December 11, 2023

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Freshmen Adjusting to High School 

by GVHSJagJournal
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By: Purva Jategaonkar

Starting high school yields a significant change for everyone and it can cause stress in students’ lives. 

All the freshmen are new to the way high school functions. Everyone is attempting to adjust to this massive change in their lives. 

“Classes are heavy in a way and a lot more work,” expresses freshmen Victoria Li. “I definitely underestimated 9th grade.”

This year, many of the freshmen are taking honors classes. Many of them have all their classes as honors. 

“All classes are honors,” conveys  Li. 

If taking honors classes isn’t enough, many freshmen are doubling up on biology and chemistry. Those classes are also at the honors level. 

“I’m taking Honors Bio, ELA, Chem, Social Studies, and Precalculus,” says freshman Zelia Mardjoko. 

Honors chemistry is a challenging course. The teacher, Doc A, expects a lot of work from students. Taking two science classes results in an immense amount of work. But the freshmen can manage the workload. 

“Biology is pretty easy so far, and my teacher basically doesn’t give out homework. So paired with chem, which is more difficult in the topics it teaches, it’s a good balance. I don’t regret doubling up,” said Mardjoko.

Extracurricular activities absorb a significant amount of time into people’s lives. Many freshmen do a majority of extracurricular activities, such as clubs and sports. 

“[I do] speech and debate, math club, and amnesty club,” states freshmen Li Li. “Also I do Cross Country Science Olympiad.”

The majority of these clubs are time-consuming and require a lot of attention and work. Dedication is required for many of the extracurricular activities done by the freshmen.

“Science Olympiad is time-consuming and Amnesty. So is Speech and Debate,” declares Li.

Balancing academics and extracurricular activities are extremely challenging. It requires time management skills with exceptional organization. 

“It can be hard to balance since classes are on and off with the workload,” mentions Li. 

Many of our teachers assign tests all at once, making it problematic to balance the workload at times. But Li is not the only one going through these problems. Mardjoko has the same issue with her courses and came up with a solution to her difficulty.

“I usually try to get my work done before I start working on extracurriculars,” says Mardjoko.

This is a clever solution. However, middle school was very different compared to high school. There are many changes that freshmen have to deal with as they enter high school. 

“The biggest difference is the amount of time management you need to have. Doing homework last minute does not work anymore,” states Li Li. 

Mardjoko, on the other hand, is experiencing massive change regarding connections with teachers. Forming a connection with your teachers is extremely important. It ensures that you are comfortable with interacting with your teacher, which is crucial in high school.

“I think the teachers in middle school were able to have deeper connections with students because we were all in the same grade and we had things like team days. Since some of the high school teachers I have teach multiple grades and subjects, I feel like they can’t be as close to the students,” Mardjoko mentions. 

Coping with these new changes can be strenuous for anyone. However, the freshmen have found a plan that permits them to withstand the changes. 

“I play video games with friends and balance work with reward. A lot of my friends can also relate to the struggles I’m having, so that’s reassuring,” expresses Mardjoko and Li agrees. 

Despite all these challenges thrown their way, the freshmen have not given up. They are enduring difficulties and enjoying their time in high school.

“I like high school better in some aspects like having to walk farther distances between classes (because it energizes me a little) and spending free time with friends during learn,” reveals Mardjoko. “I like how much more relaxed it is with rules like lunch and phones.”

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