Growing into a leader: Returning RJC student shares her hopes for the new school year

Aug 16, 2021 | Student Story

The 2021-22 school year at RJC High School is only a few short weeks away. We caught up with returning RJC student, Natalia Fowler, and asked her to reflect on her first year at RJC and what she is looking forward to as she enters Grade 11.


Natalia, tell us a bit about what drew you to RJC when you first applied.


I was really excited to be in an environment where I was able to branch out and be myself. I heard a lot of good things about RJC’s arts program, and I was excited to be able to express myself that way. When I was first thinking about coming I was really excited because I had been looking forward to it for a few years, but I was also anxious about attending a new school with so many new people. I like making new friends though, so it was both exciting and scary. 


What sorts of activities did you get involved in this past year?


This past year I was part of every choir group – Concert Choir, RJC Singers, and Women’s Chorus. I was also part of the dance class, which was a lot of fun. I also joined the musical and participated in the basketball skills competition that we did as a school. There were a lot of SRC/SCC clubs and activities going on last year, which I really enjoyed. Groups like anime club, art night, girls nights out, Sam & Sadie Hawkins; it was busy, but a lot of fun.


Were any of these activities new to you?


Basketball skills competition was new. I hadn’t played basketball for a really long time, but I really wanted to try it. RJC is the sort of place where lots of students who want to try something new can. When I got involved in basketball again I didn’t feel nervous about not being the best at this activity because nobody really judges you for doing it; everyone just wants to get involved. 


When you first came to RJC was there anything about the school that surprised you?


I was surprised at how fast everyone connected with each other. It seemed like everyone was friends right off the beginning of the year. I was a bit shy at first, but it didn’t take long for your class to get close, or invite people to go do things. The community was so close, and everyone was welcoming to the new grade 10s and other new students. 


What are you most looking forward to about the new school year?


I’m really excited to be back at RJC, because it’s a place I know I belong and I have these friends who make everything so much better. Everyone is friends with each other, and the different grades don’t separate friend groups, so I know that I will meet a lot of new people, and that’s exciting too. 


Are there any school activities you’re looking forward to?


I’m really hoping we can do a choir tour this year. The class trips we did last year were a lot of fun, and the Grades 12s last year talked about it a lot as a highlight of their experience, and those sorts of trips with your friends are always fun. 


You’re going to be a second year at RJC, are you entering the year any differently?


I’ve said it’s a little nerve wracking to meet a lot of new people, but as a second year I want to be the kind of person who first years can come to if they need advice, help or a friend. I want to be a leader. I feel like I’ve grown a lot in my confidence since coming to RJC, and when I started as a first year there were student leaders who looked out for me. I want to be that role model for other new kids, and I’m excited to do that.


Is there anything you would say to the new students who are about to start?


I would tell them that it might feel scary at first to start at a new school, but being nervous is a normal part of trying something new. Once you get to RJC and get involved in the activities and dorm, there’s going to be people who are going to support you and help you fit in. 

Natalia is from Rosthern, Saskatchwan and will be returning to RJC in September for Grade 11.