9th grade has no choice of where they go due to their annual trip to Florida. While the trip is highly regarded by most as a fun and positive experience, there might still be some annoyance as to why freshmen can’t pick their own trips.

The 9th grade has more specialized trips than any other grade. The first is the 5-day where students hike, canoe, and camp in West Virginia. The goal of the 5 day and of the Florida Intersession is to make new friends, foster community in the freshman class, and serve as a fun introduction to the Upper School. This benefits the freshmen so that they don’t feel alone amongst sophomores, juniors, and seniors. I value the trips, because I met new people and had fun.

As one of the freshmen who went to Florida this year, I had a great time. I enjoyed snorkeling for the first time, visiting a turtle hospital, kayaking, and going to Key West. I also got to know my friends better. It was an experience and a privilege that I will always remember.

Though the benefits of these specialized trips are clear, there is still be a desire to have more choice in intersession. An opportunity like being given the chance to travel far from home and do great things in a new environment is not one many schools offer. The Florida trip is not to be overlooked in terms of travel, but it is much more familiar to students than states like Utah or Oregon, or countries like Italy or Cuba.

9th graders would benefit from having the freedom to choose where they travel for intersession. It would give us a chance to adapt to a different, more mature environment, and would not just shape our view of the world, but expand it. Being able to go anywhere for Intersession would expose us to new ideas and concepts that could redefine our standards and make us question what we know. Free choice could be the door to new discoveries.