By: Makena Vass
The class of 2026 is here to take on high school, ready or not.
Every high schooler remembers their first few days as a freshman. The hundreds of new people, the maze of hallways, and difficult classes is enough to overwhelm anyone. It only takes a few days for freshmen to realize that this high school is no musical, and some of them were willing to express this difficulty.
Based on a short survey given to some of this year’s freshmen, there are two main concerns about entering Glenelg: grades and friends.
For many, the high expectations in the classroom are the most challenging aspect. For the first time, students’ grades matter and every assignment counts. Missing homework can seal a student’s fate in the class, which can eventually impact which colleges that student can get into. Since colleges look at freshman year grades, students who aim for more selective colleges have to apply themselves in seven different classes from the beginning. Middle school may have had a similar number of classes, but it lacked the pressure.
However, grades are not all the freshmen have to worry about. Since two middle schools feed into Glenelg, there’s a whole other side of the freshman’s own grade that they have to learn to work with.
An anonymous student explained that “it’s hard making new friends in high school because people already have a core group.” For example, a student from Glenwood Middle can be at a table with three students from Folly Quarter Middle. If all the Glenwood kids are friends, the Folly Quarter student feels left out, or vice versa. While old friends are important, incoming freshmen need to remember to invite new people into their lives and expand their social circles.
There are also students coming from homeschool settings. The transition to high school is a common time for homeschool students to integrate into a public setting, but that does not mean it is easy.
Daniel Bianco is one of these freshmen coming from the homeschool setting. According to Bianco, he “wasn’t used to having classes with lots of people instead of just [him] and [his] mom.”
He later stated that it was hard to meet so many new people. While Bianco has similar difficulties compared to public school kids, his are amplified. Students coming from middle schools know some people in their current grade, but homeschoolers are jumping into a completely new environment.
Fortunately, not everything about high school is a struggle. Students report that clubs give them chances to find people with similar interests and that meeting new people is exciting. The types of activities can remedy some of the stress.
“Activities like classes, clubs, and sports can introduce new people into your life that [have] the same interests as you,” an anonymous freshman stated.
Some activities draw in more than just the participants, such as sporting events. It’s not just the players gaining from the experience, but also Glenelg french fry lovers off the field.
Another freshman claims that “the best part about high school is every week there is a football game to look forward to.”
The game is yet another opportunity to meet people and take a break from schoolwork.
High school is a place to find yourself and your people. To freshmen, the expectations and social circle may be different at Glenelg, but they will meet new friends and find their own unique study habits.
But most importantly, they are not alone in the struggle. Everyone is figuring themselves out in high school and even though the pressure is high, it is okay to make mistakes. High school is supposed to be hard, but that means you will be an even better student on the other side.