Anxiety, excitement, dread and enthusiasm. These are only a few of the multitude of emotions that CCHS students are feeling as the 2022-2023 school year enters the first quarter. After coming back from a two-month break, the first weeks of school can often feel like the longest ones of the year.
There are positives and negatives to a new school year depending on perspective. Some expect stress such as having an extensive workload and completing hours of homework every night. Others expect excitement including seeing their friends and joining a new sport or club. When one-sided, these expectations can be limiting, which is why seeing both the pros and the cons can help the transition from summer to school go smoother.
Expectations can change based on what grade level a student is entering. From the start of high school, the freshmen experience is unique to each student. Freshman Isabella Hernandez said that her most challenging shift from middle school to high school was block scheduling.
Contrarily, sophomores are returning to CCHS for their second year of high school and are taking notice of how much can change between the two years.
“The biggest difference I noticed between freshman and sophomore year is really just all the new people I’m seeing,” sophomore Allison Macready said. “Other than that, I’m just annoyed because I need to wake up super early again, and all of the work from my classes can get overwhelming.”
Macready is enrolled in AP World History, AP Psychology, AICE English Language and other honor courses. The workload for courses like these is known to get extensive, which can lead to stress and anxiety in students. Homework for AP classes can grow quickly within the first week of school. These college-level courses can be a lot to take on and may take a while to get used to.
With harder classes to take, junior year is rumored to be the hardest year of high school. This idea formed because students are forced to balance extracurriculars, college preparation and a social life all while keeping up with their academics. Unfortunately, they don’t have the excitement of prom and graduation to look forward to just yet.
Senior year, the final stepping stone before college, invokes many emotions for the majority of twelfth graders. It is a year filled with the build-up to the end: graduation. This day can seem far in the distance, but in comparison to all the years of high school, it really isn’t.
Apart from grade level and course work, feelings of stress and happiness can be determined by the teachers a student has. Some students are entering their classrooms unknowing who will be instructing them and have to participate in awkward ice-breakers with the strangers around them. Avoiding this is possible when students have classes with teachers they had in previous years, making the get-to-know-you process much simpler.
“I was really happy when I saw my schedule and saw that I have [Lindsay] Roberts again for Spanish,” junior Avrielle Sanchez said. “I liked the class last year and it helps that I already know one of my teachers.”
CCHS students aren’t the only returnees, teachers also have to prepare for back to school. AICE Marine Science teacher Patti Hillebert said she is excited to see the students and do fun activities with them.
Returning to school after summer break is a process that students and teachers have to experience every year. Each student holds unique opinions about returning and the emotions that are attached to it. The matter could be influenced by many things, whether that be sleep schedules, workload, teachers or friendships.
“With the gap of Covid, I’m still trying to overcome bad habits of procrastination and overall laziness,” sophomore Jenavive Quinones said.
Ultimately, starting a new school year takes time to settle into. This being said, almost every feeling can be experienced within those first few weeks of school. Feeling a mixture of stress and excitement is acceptable for any student during this time, and is more common than some may think.
Focusing on positives like taking a new interesting course, joining new clubs or simply interacting with other students can make the start of school less overwhelming. Before knowing it, the first quarter will merge into the second and winter break will be a week away.