Year in Review: The Freshman Experience

Year in Review: The Freshman Experience

When the thought of high school crosses the mind, one imagines an elite social hierarchy in which seniors rule the school.  Those that adhere to this mindset dream of the day in which they, too, will oversee the kingdom and soon pass on to college; however, some are further from accepting this role than others.  

Ah, the freshman: the lowest on the totem pole and the bottom of the food chain.  As eighth graders leave the comfort of junior high and venture into the dark and unfamiliar territory of high school, they may find themselves wondering if the rumors regarding anti-freshmen upperclassmen are true.  To answer the question, no, they are not.  At Walt Whitman High School, there is no pool on the roof and Freshman Friday is nothing but a joke.  Being less than one week away from the end of freshman year myself, I thought I’d break the fourth wall and share some things I’ve learned in my first year at Whitman.

Firstly, do not be afraid to ask questions–Whitman is huge and totally comparable to a labyrinth.  The only way to get to class on time is to ask for help.  The upperclassmen and teachers will be more than willing to point you in the right direction, or the wrong one, depending upon whether or not you are wearing an I.D.  

“Coming into freshman year of high school seemed a lot scarier than it really is. Once I actually got here, it felt just like any other year,” says Whitman freshman Hailey Hamilton.  The popular opinion among freshmen seems to be that their prior assumptions were false and their year turned out a lot better than they had anticipated.  

Jackson Lin says, “My freshman year was fun and interesting. My teachers helped me a lot with school work and broadened my mind to new ideas. I expected it to be really challenging, but I was wrong. I’ve met new friends and learned so much. I can now say that I am proud to call Whitman my second home.”  

When asked about her experience freshman year, Lily Soares said, “I really enjoyed my freshman year of high school. I was a little intimidated and scared that it would be too hard to get used to.  To my surprise, I was accustomed to high school in a few days. One thing that worried me was the upperclassmen, but they are all amazing and I have become great friends with a lot of them.  I could not agree more with these statements–they say don’t judge a book by its cover and it could not be more accurate in regards to high school as well as all the amazing people you have the honor of meeting.”

High school is nothing like the movies–there are not many mean girls, death eaters, or flash mobs in the school cafeteria.  There are some cliques as well as a few Slytherins and Sharpays mixed up in the bunch, but the friends you meet will overcome those that you wish you hadn’t.  High school presents new opportunities for independence and creativity that were not available before.  Yes, passes are still necessary and teachers will forever repeat their incessant mantra that they in fact dismiss you, and not the bell, but it simply would not be school if they didn’t.  The hardest, and I mean hardest part of freshman year is the eighteen alarms that wake you up at six o’clock in the morning, all of which you somehow manage to snooze. High school is a pain in the you know what, but it is also one of the greatest and most influential times in life, so make the most of it.