By Arielle Goldman
It is likely that if you asked a freshman how they were feeling about entering the high school, they would explain that they had “mixed emotions.” Many felt excited and ready to start this new chapter of their lives. They now had the opportunity to make new friends, be themselves, and work harder than they did in the past. However, students also feared the hardships of being the lower classmen of the school. Many were nervous to make the transition from ruling the middle school, to feeling like they were at the bottom of the totem pole, intimidated by upperclassmen. Upon the arrival of the freshmen, senior mentors eased the nerves and jitters that everyone was clearly feeling in their first-period mentor classes.
Entering freshman year is similar to the feeling tourists get after hiking down the Grand Canyon and realizing they have to hike back up: beauty and excitement quickly changed to extremely hard work and difficulty breathing. Students were content after graduating middle school, finishing off with their “reign” of the school, and using their summer vacation to take a break. They quickly transitioned to being the new freshmen, touring the high school, picking out their lockers and trying to imagine what it’s like eventually walking through those Byram Hills halls in weeks to come.
As the new students walked into school at the start of the year, they were welcomed by their senior mentors telling them how to get to their mentor class. Students hastily met up with their friends and found their way to their first-period class. Many found the mentors to be extremely helpful, especially on the first day where schedules were figured out and a tour was given. Freshman Alana Curley states that her “mentors were very helpful in the first day to see how the school worked and how to get around to all of our classes.”
Students felt that one of the most significant changes when transitioning from a middle school student to a high school student is that in high school, students are treated like adults. Students are forced to be independent, develop their own study routines, and ask questions. Dylan Haber, a freshman, exclaims that “the main difference between eighth grade and high school is how much more independence each student has and how not everyone is always there to help you, you know, find a room or with homework. You have to learn to be able to work on your own and develop some skills.” Some students are prepared and ready for this new sense of independence, while others are nervous to not have as much guidance from their teachers.
As a freshman coming into the high school, I can attest to the fact that the positives about being a high-schooler outweigh the negatives. Newfound freedoms including free periods and being treated as a mature student have given freshmen the opportunity to find their niche, and who they want to be for the next four years of their high school career. Entering freshman year is a feeling like no other, but it’s a feeling no one can forget!