What High School Freshmen Fear

By Kennedy Rosendahl

   As the fourth quarter of the 2021-2022 school year approaches its end, the class of 2026 prepares for its arrival at Ponte Vedra High School. The soon-to-be ninth grade students must prepare for the transition from middle school to high school. Many of these students have so many unanswered questions, and some may even be nervous for school to begin. These “freshman fears” are common among the eighth-grade class today, and many of them share the same concerns for the new world of high school.

   The most common concern among the incoming freshman class is that they will get lost. 78 percent of eighth graders are worried about this. “My biggest concern going into next year is being able to find my way around a new school with a lot more people,” said eighth grader, Maddox Tidwell. She is one of many who feel this way. The increase in student population may not be as significant as some may think. There are 1.183 students currently enrolled in the local Alice B. Landrum middle school and just 1,629 students enrolled at PVHS this year. The increase in size of school may be unnerving at first, but there are plenty of teachers and upperclassmen to help show people where their classes are. Another common first year fear is interacting with upperclassmen. “My biggest concern for high school is getting messed around by upperclassmen,” stated eighth grader, Cole Rosendahl. These eighth graders go from being at the top of the pyramid of middle school to the bottom of the pyramid of high school. This can be hard at first, but most freshman will learn that upperclassmen can actually be helpful and welcoming.

“78 percent of eighth graders are worried about [getting lost].”

   The transition from middle school to high school can also have a major impact on students’ grades. While middle school classes do not affect one’s GPA, high school classes do. This is important to know to help get into college. “I need to prepare myself for the amount of vigor that comes with the work. I expect myself to try really hard in completing all of my assignments,” eight grader, Kate Looney revealed. This is a good attitude to have when approaching high school, because there is certainly more work involved in high school courses. This can be even harder to manage for student athletes. Eighth grader, Jack Berquist explained, “I am worried that all the classes count and there is much more work involved. How will I finish all my homework after football?” He asks the same question as many of his peers. As a student athlete, people like Jack must constantly balance schoolwork and sports. In high school, time management is a very important skill. Incoming freshmen need to learn this in order to be successful at PVHS.

   There are also some known benefits of being a high schooler, like having more freedom. 92 percent of incoming freshman agree with this. “I’m definitely ready to have more freedom at school, and a more chill dress code,” said eighth grader, Tait McGraw. Going into high school is the official change from a teenager to a young adult and many of these kids are ready for their parents to treat them with this new title.

   Freshman year is an experience that can be stressful, and it holds many ups and downs. It is mostly just the thought of beginning high school itself, and its many stereotypes that can scare these first-year students. However, in the real world, most students are a little scared coming into freshman year, and there are its rough patches in the beginning, but as the year goes on, these fears can be overcome. High school is a learning experience, and it is natural to be a little scared, but these fears can be controlled by these first-year students with the right mindset.


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