Freshman Kris Anderson finds joy in school through socializing

Freshman+Kris+Anderson+along+with+his+teammates+during+a+competition+

Freshman Kris Anderson along with his teammates during a competition

Freshman Kris Anderson is constantly finding new ways to interact with people.

For Kris, this can mean eating lunch with students from various grades, joining multiple sports teams, or even taking a class he enjoys such as choir. One thing Kris has learned ever since the start of high school is that friend groups change and that he will never try to be someone he’s not. 

With COVID-19, it was difficult for Kris to really be able to connect with his peers, especially over a screen, which is why he enjoys the in-person interaction that he shares with people at school. Kris is an extrovert and always enjoys taking part in sports because it taught him how to work as a team. Ever since fifth grade, he has taken part in track and recently joined the crew team this past fall season. Kris enjoys track more because he has been able to create many friendships, and he enjoys the variety of activities he can be a part of besides running.

“I like how [track] is open spaced and [everyone] doesn’t have to do the exact same thing,” Kris said. “You can choose the different types of [activities] that you want to do. Say you don’t feel like running a long-distance, then you can run a short distance, or choose to not run at all and do long jump.”

Kris also took part in crew this past year and has some mixed feelings about it. Being a part of the sport taught him how to manage his time but also how to problem solve as a team because not putting in all your effort affects the entire team, especially when it comes to participating in competitions.

His favorite part about being in crew isn’t the sport itself but rather the people that are in it. Not only is he able to spend more time with his friends, but he is also able to truly understand the meaning of teamwork on a more personal level. 

“I like the people that are doing crew, but I’m not good at the sport itself,” Kris said. “[Crew] really showed [me] how much teamwork matters; if one person is not putting their 100% effort into the race, then everyone in the boat can tell.” 

Each week there would be one regatta. Compared to practices, they weren’t as intense because at practices, he would have almost no time to socialize and was always on the boat. Kris enjoys regattas because of how calm they can be, which gave him more time to spend with his friends even though he had to wake up early. 

“With crew, you have regattas,” Kris said. “When I wasn’t racing, I was hanging out with friends and eating food. Most regattas are early in the morning on a Saturday for a nice calm morning out on the river.”

Most freshmen are afraid of being in the most inexperienced grade, but Kris has had an entirely different experience for this. Kris misses being in middle school but feels no different than when he used to be a seventh grader. The only thing that has changed is the added stress of grades. 

Being a part of sports such as crew and track have made Kris become friends with upperclassmen, but it has also made him realize how much freedom they truly have, and that is something that he strives for. 

“I’ve been friends with some of the upperclassmen,” Kris said. “I haven’t felt the pressure of being a tiny little freshman. I know some of the kids in upper grades, so it’s not as [stressful] on me. Juniors don’t [intimidate] me, but seniors do.” 

If there’s one thing Kris enjoys about high school, it’s that there’s a lot of variety when it comes to the academic aspect of it, such as being able to pick your courses and deciding what colleges you want to apply to. But with any student that goes off to college, there is always a friend group that splits up. Yet, that doesn’t affect Kris because to him, it’s all about balance, which also means having friends with different interests.

[High school] can be an emotional roller coaster because you’re getting used to so many new [things].”

— Kris Anderson

“I like having diverse friends,” Kris said. “I don’t want to have friends that [pursue] the exact same thing as me in college. I like having a balance and not [meeting] the same type of [people].”

Although this is just the beginning of Kris Anderson’s high school career, Kris cannot wait to see what life has in store for him. The start of his freshman year was definitely full of ups and downs, and thought his first year of high school could be described in one word.

“Interesting,” Kris said. “[High school] can be an emotional roller coaster, because you’re getting used to so many new [things] like a new building and trying to keep your friends and also make new friends.”