Freshman Fear: a Look into the “Food Chain”

Casey Workman '22, Staff Writer

Becoming a freshman is a daunting experience–a change from the big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a larger one. Thus, fear and anxiety unequivocally play a role in the transition from middle to high school.

Being a freshman myself, I can confirm that it felt like a huge change. In hindsight, however, it’s not such a big deal. “It doesn’t feel too different, but you have (fewer) advantages–like not knowing how things work,” says Chris Reigel, a fellow freshman here at Cherry Hill High School West. In his opinion, as well as my own, it wasn’t so difficult to adjust as was feared. Though everyone experiences things differently, it is the general consensus that becoming a ninth grader is easier than it’s made out to be.

I always thought of high school as this big, crazy thing: parties every weekend, terribly difficult classes, and so much hustle and bustle. But, truthfully–it’s not. The classes aren’t as one might think, and the atmosphere isn’t as chaotic as media showcases it to be. Things are certainly different from middle school, though. “Choosing classes is a lot different,” says Chris in response to being asked what he thought were major differences from middle school to high school. “You have a lot of freedom.”  

Of course, everything didn’t go quite smoothly on the first day of high school. For me, it started off with my bus not arriving at my stop at all. So, I was late to school, and subsequently late to my first class. I walked in, and everyone stared at me–it was awful! What was even worse was that it didn’t just happen the first day, or the second, but the first three days of school. Naturally, I freaked out a bit; being late was certainly not the best impression to give to my teachers. However, the following week, everything adjusted–including myself–and everything turned out just fine.

Additionally, class was an experience in and of itself. In middle school, everyone is pretty much grouped at the same level of learning and subject matter. However, in high school, you get to choose your level of curriculum, which causes the pace at which the class is taught to vary. I personally took a couple of Honors courses, and it was nothing like I expected. So, for me, the biggest adjustment was the atmosphere of the classroom. If you have the right balance of commitment, effort, and work ethic, you’ll do great!

Naturally, everyone is subject to a typical bout of first day jitters. My point is, you’ll find that everything will turn out just fine.