First week brings fresh fears


Amanda Rodriguez

Students make their way to sixth period on August 19.

A freshman walks onto campus with her freshly printed schedule in hand. Before the first bell rings, she stares blankly at the three white buildings, wondering which one is the 1300’s. Faced with a sea of unfamiliar faces, she hesitates to ask for help.

As a freshman coming straight out of middle school, upperclassmen can seem daunting and unapproachable. 

“I was mostly nervous about upperclassmen bullying me and not being able to find my classes. It’s still all a little nerve-racking, but I think I have it mostly figured out now,” freshman Camryn Cala said.

Though intimidated by the school’s massive layout and population of over 3,400 students, freshmen focus a lot less on the future and more so on minor details, such as which lunch their friends have and if their new shoes are spotless. 

“This first week of school, I’m focusing the most on my style. That’s honestly what I’m most worried about,” freshman Maddox Pavone said.

Maddox’s older sister Payton, a senior, has a different set of worries for the upcoming year.

“I’m scared. I’m also pretty nervous for this year because I have to cope with the fact that I will be leaving for college in the next year,” she said.

While the intimidating thought of navigating a massive school no longer consumes seniors’ minds, they have new fears for the future.

As four years of high school come to a close, seniors must begin to think about their plans afterward. The once dreaded seven-hour school days begin to morph into the last hoorahs of high school; the days spent surrounded by lifelong friends, rambunctious kids and crowded halls start to seem fleeting and, in a certain way, special.

These anxieties aren’t specific to seniors or freshmen only; they affect those in-between as well. 

“The thing that’s most different from freshman to sophomore year is probably the higher courses. I’m most worried about Spanish [class]. Other than that though, everything seems the same for the most part,” sophomore Dehya Howard said.

On the other hand, juniors’ focus seems to be less on school and more on college entrance tests. Junior year is often seen as a student’s most rigorous year. Filled with SAT’s and ACT’s, extracurriculars and coursework, the year is bound to bring stress and added pressure. Students often take to tutors and prep classes to help them take the test with more efficiently and skills.

“I’m worried to take the ACT this year because it’s hard, but at the same time, I can take them more than once. I’m probably going to get a tutor to help me out,” junior Brock Brunett said.

Even though junior year can be chaotic, there are students who decide they aren’t going to let the stress get to them. 

“I don’t study,” junior Nate Morel said. “The teachers here are good, so I’ll be fine.”

Although not always evident, teachers also experience first week jitters about their new classes. 

Forensic science teacher Danielle Anglin conquers her fear of public speaking during the first few days.

“I don’t like speaking in front of crowds and so new faces make me nervous,” Anglin said. 

After IDs are distributed this week, Open House will take place on August 27 followed by school picture days on August 28-29 to fully integrate student and staff into the new school year.