“7:34 A.M: I get out of the car as fast as a bullet and run to the front door with panic, anxiety, and a fear of being late on the first day of school. Searching the hallways, I try to find a stairwell to lead me to room 236. I open the door, and what was lying behind the door was a new beginning.”

This depiction of a young freshman frantically racing out of fear to find her homeroom was, unfortunately, my own story. All of the pressures of fitting into a new school dawned on me the instant I stepped into this school. To add to my discomfort, I only knew two kids. In order to face the truth that it wouldn’t be easy just having two kids by my side, I interacted with whoever wasn’t tall and condescending or shy and nervous. As a new student of the freshmen class, it wasn’t that easy feeling comfortable in an environment full of Belmont lovers. One day I might understand others’ fascination with football games.

As I interviewed freshmen from all different backgrounds, their perspectives varied regarding the effects of changing from middle to high school, just as much as the views of a hardcore conservative would be different from an extreme liberal. One of the freshmen said, “I can walk to school now,” with a sense of hope and freedom, a glimpse of what age 18 might entail. Another student said, “I have a lot more freedom, less homework, and yeah it’s good.” Some people feel right at home with the new freedoms of high school, but others feel misplaced and alone.

One freshman shared that “the school is awfully big… It made me work harder because last year I was homeschooled and I didn’t do anything.” This newfound stress lingering over the majority of the freshman class is quite overwhelming, but having no experience with this workload seems to be unbearable. It is unhealthy to put that much stress on students my age. I hope that the more we adjust, the more a day at school will feel less stressful. Lastly, one freshman articulated what we have all been thinking, “Too much homework [and] school starts too early.” A time for freshmen to get settled would likely allow them to work more efficiently. But even with these new challenges in high school, I hope that in the next four years I learn to adjust to the stress and meet new people.

 

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