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Freshmen weigh in on their high school experience

How freshmen are making the adjustment to the next level of education

Freshman+Mariela+Ramirez+works+on+homework.
Freshman Mariela Ramirez works on homework.

Freshman Mariela Ramirez works on homework.

Ailee Lim

Ailee Lim

Freshman Mariela Ramirez works on homework.

Ailee Lim, Staff writer

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Freshman year is arguably the hardest year for high school students. Adjusting to the new campus, making new friends, and getting used to everything can put a lot of stress on those not expecting it.

“High school is much more stressful and harder academically than middle school,” said freshman Varsha Raj.

“I went to a private school in middle school. The [Carlmont] campus is a lot bigger and has more people, and it is much more chaotic,” said freshman Audrey Luey.

“It is bigger, there is more people, many different classes, different clubs, and I feel busier in high school,” said Jessica Ma, a freshman.

Even though most freshmen are adjusting well, some say they wish middle school had taught them more about high school.

“I wish they consistently taught me things like MLA format; we didn’t use that in middle school, but we use it here now,” said Annika Barsy, a freshman.

On the other hand, some think middle school over exaggerated the atmosphere of high school.

“I wish they told me it wouldn’t be so scary, coming into high school I thought the people would be sketchier but they aren’t,” said Ma.

When asked about the most stressful class, the most common answer was English, followed by math and foreign language.

“My most stressful class is English — it’s all open discussion and you have to come up with a claim right there,” said Lisa Nguyen, a freshman.

“I’m taking calculus and it’s very stressful because it is fast-paced and unlike any class I have taken before. Despite the stress, I really enjoy it because it’s a challenge,” said Lauren Chong, a freshman.

Addison Lewellen, a freshman English teacher, said, “I would suggest the way to get through English class, or your classes in general, is organization. Organization is key — having an organized binder and writing down your homework really helps you out. Also if you are behind, you should tell your teacher immediately. We can’t tell if you are having difficulties in a class unless you tell us. It’s hard to help when you don’t know the problem. If you are feeling stressed, it is also helpful to find a sense of community through clubs, friends, or other things like that.”

Most of the stress the freshmen were experiencing was coming from outside of school. Pressure to perform, grades, and homework were some things many freshmen were stressed out about.

“My mom pressures me to get good grades, but I have almost no study skills and I’m not prepared for high school,” said Aaron Lee, a freshman.

Another regular cause of stress came from balancing their time. The National Education Association, or NEA, recommends that schools should follow the “ten minutes per grade level” rule regarding homework.

“You just have to know your limit to how much work you can to at the same time. It’s kind of like juggling balls. Some people can juggle more balls at a time than others, but you need to know how many you can juggle at one time. If you have one too many things, you could totally lose rhythm and drop everything””

— Millie Ku

“It’s difficult organizing time outside of school with extracurricular activities. I take piano lessons and dance class outside of school, so sometimes it comes down to studying or going to my other classes,” said Taylor Gee, a freshman.

On the other hand, some have an easier time managing their time.

“I do swimming, and I’m planning on doing track in the spring. I’m okay with managing my time so far. You just have to know your limit to how much work you can do at the same time. It’s kind of like juggling balls. Some people can juggle more balls at a time than others, but you need to know how many you can juggle at one time. If you have one too many things, you could totally lose rhythm and drop everything,” said Millie Ku, a freshman.

Advice came from all around Carlmont, and the seniors wanted to help out the freshmen too.

“Make good use of your time because it passes quickly. Freshman year goes by the slowest, sophomore year is a little faster, but junior and senior year both go by quickly. Also, don’t procrastinate on work. It never ends up well,” said Edison Bai, a senior.

“When I was a freshman, people told me that freshman year didn’t count and it didn’t matter. They were lying. Freshman year does count so don’t listen if someone tells you otherwise,” said Johana Lopez, a senior.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Freshmen weigh in on their high school experience