Back To School

From Freshman to Senior Year: Getting Back In The Groove


Lucy Avalos

Students have backpacks that are full of books and items.

Jillian Parks, Reporter

Walmart, Target and Office Depot school supply aisles have been raided. Pencils, notebooks, binders and backpacks add to the weight of a new school year’s pressures. 

Looming social, academic and athletic expectations and realities demand student attention. However, each year these pressures change. Preparations adapt as each student better understands how they learn, who they are, and, ultimately, who they want to be. 

“One of my biggest concerns going into freshman year has been my Pre-Ap classes,” freshman CJ Collette said. “Now that I am in high school, I see that the Pre-Ap classes get to learn more and still have much more work.One thing I’m most excited about is being involved in clubs and activities, there are so many more ways to get involved with the school than there ever were at Knox.” 

 Freshman year is the time for middle school students to integrate with the older, more seasoned high school students. They say everything is bigger in Texas; the same goes for high school. Bigger cafeteria, bigger selection of clubs, bigger number of students to get to know and connect with. The opportunities can be both exciting and overwhelming. 

“I had to learn to focus on time management, and be much more responsible for the work in all my classes so that I will not fall behind,” Collette said. “I love the dynamic here and enjoy all my classes, and I’m already involved in some extracurricular activities, plus I have lunch with a bunch of my friends.” 

Sophomore year can be compared to the culture shock of entering a new country. Out of the fishbowl and into the 350,000 square-foot school, sophomore year opens the door to more rigorous classes and greater involvement in activities. Tenth grade serves as a transitional year from figuring out high school to preparing for college. Otherwise known as the year to appreciate high school in the present. 

“Preparing for this year was different from others because I had a more rigorous course load, including all PreAP and one AP,” sophomore Riley Malone said. “I prepared for this year by planning a schedule and putting time aside for homework.”

The infamous belief that junior year is the hardest year holds true when considering the increased responsibilities on the students. The PSAT, ACT and SAT are at the forefront of many minds this school year. The PSAT determines whether or not someone is eligible for National Merit Scholar status. SATs or ACTs can affect which college will or will not accept an applicant. 

“The main reason that junior is different from the others is because it’s the last full year of high school that colleges see,” junior Akshara Ramasamy said. “Because a student wants to demonstrate their full capabilities, 11th grade would be the hardest course load year on your transcript. Studying for those courses, and preparing for SATs/ACTs/PSAT makes this year unique from the others in regards to preparation.”

With these responsibilities come new freedoms. Student parking becomes available junior year, giving them the freedom to drive to school, waking up later without fear of missing the bus or depending on parental transportation. With the new freedom of transportation, students can attend new club meets or dedicate more time delving into a few organizations to discover their true interests. 

“As simple and cliché as it sounds, I spent way too much time stressing and fretting over the simplest things that I lost sight of what was important: happiness,” Ramasamy said. “Enjoy the momentous occasion of being a high schooler and be excited for what’s to come!” 

Senior year itself is bittersweet; the threshold between leaving high school behind and entering the new frontier of college. Senior year requires college and scholarship applications that do have an effect on one’s future. However, each new scholarship and application brings students closer to a new chapter of adulthood and independence. 

“I am stressed over college applications, but other than that I am actually really excited to finally graduate high school and move onto bigger and better things,” senior Dani Smith said.