This school year is officially almost over! And when it is done, I will be halfway finished with high school. The first two years of high school are portrayed as the time when you find your place in high school, determine who your true friends are, and to overall find out who you are going to be in for the next two years. I have learned a lot over these two years and I think I can genuinely say that I have grown as a person during this time.
There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to high school and if it isn’t misinformation, then it just doesn’t apply to SLA. The idea of jocks, mean girls, bullies stealing lunch money, haven’t applied to any of my experiences in high school so far. Of course, it hasn’t all been perfect. There are mean people and bad situations just like anything else, but overall I think that high school has been a lot more positive then usually depicted.
I would like to pass on my extensive knowledge of life as an underclassman, maybe you can navigate these two years a little bit better.
In terms of portrayal, I think that movies and TV shows do freshman year best. In the first couple of weeks of my first year of high school, my classmates and I had to deal with some harsh words from the older kids. I remember walking down the hallways while students loudly exclaimed: “I Hate Freshmen!” Granted, this only lasted for a couple of weeks, but while it happened it really sucked. Of course, as a sophomore, I allowed myself a couple “I Hate Freshmen” at the beginning of the year (It’s kind of a right of passage in my opinion). My advice would be to take your time. If your confused about what band it is or what room your next class is in, move to the non-locker side of the hallway and figure it out. Most people would be happy to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask. What makes everything worse is when people stand directly in the middle of the hallway, turning in circles or yelling for their friends, so to keep the freshman-shaming to a minimum, try to avoid this.
Another big concern in Freshman year is friends. For me, the group of people that I hung out with at school drastically changed over the year. In the beginning, I think that everyone is just looking for someone friendly to talk too. Once the stream started to get to know each other better, people were able to make friends that they had things in common with. My main piece of advice is to be friendly to everyone! It’s not a good idea to start any drama in the first couple of weeks, especially since you are going to have to be around the same group of people for the rest of the year!
When it comes to sophomore year, it can seem like everyone is really set in the status quo. People have made their friendships and might be wary to meet and talk to new people. My biggest piece of advice is to continue talking to new people, it’s not uncommon for your friend groups to shift in high school, especially when you start having classes with people you may have never even had a conversation with.
My advice for anyone about to tackle their first two years of high school is to enjoy themselves. Freshmen year is about having fun and finding your footing in your new environment. Sophomore year is the first year that you feel comfortable with your place.
Overall, high school is hard and sometimes it can seem like it will never end. Being halfway there makes me feel conflicted, on one hand, I’m excited to be an upperclassman, but on the other, I’m sad to leave my underclassman years behind me.