Then and now: Freshman reflect on high school


Sabrina Ngu

Students have many different expectations of what high school might be like. These expectations come from family, friends and even from the media. However, once they get a taste of what high school is like, their expectations — true or not — often change. Here are some freshmen students and their first expectations of high school in comparison to what they think about high school now.
Disha Debnath
Freshman Disha Debnath’s first expectation of high school was that it was big and confusing, mainly stemming from visits to the school for events, as well as hearing stories of her older high school friends getting lost in the massive building. On her first day of freshman year, Debnath was clueless and didn’t know where she was going. But eventually, Debnath no longer feared the intimidating size of SPFHS and the seemingly endless halls by receiving aid from other students and staff and experimenting with other routes to get to where she needed to be. 
I joined a few clubs, and because of them, I had a chance to see more of the school,” Debnath said. “Asking questions and walking to classes with friends who already know a bit about the high school makes it easier to get around and makes it less confusing.”
One thing that still applies for her is the importance of high school. Debnath believes that high school is where school work needs to be taken more seriously, from selecting classes to communicating with guidance counselors. But nonetheless, her perspective on high school has changed. 
Now that I’ve made new friends and have gotten used to the school, I think that it has a great community and a positive environment for all,” Debnath said. 
Kendall Chiang
Freshman Kendall Chiang had obtained most of her information about high school through her older sibling. From new classes to finding her way around school, Chiang expected everything in high school to be much harder than middle school.  
What changed her perception, however, was being a student of SPFHS. As an accelerated student, she was expecting the classes to be difficult for her. However, she found the classes to be easier to manage than she thought. As for the school layout, Chiang learned how to make her way around the halls and classrooms in a week, finding the layout to be simple.
Now that she’s got some of the high school experience, Chiang believes that high school is far better than middle school. Not only does Chiang enjoy the extra freedom that she didn’t get in her middle school years, she also loves the major influence of the music in the school.  
“There’s a lot of media that says high school is the worst years of your life,” Chiang said. “But so far my experience has been pretty positive. You can’t let other people’s bad experiences get in the way of having your own perspective.” 
Emma Schramm
Freshman Emma Schramm’s expectations of high school came from movies and the media, especially those that are set in high school. In addition to her older siblings’ and cousins’ own experiences, Schramm thought high school would be extremely stressful and confusing.  
“I thought the workload would be very different from middle school, I would never find my way around, and there would be lots of cliques,” Schramm said.
Schramm was able to get a new perspective after getting used to the way SPFHS operated. She believed that the workload was similar to middle school, aside from the additional tests. However, she also believed that she hadn’t seen enough of high school to change her perspective entirely. 
What still applies with her high school experience was her social life. Schramm heard that students make more friends and become closer to their peers, which has happened. While a few of her friends went to UCVTS, she was still able to make friends and become closer with them. The variety of club opportunities in school also allowed her to socialize with upperclassmen.  
“I never envisioned high school exactly as the media showed it, but it was definitely what I wanted high school to be,” Schramm said. “Now that I’ve experienced some of it, my perception of high school is more logical and based on real experiences I’ve had instead of from other people’s views.”    
So far, Schramm believes that high school is a very fun experience, anticipating the next three years she’ll spend at SPFHS.