Written by: Wayland Fong
Entering high school is one of the toughest challenges to face. Being a freshman automatically pushes you to the bottom of the food chain. Say goodbye to those days in eighth grade when as the top dog on campus. No longer can you walk with a head held high pretending as though you own the place. I know, because I recently spent a week on campus during my senior year pretending to be a freshman.
At first, I was not completely confident that I could pull off being a freshman. During that week, I wore basketball shorts, graphic T-shirts and loaded my backpack up with materials that I didn’t need. I could not attend any freshman classes, but I spent every brunch and lunch sitting with them and trying to fit in.
The first day was miserable for me. I suddenly realized that I had forgotten how to make new friends. The freshmen sat in groups, and I felt uncomfortable with just barging into one and asking if I could sit with them. I felt the same fear that I had my freshman year: the fear of rejection.
In retrospect, it was a silly feeling because I was a senior pretending to be a freshman.It made me think back to how I spent my first week sitting by myself before finding a group of my own. Some freshmen are facing the same dilemma.
The next day my friend’s little brother introduced me to his friends. They mostly talked about video games, grades and girls.
The boys also enjoyed throwing bits of food at one another and daring one another to drink mystery concoctions they had made in Gatorade bottles. I thought back to my own freshman year and realized that as immature as all of this sounds to me now, it was the coolest thing to do before.
They had a refreshing naivety towards everything. One day, a couple of the boys approached a group of girls and took turns pushing one another forward to say “hi”. If the girl giggled or even said “hi” back, then the endeavor was a success. When the boys came back to report, they hyped up their stories and received a rousing round of applause. It was completely normal to talk about girls instead of talking to them.
I cannot remember the exact thoughts that ran through my mind when I first came to high school. My only concern at the time was probably just finding my next class. The question in the back of my mind throughout my freshman year was: Is high school really what it is made out to be?
As a freshman, I thought seniors were worlds apart from me. But after going back and re-living a week as a freshman, I realized that freshmen and seniors are not so different after all. We have more life experiences, but inside every blooming senior was once a tiny freshman.
Although seniors have been thrust into a world of responsibilities and individuality, we really have not changed. While freshmen are trying to make it through high school, seniors are just trying to find their places in the real world.