The Life of a Freshie

Anthony Castro and Robert Medina

     When going into high school for the first time usually freshmen have to adapt to the new age and style of schooling. With a new campus and new faces people seem to get nervous of the environment.

     One freshman student in general, Guy Laackman, from River City,  says that he tries his best to adapt to the new schedule of four classes instead of his usual six from middle school.

     “Yeah. I’m learning to manage my time better. With all the classes we had in middle school it was too much for me. Also with being a football player I had less time to do my homework.” added Laackman.

     Student  athletes like Laackman normally struggle to keep up with their schooling especially with practice and games. But Laackman says that he is learning to keep up with his school work and the reduced classes compared to middle school quantity of classes help him with that.

     Laackman explains his first day of school was a confusing one and that it was made easier because he went to the freshman orientation,

     “I was nervous but it was easy because I went to orientation, it helped me know where all my classes were.”

     Freshmen orientation is the school’s way of helping out the incoming students with showing them their classes, and learning the campus.

     Staff members also help out the freshmen at River City, too. One person that goes out of her way to try to make sure the freshmen are satisfied with their performance is  Marlaina Spivey.

     Spivey is a Building Foundations for Success teacher here at River City High School. Building Foundations for Success (also known as BFFS) is a required class for the freshmen where they learn everything they need to know about college and how to get there.

     Mrs. Spivey also teaches science at the school and helps all students with problems they have at school or at home.

     Troubled students often have a hard time at home either physical or emotional.  They are the students that either live in troubled neighborhoods or have problems at home with their families which in turn can result in the child acting out in class and failing the class because they aren’t learning

     “I think a lot of the time they’re late because they didn’t get much sleep. Like they stay up the whole night playing Fortnite or doing horrible things on their phone,” Spivey said. They get to school really late, hungry, not prepared, I think they are anxious. They want to do well, so if they didn’t do their homework in other classes.”

     Spivey helps these said students in the best way that she can. Sometimes she sends students who are having an argument to peer mediation. She gives the students  advice and tells them how to figure out their problems whether they’re academically and socially.

     Mrs. Spivey isn’t the only teacher at the school who teaches  the B.F.F.S. class. Many teachers teach the class and help out students themselves too.

     Like many freshmen, Ashley Jensen, has BFFS on her fall schedule with Ms. Hernandez as her teacher. Jensen is a cheerleader and an honors student, but she also has some problems being a freshman.

     “The hardest part of high school for me is my honors classes,” Jensen says, “The extra homework is tiring and the work is graded harder than the other classes.”

     Having honors classes with more homework is the a difficult thing a freshmen can handle with their first year. The teachers move at a much faster pace with the whole class.

     Homework in general is hard for freshmen because they aren’t used to the expectations set on them. In middle school they had easier homework with teacher helping them with every step and doing the same work that any other 8th graders were doing.

     “The biggest complaints [I hear] are, ‘There’s too much homework’ or they have a hard time with math. Honors classes too  because they’re not ready for them. The students are concerned about how much work there is and all the requirements for graduation,”  Spivey explains.

     Along with that the teachers at middle school give their students empty threats. Empty threats about not passing and not moving on to the next grade or not being able to promote, but in high school the threats are facts or reality. If a student slacks off they will fail the class, but it’s not like that in middle school.

     “In middle school the teachers made threats to their students in order for them to pass and their threats are empty in the sense that they’ll pass anyway,” Spivey explains , “Like ‘If you don’t get this grade you won’t pass but they still pass them on to high school and here we don’t do that. Their threats are empty. Ours are real”

     The high school life for freshmen is difficult to adapt to but students have to try their best and make the transition. Adapting to high school could take years to remember, so students are  probably not going to get it down the first day or the first year. But there are many people that students can talk to for their academic or social problems at RC Spivey especially.

     “…if their problem is academic, I try to get them to stay after school to get help to go talk to the teacher, a lot of their time they never talked to a teacher before, if it’s more than social emotional or if their depressed or their not doing well or something at home is a problem, I try to send them to their counselor and try to get them help that way.”


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