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Graduation. To complete the long four year journey of high school is the ultimate goal of every teenager. Before reaching this final destination, students have to get through high school which comes with a lot of ups, downs, and many changes. Freshman and senior year are very different experiences, and the journey between them is a pivotal time of growth and change for high school students.
The four year gap between freshman and senior year is a crucial time for students to mature and develop as individuals.
“I think [students] start to get used to the sound of their own voice and develop a voice. They become more confident with being themselves and that comes with experience, maturity and exposure to different types of activities,” said English teacher Mr. Chris Murphy.
Mr. Murphy said that freshman year is the “settling in” stage, where students are still becoming familiar with school. Sophomore and junior year is where students begin to break into their true selves and shift to a more academic and serious focus on school.
“The big jump in maturation I see is sophomore year and then certainly junior and senior year where they [students] start to become actual real big people,” said Mr. Murphy.
While age and experience create major differences between underclassmen and upperclassmen, and there is limited interaction between the two, activities, sports, and sibling connections allow for freshman and seniors to maintain a positive relationship with each other.
“When coming into [the high school] I thought that all older students wouldn’t really want to associate themselves with younger students, but so far I think I’ve had good experiences with upperclassmen so that was a good surprise,” said freshman Kevin Foley.
A major part of this relationship is the role models that seniors must be for the underclassmen.
Senior “most changed since freshman year” winner Chad Cordani said that the biggest part of being a senior is to “provide and example for the rest of the school.”
With the seniors setting the example, freshman are able to shadow them and “have less responsibility than older students,” said Foley.
As seniors are reaching the end of their high school careers, they are enjoying the time they have left and beginning to wind down from the craziness high school brought.
“Now that we’re at the end of senior year, we’re all done. We’re just relaxing and just finishing everything up,” said senior “most changed since freshman year” winner Emma Guccione.
Cordani and Guccione advised freshman to take advantage of their time in high school and to enjoy it.
“You should come to your senior year not wanting to exchange anything that you’ve done or wanting to restart it at all,” said Cordani.
Thinking carefully about what you do in high school can affect your future, and who you will become in life. Having no regrets includes not regretting mistakes made in high school that could impact you later in life.
“Your actions here will dictate how the rest of your life is run, what schools you go to or just how you choose to interact with people on a daily basis in school will probably be how you approach people later in life,” said Cordani.
As far as surviving high school, Guccione said to “take everything one step at a time” and to not get wrapped up in the little things.
Mr. Murphy said that looking at situations from different perspectives and not focusing on small details is the key to getting through high school.
“The secret to learning and becoming whatever it is you are going to become is to always ask ‘why do I think this,’” said Mr. Murphy. “Examine your assumptions so you don’t get trapped in just one way of thinking about the world.”
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