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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

High school hierarchy in the health of the student body

The student body is capable of awareness and attentiveness, just like this here assembly.

Every high school setting cliche almost always has the three same plot points. Bullies that throw nerds into lockers, the embarrassing school lunch scene, and the hierarchy between the four grades. That last goes for any high school as well: upperclassmen over underclassmen. 

Unfortunately, this is the scenario most students experience. The expectation is to be nervous when taking new steps into the building. Freshmen are bound to be joked about and put down. This is the fact, whether people choose to ignore it or acknowledge it. 

I went through this process. However, mine was a particular case as the upperclassmen suffered the loss of memories thanks to COVID-19, and the underclassmen suffered the loss of valuable skill sets as they stumbled through hybrid learning. 

I did not experience hazing (a strong word, but the best to describe) but I can attest to it. I watched the class of 2025, 2026, and now 2027 get moved in hallways or called ‘freshies’ during full assemblies. After knowing this, some conclusions can be drawn, and possibly some solutions. 

First comes the underclassmen, primarily freshmen. Those in ninth grade come fresh out of middle school, the place where pre-teens burn through friend groups and relationship drama and gain an unstable sense of identity. In a place where no one is confident or faithful, it’s easy to gain a following, especially when you act like you’re on top of the world. 

Most students, if they are truthful with themselves, say they dislike who they were in middle school, and those who don’t, have yet to look back and compare the past to the present. 

Underclassmen are no longer heard, and upperclassmen refuse to listen. The dissonance creates a two-way fuse, burning bright of possible negative emotion.

Now on the complete opposite side of the spectrum is seniors. These students have already started the transition to college, most of them can and will drive, and work jobs earning wages. They are borderline adults and have a foot over the future-pursuing line. Seniors make the environment and lead it. When they are happy, the school is,  and vice versa. If they are unhappy, then the rest will know. 

On the first day of school, these two personalities collide, causing a chain reaction. This makes the high school hierarchy occur. Freshmen can be treated like the dirt underfoot while the seniors are given crowns. 

Here at FHC, we don’t see the most violent reactions like movies depict. But, it is undeniable that every student here has seen some form of the hierarchy. 

This is no laughing matter because the way it demeans the process of learning and class building causes cracks in our society’s foundation. This strict food chain has existed for decades. Ask your guardians about 50 years ago. This hierarchy plagues history as much as it will in the future. 

Underclassmen are not heard, and upperclassmen refuse to listen. The dissonance creates a two-way fuse, burning bright of possible negative emotion. 

Freshmen hate to be called out and often voice this through means of seeking out disruption in the upper classes. Seniors don’t want to be told what to do anymore. After three years of listening to their own upperclassmen, they gain the freedom to do this themselves, making them exercise this right.

I am guilty of this, and after doing college prep for three-plus years, I am tired of the constant rule reminding me of principles I already know. But also, as a former freshman, I hated being overridden by older students. 

There is no way to get everyone on the same page, and in high school, there is such a vast range of age and experience that getting a chord without clashing notes is impossible. 

A true school will seek to bring its students together, and no one fix can fill all the cracks. However, spreading the word will inevitably bring light to the conflict. We can’t tell someone how to feel, but spreading awareness can and will grow a new garden full of gracious and thoughtful intent. 

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About the Contributor
Mikayla Bush
Mikayla Bush, Staff Writer
Mikayla is a senior striving for a career in writing and artistry. She takes inspiration from books, media, nature, and even music. Camping, hiking, and running are all favorite pastimes of hers.  She also tries her darndest to deliver strong opinion-based pieces that prompt readers to question anything and everything and hope to even change some minds. What type of books does she want to write? Fantasy, sci-fi, dystopia. I can't read books accounting for the story of some average person. That's called asking a stranger for their life story. What is her favorite place to camp? A state park in the Upper Peninsula, McClain State Park, is just off the shore of Lake Superior. What's her favorite time of the year? Second fall, no not the first where it's still hot with a tiny bit of color. It needs to be cold enough that drinking hot apple cider is life-giving.

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