What Is Making The 2017-18 School Year Different

Jaeger Lajewski

More stories from Jaeger Lajewski

With each new year comes change, specifically change to a new academic level in high school. It is sometimes hard to explain but each year for a high school student seems to just feel different and a task unlike anything before. Based on this consensus, a group of various high school students were asked, what made this school year different than others?



For most freshman, acclimating to high school is a large and daunting- this workload becomes a  lot greater and more difficult. Freshman Jenna Katz says, “ During the 2017-18 school year, I’ve become a lot better at time management, as my workload has increased greatly since last year… Im also becoming more independent. I’m no longer relying on anyone to hold my hand through tasks I need to complete…” Jenna says that she learns from being independent and is becoming less dependent on the people around her as she relies on herself more. It is alluded to that in previous schooling years like in middle school, there is the opportunity to be guided through activities and learning, but not much of that is given in high school. While most freshman seem to have no other choice but to acclimate to the rigidity of high school, it is a choice on how fast the student acclimates.




Sophomore year in high school seems to be pretty undefined on the matter of being stressful or being easy, considering college is still some time away. For Hope Pratt, she says “ last year I feel like all the work moved at a manageable pace, and I felt like I knew about all the school events far in advance. This year, I feel like everything I do is last minute, and I do not know about important events until right before they occur. The months also seem to pass by quickly and I am surprised when holidays and breaks occur. I am not sure if my reasons are just because of stress, or if this is something everyone else is feeling” Hope does not seem to know what makes this year different with others but as an outsider, could be due to the classes she is taking and what they expect. Hope is a participant of four honors and an AP level class which begin to expect a lot after freshman year- it is easy for a heavy workload like this to become as overwhelming as she described. For similar student Maureen Pace, she says “ this school year was different for me than freshman year because I think I feel more confident in how I go about completing my work and the topics themselves…. I think I have been more positive and confident about my school/ work performance, even though I am often stressed” Maureen seems to have taken her opportunity to focus on her past accomplishments as reassurance for her future. From Maureen, interesting insight is given to the fact that throughout the high school experience, you can gain knowledge and experience that will continue to be useful in following years, rather than each year being independent.



For many high school students, junior year is when the pressure starts to really build and then the effort from students grows exponentially. Sidney Schreck, a junior herself, says “ this year has been different for me because i’ve applied myself a lot more athletically and academically than in past years. I’m doing a lot better in my classes and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m interested in the subjects more… I also joined speech and debate this year so i feel like i am more involved in the school…” For Sidney, it seems like junior has been a positive impact on her high school experience for she is more driven, motivated and invested. Sydney’s experience is nice to hear, but can juxtapose the traditional junior year experience for most. For many, junior year brings stress and constant anxiety but this does not have to be the case. Sydney alludes to the fact that her junior year is better than others which can give the message that a new year gives new possibilities for a student to be positive and inspired. Fellow student Julia Ferranti, on the other hand, says “ junior year is different than any other year in high school because there is more pressure. I felt pressure every year to do my best and have the best grades, but particularly this year there is so much more… There is also so much more pressure to decide what you want to do with your life… I feel like a seventeen year old is not equipped to make that decision. Junior year isn’t all bad though. I can drive now and although that may seem small, it is a huge change…” For Julia, the differences do not seem by choice, whereas Sydney made choices to involve herself differently. Julia is a clear representation that in high school, not all sentiments or actions are felt to be done out of choice but out of necessity- this comes with the gradual increase of pressure and the gradual decrease of time left in high school.



Senior year, often full of nostalgia, self exploration, and preparation for the future. Kristin McManus, a senior herself, says “this school year, I’ve learned a lot about who I am and how I’ve changed over the years. I’ve become more independent and confident in my differences… Senior year is not as easy as everyone says it is. It is hard to persevere because of the thought that we will be done in just a few months” Kristin describes herself as becoming a very different person which seems to have to do a lot with confidence and the knowledge of high schools close ending. Kristin’s story is very inspiring and brings light to the fact that a single year can change a person drastically, but in a positive way. It seems that senior year is the time for students to find who they are because there really is no other time. Confidence and independence are results of what seems to be required of a quickly changing dynamic of an isolated small town, to the diverse outside world.