Soldier On, Freshman!
By: Haley Yahraus
From every time period recorded in history and within every place known to the world, age-related prejudice has affected nearly all people born into ordinary lives. One of the points in life where we notice it the most is during high school. The pressure is on older students to show their dominance. They want to be heard. If they need to cling to a sense of superiority, they often resort to their age. Even so, admittedly some of it can be justified. With age comes experiences, and needless to say, knowledge as well—plus, ignorance in young people can get really annoying, even if the older ones were once in the place of the younger.
It seems that every year without fail, the new freshman are disdained and disrespected in at least some way and to some degree. It would be nearly impossible to get past the year without nasty looks, offensive remarks, or annoyed side-glances. Yes, it’s humbling. But in one way or another, it’s almost necessary to experience. The higher ranked soldiers degrade the privates, and the residents of a teaching hospital are harsh on the interns. Though it might be extremely unfair and sometimes insulting, it can be necessary for the respect of your peers. And just think—in years to come, you’ll be the upperclassmen—survival or endurance is the only necessity.
Even though the ageism is still present, at Hathaway Brown School, severe prejudice is becoming less and less. Friendships between different age groups is getting more prevalent and obvious. Even as the number of students is increasing, the amount of friend-sies is as well!
“Even though they’re new here, they’re still doing well and getting to classes on time. They’re really friendly, at least the ones I know are, and I guess they’re pretty cool. But it bothers be how they walk in huge clumps. That’s annoying,” a sophomore who chose to be anonymous has said.
“Well they seem nice, though I don’t know many. They seem to be really intelligent; many are in advanced classes for their age… A lot of them are in classes that are for sophomores,” said a senior.
“I don’t know, I think they’re nice people, I mean sure?”—a freshman about the people in her own class.
Along with social dynamics, classes are improving as well. With the amount of freshman this year (over a hundred! Wow!), so many different groups of people are represented as we manage to climb our way into another year. Upperclassmen warmly welcome all the new students. Don’t worry, freshman—classes themselves may not actually get easier but you will get smarter, more organized, and more prepared for later in life. Teachers are more than just instructors—they’re people who make it their priority to help you if you have the dedication to do well. And upperclassmen students, quite often, are more than willing to be sisterly figures in your life. They know what you’re going through and what you have to endure. Don’t forget that.
These last few years of little responsibility are meant to be enjoyed—but the quality of your whole life could be determined by the choices you make now. Stay healthy, work smarter rather than harder, and remember that a positive mindset means more than most other factors to your quality of life. The friendships you form now, if you maintain them, can sometimes be with you for the rest of your life. It can really only get better.
Good luck, students! And may we all do as well as we can this year. Have a great year!