Freshman Experience A Not-So-Ordinary Start To High School


Ava Granot

Home School: Like so many of her freshman peers, freshman Olivia Granot has had an unorthodox start to her high school years.

Starting high school is a gateway to many’s coming-of-age journeys. The four years of high school are much anticipated for students who just left behind the all-too-typical rocky and awkward middle school phase. As high school approaches, students get excited for the new things to come, such as friends, football games, and freedom associated with being older students. 

This is a typical start to high school, but this year’s freshman class certainly will have a very different perspective. The Class of 2024 at North Atlanta started high school completely online this year, and the effects of this new and unique experience are unforeseen.

Virtual high school is an unfamiliar territory that students have been forced to adapt to. Just like everything, it has its pros and cons, but for most students it seems as though the negatives outweigh the positives. Online school is simply not the same. It doesn’t compare to learning in a traditional environment, getting live, in-person instruction. Virtual school has many technological downfalls. Ranging from online resources crashing, to Wifi going out, it can be quite inconvenient. Freshman Olivia Granot is among the numerous freshmen who has been forced to adapt to new realities. 

“One of the things that had me most nervous about starting school online was the fact that my teachers would not be able to meet me in person,” she said. “And it’s also annoying to constantly be facing technical difficulties during school.” 

The social aspect of high school is just as important, as it’s always enjoyable to interact with your peers throughout the day. Seeing your friends at school makes the time fly by, so the alternative can be difficult to get used to. Freshman Martha Crisp said she’s aware that her learning at home is dramatically limiting what normally would be unforgettable early high school days. “It limits my social life a lot and I miss getting to see my friends at school everyday,” she said. 

Although most feedback from students has expressed much dissatisfaction, there are still a few favorable aspects. There are people who find this time a little bit scary or uncomfortable. In this regard, online school could be very beneficial by helping someone ease into unfamiliar territory. Freshman Natasha Havey surely appreciates this facet of online school. “Starting school online has helped my transition into high school go a lot smoother and it made me feel more comfortable and less nervous to start,” she said. 

As necessary as it might be, there seems to be a widespread recognition that starting high school online is far from ideal. But interviewed freshmen say it’s important to look at the bright side of things and make the best of an unfortunate situation. A global pandemic is making things challenging everywhere. But, we know that Dubs always overcome and the same is being asked of the brave — and adaptable — Class of 2024.