A Freshman’s Greatest Fear


Starting high school is a fear for many people. Coming straight out of your eighth-grade year and starting a whole new school that’s a lot bigger with double the number of people can be intimidating. All the changes can be very nerve-racking. Sometimes the small things people fear never actually happen, but there’s always the chance they do. In middle school, there isn’t as much pressure to get good grades because they don’t impact colleges. That’s a major change when you get to high school. The second you move up to high school, every assignment matters, and impacts your GPA. On top of that, most freshmen don’t know what to expect. Freshmen have many worries. To find out some of those fears, I interviewed several people about their experiences.
The first freshman I spoke to, Maddie Collins, mainly feared the idea of having too much work to the point where she couldn’t get it done. Collins said, “I was worried I wouldn’t have enough time to finish my work.” Consequently, she was worried that would lead to her not having free time or enough time to sleep. When asked where this fear came from, Collins said it was because “upperclassmen who already went through their freshman year told me the workload would be heavy.” Many people also told her the change would be very dramatic from middle school to high school. Another fear that Collins had was that she wouldn’t succeed academically and get good grades. Her main fear, which was poor time management, caused her to worry about her grades. Now that she is in her second semester of freshman year, she realized that, “I have enough time to get my work done.” However, she also said, “I don’t have as much free time as I would like.”
The second freshman I spoke to was Olivia Goldstein. She had three main fears coming into high school. Goldstein was nervous that the teachers would be much harsher than they were in middle school. For example, she thought they would be more strict about getting their work turned in on time and be a lot more worried about small mistakes, while middle school teachers were more lenient with that. She felt as if the middle school teachers exaggerated these ideas and the high school teachers were not as harsh as the middle school teachers made them seem. Goldstein said that “the high school teachers are all very helpful.” Middle school teachers also talked a lot about how the workload would be very heavy and hard to get done, but Goldstein said, “I didn’t feel that way.” Although the workload is not what the middle school teachers talked it up to be, she still feels it’s more than middle school, but not too much to the point where she can’t get it done. The last thing she feared coming into high school was the size of the school. After a few days, she figured out her way around the school. She wasn’t expecting it to be so easy to get around the school. She said, “It didn’t take long to find my way around.”
The last freshman I talked to was Dillon Dougherty. He didn’t fear much while entering high school, but he did fear that middle school didn’t prepare him enough for the transition. He said “upperclassmen told me that there was a lot of work in high school.” He was nervous that he wouldn’t be able to get the work done because he wasn’t used to a heavy workload. Because of this, he said, “I didn’t want to be behind in classes and struggle to keep up because of all the work.” He felt this way because he wasn’t used to much work. Even though he was worried about this, now that we have entered the second semester, he realizes this isn’t the case, and he was able to keep up perfectly.
After talking to several freshmen, there were definitely a few things that all three of them had in common. One of those things was that most of the time their fears didn’t become a reality. The worries each of them had mainly revolved around the workload and not being able to keep up with the work. Most of the fears stemmed from older students at Berkley High or the teachers at the middle schools. All three of them said afterward that there isn’t anything to be afraid of and nothing is as bad as it seems as long as you manage your time well. From this experience, freshmen could use this to look into the future to see that things that seem horrible aren’t always so bad. If you manage your time, you can manage your future fears better, which might not actually be fears.