By Lori Bowes and Jess Chinsky
When I was an incoming freshman at University High School, I was more anxious than nervous to start my high school year. I was excited, yet I still had the little butterfly feeling in my stomach when I showed up for orientation. I was concerned about the classes, and about not knowing anyone. However, when I finally began the year I realized that I didn’t have anything to worry about. Everyone was overly friendly, and the teachers were different than any other teacher I had met before. They cared about your level of understanding, and they were able to adapt to help the students learn. I’ve realized that the social experience of University is entirely different from any other school, but specifically different than public school. The size was very different, and a little difficult to adjust to, but when I had I really appreciated how it inflicted the rest of the school, in all good ways.
One of the ways that I personally believed the size affected the school was that it made it possible to have a friendlier society. Being in this friendlier society can also improve your grades. Jonathan Wiersema, a new student, agreed with me and said, “The teachers’ openness and helpfulness has helped me be able to ask them questions.” When asked if this environment was a good change from the middle school environment he replied that, “Yes it is, the general atmosphere is nicer, and the people aren’t fake.”
Now, though freshman year may seem like a big, scary thing to be thrown into, it seems that this year’s University High School freshman class is handling it pretty well. We talked to some of the new students this year and asked them a couple of questions about the start of their year so far.
It seems that a lot of freshman may have anxious and nervous feelings toward their first day of high school, but for Maggie Klemsz, it seems that isn’t the case. When asked about her feelings toward starting high school, she answered, “I was really excited because I wanted to come to University for a while and I wanted to leave middle school. I was ready for it to start and wasn’t nervous like everybody else.”
One of the focal points of our school is to make sure there is a good, trustworthy relationship between the students and teachers and to provide a safe environment where the students and teachers can interact with each other. We asked Olivia Nichols what her opinion was on the comparison between her relationship to the teachers here, and the ones that she has had in the past at her old school. She said, “All of the teachers are good at getting to know their students. Teachers that I don’t even have know me. [They are] good at building relationships between the students and themselves.”
Going into sophomore year proved to be far less frightening than going into freshman year. Being a returning student, I felt much more a part of the school. Now the faces I passed in the hall were already familiar. I know the school, I am a part of the community, and I feel like I belong. There is a satisfying, comforting feeling that comes along with the start of sophomore year. There is a weight lifted off of your shoulders. I feel as if there wasn’t any pressure to care about first impressions. Most everyone in the school except for a fourth, which is the new freshman class, already knows who I am. There is no more nervousness that came with the start of my freshman year. I feel much more comfortable, and that I know how the system of our school works.