How upperclassmen/lowerclassmen friendships enhance the high school experience


Ben Evans

Ben Evans and Sam Wordhouse casually pose for a great selfie.

After freshman Ben Evans’ brother left for college last school year, he was “adopted” by his brother from another mother, junior Sam Wordhouse.

Surely enough, high school is not easy, especially for someone transitioning from middle school to high school. Having tests every week, many assignments due at once, and overall stress can be a struggle. Luckily, Ben has managed to find a fellow friend so that he can stay grounded, but also loosen up a little.

“My brother, [alumni Nate Evans], was friends with him [through] photography and FX,” Ben said. “My brother was trying to get me to be friends with kids that are older than me, so I started talking to Sam.” 

Ben and Sam have had many connections through Ben’s older brother, but they have also met through another extracurricular activity that has made their relationship grow fonder. 

Getting involved in a certain extracurricular activity was important to Ben because he wanted to not just get involved in something to fill his time, but also to create some more valuable friendships.

“Ben is a member of Club Club, which is a club I started [and is President of],” Sam said, “and he won the last tournament. I think that brought us closer together—just seeing him succeed in that.”

Since they are in different grades, they have no current classes together. With that being said, it was up to them how they were still going to communicate and keep in touch with each other. 

“I mostly see him just at school. I’ll see him around in the halls,” Sam said. “Sometimes, we’ll eat lunch together, when I’m going to hang out with his older brother. I’ll [normally] see him there.”

While the pair is very similar, like any set of friends, they still have differences between them–such as the age gap. However, many of these things ultimately bring them closer together.

“I mean, there is an age gap or difference,” Ben said. “There is still a maturity gap, but we still get along in a cool way.”

Similar to Sam and Ben, freshman Mady Scarlato formed a fun, but loving friendship with senior Sydney VanLente. Sydney is the team captain of the swim and dive team of which Mady is a member. 

“We’ve been swimming on our club swim team for a long time, and then we knew of each other, but then this year for high school swim,” Mady said. “[We] bonded a lot, She usually gives me rides and just helps me out by encouraging and motivating me.”

Mady normally confides in Sydney when she needs help with anything or needs someone to talk to about anything. Outside of the high school swim team, she carries on a very chill relationship with Sydney.

“She can be funny at times,” Mady said. “But she can also be serious and [it’s] kind of fun to see how it fluctuates.”

Sydney enjoys that Mady, as a freshman, makes such a great addition to the team and she loves the energy Mady brings. Their relationship will hopefully last a long time, even with Sydney leaving next year.

“[As a group], we normally would hang out with our other freshman friends [through swim] that we’ve known for a little bit,” Sydney said. “Overall, we have just become closer friends over the swim season.”

A fun thing the whole team likes doing is team-building activities to build the team’s relationships and to also make individual friendships that will last throughout high school.

“[Our team] spends a lot of time together,” Sydney said. “There are team dinners that we have, and we do a conference dinner where someone hosts at their house. A family will host it and we will have sophomores bring appetizers and we will have freshmen bring main dishes and desserts.”

Upperclassmen and lowerclassmen friends always try to stay in touch with each other, regardless of extracurricular activities, clubs, or sports. Lowerclassmen love having a leader to guide them through the whole high school experience.

I like that Ben’s just a cute little munchkin. He is like my little brother

— Sam Wordhouse

“I like that Ben’s just a cute little munchkin,” Sam said. “He is like my little brother. I think it’s kind of cool though because most of the stuff that he’s doing in school or the social interactions he’s dealing with right now. I did that when I was a freshman, so I see myself in him a lot.”