The Evolution of a High School Student: Freshman Year

Levi+Walk

Levi Walk: Then and now

As a senior, I feel a small responsibility to share what I have learned in my four years of high school with the next generation of Tyrone students. I’ve certainly made my share of mistakes, and while I am by no means an expert, I would nevertheless like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned on my high school journey. 

This is not my own personal rendition of Ned’s Declassified nor is it a guide on how to handle the roller coaster of emotions that is high school. This is meant solely for the purpose of providing insight into the lessons I’ve learned and the experiences I learned them from.

I learned that the world no longer caters to that fresh and radiant face the same as it did in years prior.”

I think I speak for the majority of seniors when I say that freshman year embodies the age-old saying, “ignorance is bliss.

The friendly and familiar faces we all knew in Mr. K and Mrs. Orlosky were a product of the past as the warnings we refused to heed year after year of the oncoming “difficult,” “no nonsense” teachers and grading systems were apparent and in full force as the no homework on Fridays, recess and SOAR assemblies came to a screeching halt and were replaced with discipline, Rhoades, and a five-course meal of disappointment the first time the teacher slaps homework on your desk on a Friday as if you had nothing planned. 

In retrospect, I honestly can’t recall a single thing I learned during my freshman year from an academic standpoint. 

As aforementioned, the teacher hands you your assignment on a Friday with utter disregard for whatever you had planned that weekend, and you stare in awe as those vocab squares invoke a feeling of pure disgust, forcing you to fight down your lunch (which, by the way, is better than it was in middle school, which is a plus). 

This brings me to the first lesson I learned as a fresh and baby-faced ninth grader, full of hope and as inquisitive as ever:

I learned that the world no longer caters to that fresh and radiant face the same as it did in years prior.

I now clearly see why walking on the left side of the hall is annoying. So if you take any advice from this column, please hang right”

This lesson did not resonate with me instantly.  For the most part, it went untested in my freshman year, with an exception of the stiff slap in the face that homework on the weekends brought to the table. Or the complete lack of understanding as to why the upperclassmen were so hostile toward me walking on the left side of the hall.

Instead, the lesson gradually became more apparent as my high school career progressed alongside many other aspects of my mental development.

By the way, I now clearly see why walking on the left side of the hall is annoying. So if you take any advice from this column, please hang right.

The idea that I was just a kid and the world revolved around me disappeared as my preconceived idea that high school would follow suit with the same trend as middle school as I provide minimal effort and earn an A on my report card. This idea was replaced with an immediate and severe change that I did not first notice until my sophomore year. Which I will explore next week.