Freshman tackle first year of high school online

Freshman+Bailey+Luts+attending+her+zoom+class+while+taking+down+notes.

Photographer Bailey Luts

Freshman Bailey Luts attending her zoom class while taking down notes.

The transition from middle school to high school brings challenges but also the ability to try new things. Sports, clubs, extracurriculars and the conjoining of two middle schools builds up the pressure of making friends and finding your place, and being online the first semester makes it extremely difficult to have those experiences.

Entering freshman year can be chaotic and hectic as one may not know what to think with the bringing together of two middle schools. Leaving what is comfortable and accustomed seems overwhelming. In this year’s case, students don’t have the ability to interact with the students from other middle schools through classes, sports or clubs, so making new friends will be that much harder. “For the first week it was hard to keep up with the workload and still is because there is a lot, but it is getting easier to manage. Overall transitioning from middle to high school was somewhat difficult, but I believe being online made it easier. Although, I wish I were able to meet everyone from Cabin John and get to make new friends,” freshman Bailey Luts said.

One major difference between middle school and high school is the independence given to students, which may take some adjustment. In middle school most assignments were taught step-by-step, followed by discussion groups or partnering up whereas high school is more of teachers lecturing and then being sent off with work. “I like online learning in the sense that everything is easily accessible to me. I know where to find everything I need for assignments and don’t have to worry about handling papers. It is a huge adjustment having this type of independence,” freshman Lily King said.

I like online learning in the sense that everything is easily accessible to me. I know where to find everything I need for assignments and don’t have to worry about handling papers. It is a huge adjustment having this type of independence”

— Lily King

Creating one-on-one connections with teachers seems nearly impossible when all of the classes are through zoom and teachers don’t require cameras to be on. Freshman Matt Repie said, “I would hear my older brother talking about how he loves his teachers and how he goes to talk to them at lunch just to talk, but through zoom I am not able to make that kind of connection. Being able to connect with teachers definitely would have made my transition easier.”

Sports for some people are a large part of their high school experience, but with no fall sports occurring, athletes are out of luck. Freshman year is where the sports journey begins, starting with junior varsity and rising from there. Freshman Alexa Vinner said, “I was so excited to try out for the field hockey team and get to know more people. Sadly, I will not be able to do that until most likely my sophomore year.”