Freshman Year: Reality vs. Expectation

Sam Noonan, Staff Writer

We’ve all been there. You’re the little freshman, and everything and everyone everywhere has told you that high school is where dreams go to die and demons run rampant. However, after your first day these thoughts were most likely shoved back and discarded, because high school really isn’t that bad.

First day of school

Expectation: You walk into school, surrounded by huge upperclassmen looking just as scary as the movies made them seem. One bumps into you, knocking you over and spilling your school supplies everywhere, and you end up being late to class. Your first hour teacher glares at you, pronounces your name incorrectly, and gives you a detention. After struggling through your first few classes filled with evil teachers and threatening students, you finally get the freedom of lunch. Coming into lunch, you search far and wide for friends, but they are not anywhere to be found. Forced to sit alone, you eat the school food and get out of the cafeteria as quickly as possible. Then, after you barely make it out of your 5th hour, you’re completely lost and have no idea where your 6th hour is. After freaking out twice and rushing into the front office to find your classroom, you finally end up in class. 6th hour isn’t too bad, but you have a pile of homework… on the first day.

Reality: Walking into school, everyone is very welcoming and nice. Although all of the students and teachers are tired, you’re easily able to find your first hour class and your teacher ends up being much nicer than expected. After being introduced, you don’t do much and instead are able to talk with friends for the rest of the hour. Second and third hour go by similarly, and you’re able to eat lunch with friends. 5th and 6th hour fly by, and you leave school without any homework.


Expectation: Every single teacher in the school hands out piles of homework each day, and that’s on top of studying. Being tardy is always a detention, and if you misbehave or talk back you’re guaranteed to be in trouble. Miss a tiny portion on your math test? You fail it all. Don’t even try to wear a hat in class, because you’ll be severely punished.

Reality: Teachers are… real people? Compared to past schooling, high school teachers tend to be much more trusting, understanding, and laid back. Chances are, if you had something come up and you’re not able to finish your homework, or something went wrong and you need help, they’ll be understanding and helpful.

School Attitude

Expectation: Everyone expects school to always be dreary, boring, and nothing but bad. Disgusting cafeteria food sucks the energy out of students and not a trace of an upbeat soul is to be found, and the dull school day drags on, and on, and on. With teachers who manage to bore you out of your mind it’s difficult to stay awake, let alone pay attention.

Reality: Most teachers often have an upbeat air to them, and are full of energy and positivity. This shows through their teaching, and it’s far from uncommon for kids to be surprised by a fresh new approach on their learning that these teachers may bring.

All in all, high school is nowhere near as bad as incoming freshman may think. In fact, for many high school will be much more enjoyable than middle school. Teachers are more trusting, understanding, and welcoming, and this newfound freedom can inspire and drive students to do their best. High school isn’t anywhere near as bad as movies and media make it seem, it’s just a new building with older kids in it.