A Portrait of Freshman Year

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Colin Gill

Freshman Carter Ferris works hard with junior John Guraj and sophomore Linda Dema on a group project.

Colin Gill, Staff Writer

Yet another year begins at Adams High School, and with the new year comes a new batch of fresh faces into the Adams family. For some ninth graders, this will be one of the best years of high school, but for others –  one of the worst. Whatever the experience, few remember their first year of high school and even fewer describe it as an “easy” transition. So, how is it that so many students have made it through in one piece? Past and present freshmen share their stories and words of wisdom.

The romantic, idealized vision of high school, popularized by movies like High School Musical, is often the only expectation incoming freshmen have to go on. For new ninth grader Carter Farris, what suprised him most was how little has changed.

“It’s pretty similar [to middle school.] I thought it would be very different,” said Carter.

His move to high school was not a far one, as Carter attended neighboring Van Hoosen Middle School.  

“Obviously it is a bigger building,” he clarified. “There is a lot more freedom here, like how more teachers are cool with phones,” said Carter. The Adams newcomer looks forward to basketball season, so look out for him on the Highlander team this winter.

Transitioning from middle school to high school is the easy part. The true test is what comes next. After making it to the new school, newcomers must now deal with the everyday challenges of their new school. Students are expected to get good grades, make friends, and participate in school functions… all simultaneously. To be successful throughout high school is to know how to juggle all of these things every day.

Throughout high school there are things that seem impossible to do without help. The good news is, nothing ever needs to be done alone. Often, the wisdom needed to take on life lies in friends and family.

Sophomore Joseph Sullivan demonstrates this with his freshman strategy. He was able to seek counsel with those who had already experienced what he was experiencing.

“I had friends and siblings. They told me what teachers look for and how to stay organized,” said Joseph. He used this advice to raise his grades and stay focused. Today, Joseph is on the unstoppable Adambots robotics team.

Adams is known across the state of Michigan for its welcoming community and its supportive atmosphere. Just last year, senior Anna Twitty published a letter to the freshman class. There are plenty of articles on high school success, but why settle for just one or two articles when you have a whole school’s worth of unique and friendly upperclassmen? Nothing beats talking with another person. One person at Adams, senior Izabella Riegel, wanted to share her words of advice.

“You need to study. You can’t not if you want decent grades. I know people who don’t ever study. It’s really bad,” said Reigel.

Remember- it is never too early to start preparing for the SATs and, after that, college.

Almost every person has heard the same advice for high school: “Make the most out of it”. While it is not exactly bad advice, it is rather unhelpful without proper context.

So, from four years of experience, here is a very clear picture of what “making the most” looks like in practice:

  • See what Adams has to offer. Never waste time by signing up for “easy A” class; instead, take classes that are both interesting and challenging.
  • Join clubs, make friends, and make sure to learn! Useless knowledge is an oxymoron. From ninth to twelfth grade, Adams has opportunities only a select few other schools offer, so take advantage! If there is one thing that matters in high school, it is graduating with a feeling that all the time spent in school was worth it.