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Grade 11 Student Creates Graphic Novel of New Experience

Carmen shares her recent experience as a new student in the form of a graphic novel
Carmen Spencer ’22 has used her recent experience as a new student to create a graphic novel for her IB Language and Literature course. Carmen’s thoughts, feelings and experiences tell a story of what she went through as she changed schools for the first time. Titling her graphic novel Junior, it refers to her current year of high school. 

“Mr. Lundgren gave us the assignment to write a story about someone we knew or ourselves, and I thought my story was a pretty big change that happened recently in my life and figured it was a good idea,” she explained. 

Throughout the process of writing the graphic novel, Carmen used colour as a way to help amplify her story. It starts as black and white, but as the story goes on, patterns and colours are slowly incorporated. 

“Colour was important for me, as it represented finding your place and overall happiness, like a new world that you put yourself into,” Carmen said. “As the story goes on the colour builds, and it represents me finding my place and rhythm.” 

Carmen’s graphic novel shows how hard it was for her to start a new school, coming in and not knowing anyone. 

“I had never been on campus, so I had no idea what I was going into,” she said. “It was an emotional start, and being a new student I had new emotions. After I found a good friend group, made connections with my teachers, and understood the learning material it was a lot better.” 

Carmen takes the reader through her emotions of finding out she will be attending GNS, her first day, making friends, joining co-curriculars and learning to drive a car, as she showcases the past five months to readers. 

Because of her experiences, Carmen has some advice for new students in the GNS community, like persevering through nervousness and knowing that things will get better.

“Everything will be okay in the end,” she said. “You will always find a place, even in a smaller school. I came from a school with 1,200 people, and then I came in here worried if I wouldn’t have any friends, would people like me, but the GNS community is super accepting and welcoming.”


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