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Students reflect on the transitions between each grade

Posted By Courtney Foster On October 28, 2010 @ 2:09 am In Features | Comments Disabled

As a relaxing summer comes to a close, just hearing the words “back to school will turn any sun-kissed teen into a nervous wreck.
Why? Whether it be a stressed freshman or an eager senior, the transition from one grade to another is tough for all students. Over a course of only four years, each year of high school is dramatically different from the previous one.
Freshmen generally have the most trouble settling into school because there is very little continuity between eighth and ninth grade.
The transition tends to hit new high school students like a smack in the face, whether it be through the ridiculously early morning hassle, the seemingly interminable trek from class to class, or the significantly increased workload. New freshman were amazed by the differences.
“The year started off a lot faster, freshman Jarrett Gorin said.
Freshman Mel Gundersheim already likes high school more than middle school.
“Socially, there are a lot more chances to be yourself and not care what people think, she said.
Gundersheim also pointed out that  freshmen must adjust to having more classes and more schoolwork.
Despite the negative aspects of the more work, Gundersheim finds that there are also benefits.
“With more work you have more responsibility, which makes you feel older and more independent, she said.
The transition between eigth and ninth grade is significant, but it seems as though the pace is increased further as students enter tenth grade.
“There is less focus on being social, and more on schoolwork, sophomore Sarah Clemente said.  “But you do notice people in other grades more.
Still, some sophomores have regrets about moving on from freshman year.
“In sophomore year, who you are is already set in stone. It’s harder to branch out, whereas freshman year nobody really knows you yet, sophomore Sarah Rabinowitz said.
“I liked being the youngest, sophomore Abby Coleman said.
However, Coleman finds that some elements of freshman year remain even when one is a sophomore, including an unfamiliarity with the location of her classes.
Although heightened authority and off-campus privileges are a plus, school’s intensity ramps up in junior year, notorious for being the busiest in all four years of high school.
“Junior year is definitely a lot harder, junior Sarah Sugarman said.  “There is a lot more work and the pressure of knowing that this year really matters.
Something else intimidating also comes into the scene: college. According to Sugarman, her classmates are especially concerned with their SATs.
Once students make it through junior year, they are on the home stretch of high school–rather the homecoming stretch.
Still, senior year presents some challenges that are not anticipated.
“Most people think of senior year as being really easy, but at least right now it is actually academically harder to adjust to than other year, senior Shayna Camiel said.
Camiel noted that, in addition to an increase in course workload and difficulty, as a senior “you also have to do a lot of work for colleges.
College is a major topic of discussion. While suffering through the application process, college is always on seniors’ minds, which is something that really defines the beginning of the year.
“All that’s ever talked about is college, senior Jenny Gerstner said.  “That’s all you end up talking about, no matter where the conversation starts. People are more secretive and defensive and get strange about it.
Though there is pride that comes from becoming the oldest in the school, this seniority does have its downsides.
“I realized I didn’t know anyone in the school anymore besides people in my grade, senior Chloe Milliman said.  “I feel less connected to the underclassmen.
However, for many seniors, there is hope that their quality of life will improve as the year progresses.
“I think senior year will get more happy and exciting once the year goes on, Milliman said.  “Once we’re all accepted into college people will relax. Everyone is overly anxious right now.
It is clear that transitions from one grade to another are no small matter.
Nevertheless, students all count on what keeps them going each day to make it through high school: our sports, clubs, activities, friends –whatever keeps us cheerful and content.
Change is difficult to adapt to but it does not last forever. We just wait it out, and then another year goes by.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/students-reflect-on-the-transitions-between-each-grade/

URLs in this post:

[1] Grade Inflation: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/11/26/grade-inflation/

[2] Senior Slump is a well-deserved respite: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/senior-slump-is-a-well-deserved-respite/

[3] Teams and clubs tackle grade barriers: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/11/21/teams-and-clubs-tackle-grade-barriers/

[4] Honors Courses: how much is too much?: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/03/24/honors-courses-how-much-is-too-much/

[5] Crossing the field: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/crossing-the-field/

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