Freshman Buddy Gifts

By Daniel Park

I am sitting on the floor with my back leaning against my backpack. I then hear Daniel Scoggins, the 2014-15 student body president, say, “Freshman Buddy Gifts?”

4-5 seniors stand up and walk towards the group of freshmen, all with a paper bag. I wonder if any of them could be for me. This thought was proven wrong at the end of the year. Few of the freshmen ever received any gifts, and I never learned who my senior buddy was. Now, as a junior, the Freshman/Senior Buddy tradition as no effect on me. Although I was a little bummed out about the lack of attention, I got over it quickly.

I am still, however, quite interested in the origin of the tradition. I searched around for any knowledge of the origin. After asking a few faculty members, who all pointed at the Class of 2009. They suggested asking Charlotte L., member of the Class of 2009 for the history of the tradition.

I reached out to her via email and asked several questions, and I was interested to learn that it wasn’t the Class of 2009 who started the tradition, unlike what I have heard from the faculty members. They didn’t start the tradition, but rather put careful attention to the tradition. She mentions, “I think we were the ones that … insisted that seniors make an effort to help their freshmen buddy adjust to high school life at OES by giving them little gifts throughout the year.” It seems that Charlotte’s senior buddy was the one who inspired her to improve the tradition. Her senior buddy was a good friend of hers and gave her gifts throughout the year.

Interestingly, the Class of 2009, was the class that started the ice cream party for the freshmen after their first September trip. Her class wrote welcome letters and for their freshmen buddies, and every senior decorated a shirt. The Class of 2009 took care of their freshmen buddies during the year.

“Before finals we made sure that freshmen a lot a little gift, to hopefully alleviate some of the stress of final exams, and I believe we did the same before finals in May.  Just before graduation we told seniors who hadn’t already given themselves away to officially tell their freshmen buddies who their senior buddy had been.”   
As we fast forward to today, the tradition still stands to help of the Freshmen class in their transition to the high school. During my time here, the 3 Senior Classes have done a good job helping their freshmen feel at home in the new OES upper school community.

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