2017 New Beginnings

How students in different grades feel on first day

Berri Wilmore, Writer

Updated: Feb 2018 from Oct 2017

As the final tendrils of summer fade away, and the fall months roll in, students across the country fall back into the routine of back to school.

For Megha Sharma, a senior at Long Reach, the first day of her last year of high school has left her with mixed emotions. “It hit me that the first day of school means the first day of college apps,” the senior states. Behind the excitement of beginning a new school year loomed a cloud of responsibility, ready to rain down on her.

Like many others her age, she prepared for her senior year by building up her resume with a job at the hospital and a job at an applied physics lab. Sharma is the first person in her family to seriously pursue a college career, and after 3 years of hard work, she expected her senior year to be her “dream year.” Instead, she finds herself working harder than ever before and working on applying to colleges.

Despite being swamped with work, she remains optimistic. She is most excited to meet new people from the class of 2018. “We’re all building our future,” says Sharma, and she feels like this is a topic she and all her classmates can relate to.

While Sharma is a busy and accomplished student, her advice for underclassmen is simple: “Do what you’re passionate about. Try to listen to advice along the way.”

As Sharma prepares for the freedoms of college, Junior Nicole Grimm prepares for the workload she knows she will face this upcoming school year. “I am super nervous,” she claims. “I heard that this will be the most important year of my high school career.” As the school year ventures on, Juniors prepare to take standardized tests, apply to colleges, and take AP exams. When asked about her preparedness to take the SAT test, Grimm claims she is “not prepared because [she is] bad at math.” Despite the fact, she is ready to take junior year head on. Her advice for sophomores is to work on having good time management.
Balancing AP classes and being co-president of the Drama Club makes for a busy schedule, but Sophomore Marissa Scharf manages to keep a level head as the school year progresses. “10th grade is when things start to feel very real,” she says.  Scharf states that, while she knows that her sophomore year is important, she makes it a point to put her mental health first. Her advice to incoming freshmen is to “take a step back, take a deep breath, and tell yourself that it’s totally okay if you feel lost or confused of scared.” She assures that there will always be friends, teachers, and counselors there to help.

For Justin Diaz, freshman, high school is not everything he thought it would be.  He expected high school to be much more difficult, but states that, so far, it “has been as laid back as eighth grade.” To prepare for his senior year, Diaz went out and bought new clothes and shoes.

Diaz is incredibly excited for the next few years in high school, though his biggest fear was making poor first impressions. His advice for incoming freshmen is to “be more mature.” For seniors, he advises them to “think back to how you felt four years ago, about how scared you were to go to high school.” He adds, “just think of this as a new chapter.”  While, at both ends of the spectrum,  Diaz and Sharma both begin very different journeys, they both share one thing in common: neither of them bought supplies for the new school year. Some things never change.