Make way for the freshmores

     The front entrance of Granite Bay High school is surrounded by sophomores. Their eyes wandered from the unfamiliar faces to the classrooms that they had never set a foot in before.    

   The feeling of being a freshman finally hits them, but clearly that’s not the ideal feeling that a sophomore wants. 

   Freshman year is typically the time when students build a foundation for themselves by forming friendships and discovering their passions. 

   Yet, sophomores still feel disconnected due to the lack of involvement last year. 

   Senior at GBHS, Christopher Tan, was one of the Link Crew leaders that attended and organized the unprecedented sophomore retreat and the annual freshman retreat. 

   “Even the upperclassmen and faculty members felt sympathy for last year’s freshmen,” Tan said. “The school tried to help the students form connections digitally last year, but that doesn’t change the fact that sophomores were robbed of their first year experience.” 

   Liligette Parise, a sophomore that remained online for the duration of her freshman year, found herself unable to socialize and focus.

    “Not only did I struggle with simple conversations, but I also struggled to keep my grades up,” Parise said.

     “I didn’t go to the retreat even though it was meant to be helpful. My friends that went said that the retreat was useless and they didn’t meet any new people.” 

   Parise had to drag herself through freshman year. 

   “There were too many distractions, so I have to retake a lot of courses this year,” Parise said.

    Sophia Nassif, a freshman, noticed how the pandemic made upperclassmen unable to progress.    

   “It’s odd to see the amount of sophomores in my freshmen classes,” Nassif said.        

   “So many people cheated their way through last year, so now they are facing the consequences.” 

  Tan also noticed many sophomores faced mutual hardships regarding academic achievement.

  “There are more students in peer tutoring than ever this year,” Tan said. 

   Tala Ajoubori, a sophomore at GBHS, was one of the sophomores that succeeded academically and socially last year. 

   “I was luckily able to keep up with my grades since I was in person last year, and form strong bonds with people in my classes,” Aljoubori said.
  However, throughout her academic year she didn’t realize that the teachers were being more lenient and flexible than normal. 

   “Even though I came to campus as often as possible before, this year has still been a rude awakening,” Aljoubori said. “It made me feel like I was back at square one and unaware of how high school actually works.” 

   Ms. Givens, the student government teacher, believes that freshmen are not facing difficulties with fitting in because they realize that it’s normal to not know everything in the first year.

   “… sophomores probably feel as if they should already be settled in, so they are afraid to ask questions and get involved,” Givens said. 

  Knowing the details about campus and becoming connected to your peers is something that comes with patience and time.

   “I just remember to tell myself that it will all be worth it in the end,” Tala said.