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Attention, freshman: it gets better

Freshman experience the first of many labs in Colin Killmer's class.

Brianna Neuhouser

Freshman experience the first of many labs in Colin Killmer's class.

Brianna Neuhouser, Staff Writer

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As a sophomore, it’s easy to still remember how it felt to walk into the huge doors of the high school for the first time. No matter where students come from, a three floor high school with rumors of a fourth floor and three different ways to get places is pretty terrifying. However, with the help of upperclassmen and teachers, it is possible to have a decent freshman year.

When asked about the changes between middle school and high school, there is a range of answers. Freshman Kellie Miles says, “There’s more freedom in high school.” That may be a good or bad thing, but the freshmen can figure out how they see it on their own. Across the board, many freshmen say that the biggest change they’ve noticed is a problem that is worded best by freshman Maddy Frank, “The stairs are a pain to get down!” Considering that most of them come from a one story middle school with three hallways, the sheer size difference is enough to send heads spinning. Again, an unsurprising answer to the question of least favorite class is, in the words of freshman Faith Andrews, “math, because math.”

Teachers even notice and acknowledge the change. Spanish teacher Christy Rath says, “I think the size of the school is difficult for most to adjust to, as well as meeting so many new students after being at one school (mostly) for 3 years.” Again, three floors + confusing halls = terrifying.  The general census of the freshmen adjustments seems to be that the workload is entirely different, the new navigation system of the halls is haunted-house worthy, and the number of students, which grows from 400 or less to nearly 1,500, is confusing and hard to process.

Freshmen who read this, let me ease your  fears and stresses. You will survive. You might not believe, me but it gets easier. My best advice is to actually do the assigned homework and don’t let missing assignments pile up. Also, if there is any worry out there about exams, as far away as they are, there is a virtual guarantee that if questions are asked when needed in class, all the exams will be a piece of cake.  This may sound like something a geriatric parent would say, but it’s true. Trust me: I lived it.

Finally, keep in mind that mental health means more than grades, but if a choice must be made between the homecoming football game or studying for a Spanish test, the Spanish should come first. Senior Grace Beam, who has survived not just one year of high school, but at this point, nearly 4 of them, says, “sleep more than you study, study more than you party.” There will always be more opportunities for fun. There won’t always be more opportunities to pass your classes. Seniors Rachael VerMeulen and Alexis Warr both advise, “Take a deep breath and have fun.”

By now, you’ve probably realized that real high school is contradictory to everything movies and tv shows show, but it’s not all as bad as it feels right now. High school is absolutely incredible,  and you only get one shot at it. So, freshmen. Breathe. Relax. High school is not that hard.

Freshman relax after a quiz in Kaitie Paynich's class.
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Attention, freshman: it gets better