Freshmen adapt to new high school responsibilities

Dominique Janot
Freshmen (from left) Sofia Navarro, Ashley De Leon, and Kelis Campbell shop at Harvest Market. Many freshmen say that being allowed off campus during lunch is an exciting new experience.

This year, the freshman class is larger than ever before, with 315 students enrolled. As they start their first year of high school, the class of 2026 is experiencing differences like more independence and the social or academic difficulties attached to that independence. 

Freshman STEM engineering student Chase Rawles attended Sinaloa Middle School. He plans on playing baseball and basketball at San Marin in the future. Being a STEM student can mean having a different perspective on high school, and Rawles notes some of the changes he has noticed so far. 

“We do more activities, like classwork and group work,” Rawles said, “We use the maker space, and have more independence.”

The STEM program gives students more opportunities and freedoms that they might not have had in lower grades. In addition to a more independent class environment, freshmen can leave campus during lunchtime. Rawles uses the lunch privilege to go to the Harvest Market with his friends.

Freshmen Gracie Harleman and Nicole Chiarenza are getting accustomed to their schedules and meeting new people in unfamiliar settings. 

Harleman has noticed some differences between classes at her old school and the ones she is taking at San Marin. She thinks it is harder to adapt and meet people in high school because it’s larger than her middle school.

 “I went to a school where there were 26 kids in my entire grade. There was always somewhere to go because you knew everybody. Here, there are cliques, and so many of them too,” Harleman said.

 Similarly, Chiarenza thought that her experiences in middle school were different from what she deals with now. 

“I mean it is hard to keep up when everything is going so fast this year, but I think it should feel a little different because it’s a new school,” Chiarenza said. 

Freshmen all have schedules created by their school counselors. Counselor Karla Lopez has seen patterns in the classes they chose to take this year. 

“We had some art electives available this year, so a lot of the freshmen are taking those classes,” Lopez said. “French and Spanish are very popular with freshmen as well. We’re noticing that more freshmen are wanting to start those elective classes sooner.”

The majority of freshmen of the 2022-2023 school year find that high school has more workload, freedom, and opportunity.

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