Freshman Year: The Ultimate Culture Shock


Lenox Johnson

Not In Kansas Anymore: Freshmen Carmen Aycock, Anna Greer, Sydney Heaton, and Kayla Gilbert share their experience of their first year at North Atlanta.

Whether we’d like to or not, we all remember our freshman year. The first year of high school can be described as many things: exciting, life-changing, and above all, completely and utterly terrifying. Leaving middle school is no easy task and as a middle schooler, it’s easy to jump at the chance to finally take the leap. This year, the NAHS freshman class of 2022 have lots to say about their transition.

Before even being enrolled, prospective students are often bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information on what the “high school experience” is really like. In reality, everyone’s is different. No amount of tips, tricks or horror stories can really make sense until you’ve seen it for yourself. “High school was pretty much the exact opposite of what I’d expected it to be,” said freshman Kayla Gilbert. “I never believed any of the advice people gave me about high school, but it’s all turned out to be right.”

Unfortunately, many freshman have expressed their longing for the free time and playfulness that their middle school career had once offered them. Balancing a rigorous workload, extracurriculars, a social life and relationships is hard for everyone, especially those being forced to do it for the first time. “Things like your friends might not be the same in high school,” said freshman Carson Bauer. “I really didn’t think that’d be true.”

When asked to choose between high school and middle school, a surprisingly significant number of freshman opted for the former. After all, with high school comes a plethora of new experiences and opportunities. Among these are spirit weeks, exciting classes, football games, school dances and above all, sweet, sweet freedom. In middle school, students are held on a very short leash. For those from Sutton Middle School, students weren’t allowed to bring their backpacks into class and were required to either leave them outside or to put them back in their lockers. This constant restraint can be draining and, for the freshman, high school is like a breath of fresh air.  “You just get so much freedom here,” said freshman Cameron Aycock. “I definitely like high school better than middle school.”

Freshman year is a time unlike any other. Throughout high school, students are constantly find out new things about themselves, their peers, and the world around them. Oftentimes, when looking back upon their freshman year, upperclassmen are shocked by how much they have grown within just a few years. Older students hope that this year’s freshman will experience the same. “So much about me has changed since three years ago,” said junior Catherine Czabala, “I’ve really been able to find out so much more about who I am in such a short time.”

We all grow substantially within the four years we’re allotted our freshman year. Dear freshman, good luck!