Dimond Freshmen Adjust to High School

As the first quarter drew to a close, freshmen at Dimond were beginning to be more comfortable with high school.
After being told “horror stories” about the work load, stress levels and upperclassmen, many ninth graders are happy to see that, while high school is hard, they can still manage it.
But despite managing to stay afloat, freshmen must still work hard to get everything done.
“Every teacher has different picky standards,” freshman Kali Dey said. “There’s a lot more need to stay up late, and so many more extra-curricular activities to do.”
“We expected the workload, but it’s high,” freshman Mackenzie Rogers said. “I already have a reverse hunchback from all the books in my backpack.”
Not only are freshmen struggling with the workload, they are also finding it hard to cope with the many people in the school, particularly the upperclassmen. Dimond is over capacity this year, and freshmen are finding the crowded halls to be very different from those of middle school.
“We like being with more people, but it’s really crowded,” freshman Braelyn Rogers said. “I like the social opportunities, but sometimes it’s hard to get to class.”
Said Dey, “I get tired of upperclassmen saying they hate freshmen and being mean to us. One guy was saying how he hated freshmen, and when I told him I was one, he said ‘Oh, I hate you too, then.’”
With more people in the building, freshmen are also seeing themselves lose friends from middle school.
Said Mackenzie Rogers, “I promised myself I would stay close to my friends from middle school, but we’re already drifting apart and talking to other people. It makes me sad.”
Along with the social stress, many freshmen also participate in sports, and have to find ways to manage their time.
Freshman Kai Crawford said, “Sports are hard because we can’t drive, so when the coaches change practice times we have to work around our parents’ schedules and our other activities and homework.”
Said freshman Ryan Henrickson,“The hardest part is definitely managing sports and homework, and still taking care of yourself.”
Freshman House principal Kaci Stephens agreed.
“I still want [freshmen] to work on time management and finding a balance with the homework load,” Stephens said. “One thing they have struggled with is the amount of homework and also the size of the school.”
English teacher Kristin Vantrease said, “I do get the sense that they are feeling overwhelmed. But I would like to see them help themselves by paying attention in class more and having better organizational skills. I don’t think they realize that freshman year counts.”
However, freshmen are slowly starting to learn the ropes.
Said security officer Derrick Kubosh, “I think they’re getting better at navigating the school, and they ask for help more often, so it’s good to see they’re settling in.”
For their part, the ninth graders are feeling better about next quarter.
“We kinda know what’s coming now,” Freshman Joshua Kim said. “We know what the teachers expect and what we have to do.”
“I’m nervous, because we feel like it’s getting harder,” freshman Haley Rogers said. “I have to keep straight A’s and that’s not as easy now. But it’s definitely doable, I think.”
Said freshman Chelsea Bruce, “It’s stressful, it’s overwhelming. I don’t think I’ve ever read this much in my entire life. But it’s going pretty good.”