But at HOL, first years have nothing to worry about. In the chatrooms, new students are welcomed and quickly make friends from various houses. These people not only offer support but also are happy to answer any questions that they might have. Chatrooms are always filled with friendly people and occasionally something exciting will happen. (Just look at the July issue with the Attack of the Jenny Clones). The chatroom also helps brings first years to their common room forum. And with the common room brings even more help and excitement.
If you look around the HOL homepage, you see the main articles advertising activities for first years in their houses. In Ravenclaw there is a "newbie camp" and Slytherin has S.H.O.P., the Slytherin hatchling orientation program. Hufflepuff has “Badger Buddies,” which I assume is similar to the Gryffindor Pawtner program. (See next paragraph.) So even if you’re not in Gryffindor, each house has its own unique way to introduce first years to its common room and to learn about HOL.
In Gryffindor, there is a program that bonds older members with the first years called Pawtners. This program I assume is similar to the other programs, or at least has the same goal: to make the first years feel welcome. Pawtners allows first years to learn about Gryffindor, HOL and make new friends, and both the Pawtner (mentor or older student) and the lion cub benefit from the program. (If you haven't already joined, look into it for sure!) Another way Gryffindor helps introduce first years to classmates is through summer camp, where students can bond with students from their team as they go through various challenges together.
So, as you can see, first years have nothing to worry about, no matter what house they’re in. As class sign up comes around and the time for work begins, they can navigate around HOL with confidence. In this last month before classes begin and the stress of finals and getting quills, the first years have learned a lot from older classmates. They have also made numerous friends and have gone through plenty of excitement in August. Between fighting crime (or making it) at the Gryffindor summer camp or just making friends in chatrooms, first years have nothing to worry about with the upcoming school year. So if you are new to HOL and have just started, what are you waiting for? It’s never too late to go to the chatrooms, and summer camp and lion cub applications are still being taken. So if you want--or need--to find your way around, don’t look too far. HOL has everything you need.