The experience of incoming freshmen

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Valerie Chavez

Mrs. Hariri and her 7th period AVID class prepare for the lesson.

Imagine this: you’re enjoying your seventh grade year. You’re only a few months away from being the oldest kids on campus. Then, you find out that you’re going to be getting a couple weeks off of school! Cool, right? You leave the last period of the day without realizing you’ll never return.

That is what the class of 2025 experienced. They were thrown into an unfamiliar school without a proper transition since they spend the entirety of their eighth grade year online.

First of all, every freshman at Middle College goes through a certain period in which they have a little trouble adjusting to not only having high school classes, but having college classes as well. This year’s freshmen are no exception, but the pandemic has made the adjustment a little more difficult. From what the teachers have told us, they’re taking it like pros.

Jaclyn Hariri, who teaches AVID 9 and Speech this year, had some praise that she wanted to express toward the freshmen.

“I’m just really impressed with the freshman class. They’re really a unique group of students. They all bring something important to the table. They all understand that their voice is important and that they have a place here. I’m just very blown away by the work I’ve seen,” she said.

Hariri also had some observations regarding the freshmen’s social patterns. She commented on what she’s noticed in the past few weeks.

“I think the first couple weeks were a lot more quiet. I noticed some of the groups had gotten a little chattier. My Speech 9 class is very chatty and comfortable with each other and they know each other’s names pretty well. I think some students are already starting to find friendship circles,” said Hariri.

Drama teacher Cassandra Silverstein also commented on the behaviors she’s noticed with her 9th grade classes.

Silverstein said, “In terms of adapting and accepting that this is where we are and putting forth our best effort, the freshmen are phenomenal. This year’s sophomores and juniors had already experienced online learning here at MCHS, and they accepted that high school was likely going to be like that for them. This year’s freshmen are new to high school, so they were able to jump into the in-person dynamic a lot faster.”

Freshman Genesis Mendez gave us some insight on her own experience. She said that it was hard to make friends at first, but she met more people as time went on. She also commented on how being in a small school as opposed to a more populated school helped with the unusually quick adjustment to high school. She even talked about how it felt like she went from seventh grade right to freshman year.

Mendez stated, “I think if anything it did make it easier. It was easier to adapt to and easier to get adjusted to as well. It was a big change but changing to a smaller high school, compared to other high schools, played a big role in a smoother transition from middle school to MCHS. Going from seventh grade, to eighth grade virtual, to then high school in what seemed a short period of time was hard. You went from a normal school environment to online school, where the teachers didn’t care as much because they were getting adjusted to the whole situation as well, and back to in-person high school.”

A freshman from Servite High School who requested to be anonymous gave his very brief rundown of the school year so far.

“School’s pretty easy so far. The adjustment was just weird. I’m not very used to the workload yet, but I have a feeling I’ll get used to it soon. Aside from the homework, I’m having a lot of fun!” said the student.

Freshman year with a smooth passage from middle school to high school is hard enough. Going to freshman year so quickly must be very difficult for the class of 2025. Overall, the freshmen class are doing an impressive job at adapting.

“It’s been a big change. Going from middle school virtually to high school in person has truly been a difficult process, but as the weeks have gone by I realized I was adjusting a lot better than I would have.” added Mendez.