Freshmen, sophomores adapt to true high school experience


Photo by Vivian Pisani

Freshman Kailey Waxman does her homework after soccer practice while at a friend’s house.

Ninth and 10th graders are truly experiencing high school for the first time. This could be a freeing time in their lives or they could crumble under the newfound pressures. Freshmen and sophomores, because of the virtual year last year, both step into high school for the first time and have to adapt to everything from a new school layout to new teachers to a new workload.

In middle school, students couldn’t have their phones out, there were fewer quizzes, less homework and fewer class options. The school day also began later. “I miss waking up later to go to school,” freshman Kailey Waxman said.

I like that there is still the familiarity of the websites. It makes it easier to keep track of assignments especially since we have more now.”

— Kailey Waxman

Similarities between middle and high school are that they both use myMCPS Classroom and Synergy for all of the classes and grades. “I like that there is still the familiarity of the websites. It makes it easier to keep track of assignments especially since we have more now,” Waxman said.

However, there is more work and responsibility and freshmen and sophomores have to adjust their habits. Students are learning to balance their school and personal lives. “Managing my time is harder because I have a lot more going on now. I have to make sure to plan out my days to make sure I get everything done,” Waxman said.

Although the transition is a process for everyone, positives like eating lunch wherever and with whoever they want, having more freedom and responsibility, and having a larger selection of classes and activities to choose from are the best aspects of high school. “My favorite thing about high school is being on the school soccer team,” sophomore Jenna Heitman said.

The events introduced in high school are also a big change in regards to school spirit and the number of people at occasions like homecoming and the theater productions that the school hosts. “I am excited for more football games and all the amazing clubs,” Waxman said.

On the other hand, high school has proven to have its challenges such as learning how to study properly. Having a harder and heavier workload to manage along with having AP classes are new obstacles. “My least favorite thing about high school is the homework because even though it’s expected, it takes a long time out of my day,” Waxman said.

A refreshing relief for freshman and sophomores was that getting to know the building was easier than expected. “It only took a few days to figure out, which was surprising but now it’s memorized,” Heitman said.

This transition has had its ups and downs for new students in the building and students have ways that it could be easier. Changes suggested include no lessons during the advisory homeroom period and having a block schedule so that students would only need to focus on half of their classes everyday. “It would be nice to have one day of the week where you can’t get homework, so people can catch up on all their work,” freshman Luke Brunner said.

Overall, high school offers worthwhile opportunities. “I like the responsibility, the new people, the sports and the clubs,” Waxman said.