Freshman Year Reflection

Gabrielle Rothenberg, Staff Editor

Moving from middle school to high school is always a big adjustment, but this year was a little different than usual. 

I remember walking into school for my freshman orientation and meeting all of my new teachers for the first time. Having spent the second half of my seventh grade year virtual, the first half of my eighth grade year hybrid, and the second half of my eighth grade year in person with masks, shields, and social distancing, this year was an adjustment.

Luckily, all the teachers were very understanding and tried to help with the adjustment as much as they could. Some teachers started off strict, however, they all eased up a little to allow for us to settle into the new routine. Many of my teachers knew that we were a little behind on our knowledge of the material due to COVID, and made themselves available for extra help sessions.

For the past year and a half, I have only been in school for half of the day. Being in school for almost seven hours isn’t as hard to get used to as I expected; lunch and Pascack Period help with the transition because I have a break between classes. 

In middle school, especially during COVID, work was significantly easier than it is in high school. Coming into high school and taking much more rigorous courses, I had to learn proper study habits, and improve my time management skills. Since I no longer have half of the day to do homework and study, I have found my afternoons more packed with work and less free time.

Pascack Valley has lots of extracurricular activities and sports and being a part of some of them definitely made my freshman year more enjoyable. Tennis was one activity I participated in that allowed me to make new friends and have fun outside of my academic life. These aspects of high school opened up opportunities to meet new people and try new things.

With the end of freshman year approaching, I have picked out all of my courses for next year. While choosing these classes, especially my electives, I had to put more thought into my future than ever before. I wanted my electives to be geared toward my future career, so I sat down and thought about what I wanted to do as an adult. None of this was really a factor in my middle school class choices.

Overall, I am so glad to be back in person for school with all of my teachers and friends, especially for my first year of high school. As the year comes to a close, I now see why high school is such a special time in someone’s life.