The beauty of the freshmen experience

Noelani Stachurski

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Almost a month into our 2018-2019 school year, we as a Tallwood family are just getting back into the groove of things: lion lunch, our heavy rotation of A and B day classes, and of course, the growing number of activities, clubs, and sports we load onto our plates. Most of us are used to this day to day routine by now, and it’s easy to focus on just our class and ignore the rest. But as we grow older each year with our Tallwood family, have we ever stepped back to think about our newest siblings and arrivals? Considering this, I decided to figure out just how well the freshmen transition was going, and to see if freshman feel the same way about themselves that other upperclassmen see them as.

The beauty of being a freshman. It’s new and exciting. It’s the start of “the best four years of your life,” and the start of a transition from middle school to high school–something often scary and unfamiliar. It’s walking in on the very first day of school not knowing what the future holds, not even the next hour. If this sounds anxiety-inducing for anyone who remembers this, just picture what it would be like to be given the opportunity to restart. Joining the rest of us, Tallwood’s new arrivals have the opportunity to find themselves here, for reinvention, to physically move on and mature, and to find all the opportunities Tallwood has for them: new friends, new places for participation, and the most important of all, to embark on what will make their high school experience, whatever that may be.

Then, given the fact that we’ve all had to go through the freshman experience before, how come there are so many preconceived notions of what being a freshman really is? Historically, in media depicting the “average high school,” freshmen have always been the designated target for upperclassmen, the go-to people to pick on or bother, or just have general disdain or contempt for the school newcomers. But why? Surely we can all remember what it was like to go through the same thing, to have embarrassing moments and to grow out of phases surely documented in the yearbook for record-keeping.

Freshmen are often typecast and spoken negatively about by upperclassmen. However, freshmen shouldn’t be considered embarrassing or stupid. Perhaps what upperclassmen see in current freshmen, they also see in their past selves, and criticism and deprecation tend to take over.

But, adolescence is a learning experience. Of course when we are young we naturally and inevitably will experience harsh or embarrassing times, but this is simply a part of growing up. It’s part of the freshman transition, and it’s a crucial portion of high school. Like riding a bike, it’s necessary to fall and scrape your knee once in a while before you can cruise down the streets.

This year’s class seems to agree: high school is an exciting new development filled with opportunities. When interviewed, freshman collectively agreed that high school offered a more mature and fulfilling environment. Students apparently care less about appearances while walking the school hallways subsequently making people comfortable to express themselves and explore their personalities, and teachers’ aid in creating a place where students can work better. The response from the kids I interviewed was overwhelmingly positive in comparison to their stereotypes, and I am so glad this year’s new lions are thriving.

So, welcome class of 2022! Tallwood is excited to have you for the next four years, and we hope you’re able to make the most of your experience. After all, it’ll be over before you know it, and at the end, you’ll be an accomplished, mature, and thankful young adult who was glad they went to Tallwood High School. Go Lions!

Click here to access other articles in Volume 4, Issue 1 of The Roaring Gazette.

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