To the Juniors and Seniors: Remember When…

Elisabeth Vujaklija

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Whether or not we want to, we all remember our freshman year. However, we often forget the challenges the first year of high school brings: new school, new faces, and new expectations. As upperclassmen, it is our responsibility to lead the way for the freshmen and be examples they can look up to and respect.

To get an inside look into the new faces at West, I interviewed Logan Chellino. Logan is a freshman and part of West’s soccer team. When asked about the biggest difference between West and his junior high, his answer, not surprisingly, was, “the size of the school.” I’m sure we can all look back and remember that first day: completely lost and running to make it to class on time, hastily looking from the schedule to the room numbers. Even now, as a senior, I still rush to get to classes on time the first week.

I asked Logan what some new challenges here at West are, to which he answered, “The big change is the amount of homework that you get.” All I can say about this is right now, as I type, I have readings for English, a presentation to work on, math, and anatomy terms to memorize. I have no doubt my fellow upperclassmen can relate and understand as they think about their own work they’re avoiding by reading this. But we can’t allow ourselves to forget those hard first months as we were introduced to these completely different school challenges. As Logan mentions, there are difficulties when coming to high school, especially regarding the workload.

But not everything is a rough transition. When asked about the highlights he’s had in these past few weeks, he commented on “how nice the teachers are.” Although they have high expectations for their students, I’ve found that the teachers at West are always understanding. Not only are they willing to help, but they want to help. As a freshman, I remember being terrified of talking one on one to any teachers. Asking for help or even having a conversation was something I avoided at all costs. It took me a long time to realize that the teachers aren’t there to criticize or go out of their way to make your life harder than it is.

We, the juniors and seniors, shouldn’t give the freshman another reason to be nervous. We should be encouraging them to get out of their shells and ask questions. As upperclassmen, let’s not forget that we too were once wide-eyed and slightly terrified. After all, in just a year or two, many of us will be freshmen again, walking into a new experience and into the real world.