Freshmen Vs. Seniors

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

High school can be daunting, with countless things to be afraid of and/or things to look forward to. I surveyed freshmen to gain understanding on their initial thoughts coming in to high school compared to their actual experiences. A majority of freshmen felt like the first semester went by close to the way they expected it to go because they only imagined high school to be a more intense version of high school. Some were pleasantly surprised by the realities of high school because they expected it to be much worse.

I expected it to be a copy of middle school except higher expectations, but it’s more than that. You get so much more freedom and choices. ”

— Joseph Ridder

The first semester met most of my expectations, but it wasn’t everything I expected.”

— Anonymous

I thought it would be super hard and I would have a hard time, but it turned out to be quite the opposite.”

— Payton Larson

















On the opposite end of the high school hierarchy, I interviewed seniors to get their perspective on high school. My own expectations were shattered by reality in the process. My personal belief was that seniors have had twelve years of learning so they should have the highest work ethic. We should be the most responsible. But no. I delivered the survey by having a counselor post the link to the Google Classroom they have for each graduating class. On the first night, only 2 seniors responded while 20 freshmen had completed their survey. The next day had a senior to freshman ratio of 7 to 73. I had assumed a post on Google classroom would be enough to get many answers from seniors, but it turns out that most people ignore those announcement. Even after making an announcement on my AP Lit. teacher’s google classroom and directly contacting people on social media, I only received a total of 15 responses from seniors while I had 124 from freshmen.

I do contend that I had emailed English 9 teachers to ask them to sacrifice about 5 minutes of their day to have students fill out the survey. If all English 9 teachers helped me, I could reach all freshmen. Of course, not all teachers have the time to have their students complete this survey, but I was content with having over 100 responses. Seniors, on the other hand, are a bit harder to find. Not all seniors take an English class, and it’s not universal if they do. I  ended up asking the GOPO teachers to have seniors fill out the survey. Half of seniors had already taken GOPO first semester, but reaching roughly half of the class of 2018 would be much better than only 15 responses. I ended with 90 responses from seniors.

As a senior, I would tell my freshman self not to worry so much because in the end, the results are only a partial reflection of yourself; sometimes your effort isn’t reflected in the end, but as long as you know your effort and work was put into it, it was worth it.”

— Anonymous

I think kids need to enjoy themselves and not work overly hard in high school. Chase the opportunities while they exist. It’s a special time for sure.”

— Leo Lu

This is nothing like “High School Musical.” But in a way that’s really okay. My life is nothing close to the idealistic music filled lives of Troy and Gabriella, but this year has been the best and the hardest year of my life thus far. ”

— Hailey Van Genderen