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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Why Freshman Year is So Hard

Photo Credit: Aleish Cuaresma (Web Manager)

At first glance, freshman year seems like a breeze to upperclassmen and high school graduates. However, most do not remember the grueling transition from middle school to high school. As a current sophomore, I agree with the upperclassmen’s views on the ease of freshman year, but I also believe it is important to remember the fundamental and inevitable obstacles of the first year of high school.

Those first few months can be absolutely terrifying for freshmen. They could get over it and persist, they could succeed as the year progresses, but their academic grade and overall outlook on the high school experience could be forever tarnished. 

So why do freshmen struggle through those first few months of high school? 

To look at it from an academic standpoint, the workload instantly changes. From a page of homework a week to a pile per day, it seems the middle schools that feed into the Los Osos High School population do not accurately prepare their students for freshman year. 

I know so many peers who were known to be straight-A students throughout their elementary and middle school careers who struggled throughout freshman year. In the first few months, so many enrolled in the honors system and struggled to maintain that shiny A-plus grade. 

Unfortunately, so did I. 

While I successfully maintained a 4.3 grade point average (GPA) throughout both semesters of my freshman year, I was stuck with an alarmingly low A minus in one of my classes, the first semester. 

No one warned me and my peers of the consequences and frequent anxieties over academic validation and high grades. 

Junior high was easy compared to high school!

Freshman Mia Sun said, “Some days I don’t have that much [work], but on other days I do. It depends on what other after-school activities I have and how much sleep I get.” Sun is currently enrolled in Honors English and Integrated Math Two (I-M2). 

Freshman Alexis Lee agrees with Sun, she said, “I say [homework] is about the same, even a little less.” Lee considered homework was harder at the beginning of the year, which constituted that stressful transition. Lee is enrolled in all honors classes. 

To continue the opposing argument, Freshman Shen Xinbo said that she doesn’t have a lot of homework, mostly due to the fact that she finishes most of her assignments in class. Shen is enrolled in Honors Biology and English. 

In contrast to previous responses, Freshman Grace Wendt believes that “there’s a lot of homework” but is still enjoying her freshman year. Wendt is enrolled in Honors English. 

All listed students are from Vineyard Junior High School. 

Day Creek Intermediate students had a different response. 

Freshman Kelly Cao said, “I’m getting a lot less work… Day Creek actually gave you a lot of work… but Osos’ work is a lot harder.” Cao also commented on how she finally memorized the layout of Los Osos’ campus, which is a reminder of how large and complicated our school is. 

Other freshmen from Day Creek Intermediate reflected on the heightened challenges of assignments.

One student said, “…there was a lot of work [last year], but this year the work is harder and more time-consuming.” They are enrolled in all Honors–a hefty challenge and achievement–and AP Computer Science. 

Another Day Creek Intermediate graduate is also enrolled in all Honors. 

Freshman Annie Lee agreed and said, “[Homework and work] is way harder… Science and Math are hard.” Lee is also enrolled in all Honors and AP Computer Science and is from Heritage Intermediate. 

Another anonymous Freshman from Alta Loma Junior High had similar views. “…I think I have the same amount of work [but] it’s harder.” This student is enrolled in all Honors. 

I was also able to ask the freshmen what their hardest class was this year. 

Ironically, most replied with I-M2, one replied with English, and one with Biology. 

Cao mentioned how the teaching style of her math class was different compared to last year, and the class is very fast-paced. 

Along with the hard transition from middle school to high school, and the expanse of LOHS’ massive campus and student population, many freshmen commented how the assignments are harder and more time-consuming compared to previous years. 

It also appears Vineyard Junior High School better prepared their students for LOHS’s classes and the surrounding schools that feed into LOHS did not effectively prepare their student population. 

Freshman year is a challenge no matter how long or how hard the challenge proves to be. 

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