New student adjusts to life in Rochester


Guess, pictured here with her great-grandmother

Kathryn Chatman, Staff Writer

Over the summer, junior Merissa Guess moved from Johannesburg, a small town located in the upper peninsula, to Rochester Hills. Guess describes her old town as small and located in the middle of nowhere.

“It takes two minutes to drive through my town,” Guess said. “It’s just a school and two restaurants and a gas station that doesn’t have actual gas pumps. Houses are very separated and if there’s an away game, it’s two hours away.”

In Johannesburg, Guess attended a K-12 school, where she enjoyed volleyball, snowboarding, and being the robotics club’s mascot. She also participated in her school’s dances and homecomings, though there were so few students attending that they only filled up half her gym.

“[The school is]  very family oriented, and there are not a lot of people. There was probably a graduating class of  a hundred at most,” Guess said. “Everyone knew everyone, and if there was a new girl, everyone would know her before she even came.”

Having spent the first few years of high school in a small-town school, Guess was understandably anxious when moving to Rochester, and on her first day at RHS.

“I was nervous. I don’t know anyone here, and it’s a lot bigger [than Johannesburg]. I came from a K-12 school, where there’s not much,” Guess said.

RHS’s independent environment, where students tend to create cliques and stick to certain friend groups, was very unusual to Guess. She says there are many differences she’s noticed in her new and old schools.

“There is a large popularity factor here that I didn’t have at my old school,” Guess said. “Here, there are the cliche cheerleaders and football players. Everybody at my old school was like a family, and here it’s a lot more separated.”

Despite the differences she has had to adhere to, Guess admits that RHS has a lot of good qualities, such as opportunities not offered at her old school.

“[RHS] has a lot of good classes to take,” Guess said. “Plus, there are a lot more extracurricular activities, and a lot more sports to play.”