Think Piece: What was life like as a freshman in high school?
Leaving Middle School
High School. As an eighth grader whenever I saw these words I was terrified and excited at the same time. I didn't want to leave what was familiar to me, and was unsure of what the future might behold. I knew that this leap into high school was going to be hard, as I would leave behind my best friends, a school so familiar to me, and a great environment that I had loved for so long. I also knew that my success from here on out would shape the rest of my life. I didn't know much about high school, just that it was important to get a good GPA, and do well overall. Although I didn't know much, and this was new to me, I knew I had to take the plunge and embrace it.
Being placed into a new building, with new people, new classes, and nothing familiar, I was at first frightened of the change. I live in Waubonsie Valley H.S. boundaries, a different school then the rest of my best friends, and this was my biggest struggle. For every ten students in Waubonsie there were about two that were familiar from Scullen Middle School. At first it seemed that I would never get over this change, but I embraced the opportunity to reinvent myself and reach out to new people. I now have many friends, even some that went to Scullen that I never talked to before.
At Waubonsie there is no freshman campus, which was a big deal to me because I was at first intimidated by the big seniors, but later as time went on I learned it was no different from being a sixth grader in middle school walking alongside an eighth grader. At first it's strange, but then you realize they were once in your shoes, and when you get to the point of being an upperclassman, and look down at underclassmen, you realize there was nothing to be afraid of. In fact most of my friends now are seniors. If anyone is worried about making new friends like I was, I can recommend joining a club or a class you are really interested in, and more than likely there will be others like you that share the same interest. I joined a film class and now it's something I enjoy to this day. Best of all, I can do it with my friends that share that same passion.
Remember your first day of middle school? If you were scared your first day like me, you now know it wasn't that bad and you adjusted quickly. The same goes with high school. There are thousands of people just like you with a new school, new people, new environment, and they feel the same way as you. My best advice is to take it head on and embrace the opportunity.
As a freshman I had selected three honors classes and looking back that was a mistake. In middle school it seemed like the more honors classes you took the better, but it ultimately can stress some people out. Taking extra-curriculars, honors classes, and an eight hour school day ended up being too much for me my freshman year. There is a lot more responsibility involved, so I definitely recommend knowing your limits before signing up for more than you can handle.
Overall, freshman year is a blast! You get to reinvent yourself, meet new people, and have tons of new opportunities. You have more freedom than you did in middle school, so seize the moment. Also, do things you never thought of doing, for example trying a new sport or club. If you are going to do it, high school is the time! Go to school dances, school sporting events, hang out with friends, and just have loads of fun. Do your homework too! :)
~ Vicram Chatterjee, middle school class of 2013, high school class of 2017