Freshmen Feature: Insight into Their Experience

Hear what the Freshmen’s’ first impressions are, Fish and the Sharks

By: Kaylee Ritchie

Jittery and anxious, you attempt to navigate your way through these strange new hallways desperately scanning the crowd for any familiar faces. You begin to feel the loneliness budding inside of you as you walk into your first class, a sea of strangers, eagerly choosing a seat that will play a part in defining this new beginning.

Surely this first day of high school scenario sounds familiar to most students here, underclassmen and upperclassmen alike. Six weeks ago, 626 freshmen students experienced this as they walked onto the Dripping Springs High School campus for the first time.

Many freshmen this year have varying perspectives of high school life so far as the first grading period reaches its end. Some freshmen have found that they love the new environment, while others are having difficulty adjusting to the new school where they are experiencing judgment and being perceived by fellow classmates.

“I experienced a hefty amount of bullying and judgment from people in middle school, and not much changed when I entered high school,” Freshman Jaxx Bolins said. “Maybe it’s because everyone’s exhausted and wants to go home as soon as they arrive at school, but it seems like I receive nasty looks left and right, and get bumped into purposefully like crazy in the hallways.” 

Upperclassmen were once a “new fish” so one would think some of these students would be more empathetic toward them. However, a few freshmen have said their experience has been the opposite. 

“I don’t think they like freshmen but some are nice,” Freshman Andrielle Lawrence said.

Even though the sophomores were in ninth grade a short time ago, some have been giving the newcomers a hard time.

“They usually ignore the freshmen and crack jokes about how embarrassing being a ninth grader is,” Bolins said. “[It’s] usually the sophomores despite the fact they were freshmen four months ago, but a lot are semi-welcoming.”

Let’s note that these specific negative interactions do not encapsulate all of the upperclassmen’s behavior towards the ninth-grade class. In fact, there have been plenty of good instances. 

“I have had a few good experiences with freshmen,” Sophomore Niko Upton said. “Mainly because I knew them when I was in middle school, or if we have mutual friends,”

It’s hard to feel at home in high school when you have no friends or community to help you adjust, however, the tribulations are not permanent. 

“I’d say about half way through my freshman year is when I started connecting with the people I’ve met and establishing deeper relationships and just overall adjusting to high school,” Upton said. “It’s so much easier to make friends with people who you know already have similar interests [so] if you’re worried about making friends I’d suggest to join clubs.”

So far it seems that most freshmen are pretty divided and are either loving or hating high school life. However, there seems to be one common denominator: loneliness. 

“It’s been good, I don’t feel as judged and everyone is just being themselves, I just wish more people were open to having new friends.” Freshman Reese Starnes said.

Published 10/15/2022 – October Edition

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