High School Evolution: Freshman to Senior Year


Kaylee Adams, Writer

Freshman year of high school. The first year teens officially feel like they’re grown. But no matter how grown they think they are, there’s still a huge growing experience between freshman and senior year.  

Going into freshman year, most students are terrified. They don’t know what to expect. They have  no idea how many tears, laughs, and memories will be made throughout their high school career. The years fly by and before you know it, senior year hits, along with all the lasts: the last first day of school, the last homecoming dance, the last volleyball game, or football game, or softball game or.. well, you get the picture. All the lasts.

Oh, to be 15 again. When I was 15, I thought I was so grown… no longer a 14-year-old with wide eyes and a puppy-dog manner. Freshman year, I had no idea my views as a person would change, and that the naïve kid who saw the good in people would grow more cautious. I had no idea I would have to say goodbye to one of the most important men in my life, and that the “future teacher” would change her mind and want to be a nurse.  So many things have changed. 

And I’m not the only one who has seen and been through changes. Senior Avrie Thomas once believed she was going to be a Marine Biologist. “Now starting my Senior Year, I am almost positive that I want to be a social worker.”  

Sophomore year, students are a little older, sometimes a little wiser, and oftentimes a lot more distracted.  It feels like an in-between year that seems to last forever. You can’t fully drive yet, and you are not officially an “upperclassman.” It’s also the year that many students can lose perspective on what’s important.

Advice from seniors for this year is to stay focused on your GPA. Keep your goals set, work until you meet them, and then set them even higher. 

Senior Payton Cobb explains: “I never studied during my sophomore year because I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Now, during my senior year, I’m still trying to make up for the grades I let drop in 10th grade.”  

Junior year brings it’s own set of difficulties and is probably the hardest year of high school. It’s not Junior year itself that’s the problem. Instead, it’s how the students pile their schedules because of sophomore year lapses. Students try to make up for the year before when they suddenly realize how important a GPA is and that the college application process is right around the corner.

Junior year is also the year to begin taking SATs and ACTs.  Know the mandatory scores for your school of choice and prepare to meet or exceed it. Scores are a huge part of what you need if you plan on attending your dream school. Junior year is the most mentally-challenging year. Friendships, relationships, and grades often shift and change, as well. 

Savannah Johnson says, “Junior year I thrived socially, but academically I never struggled as much as I did then with school.”  

Then, before you know it, Senior Year arrives! The year everyone has been waiting on. The one everyone thinks they’re so ready for. I was definitely not ready.

Two weeks into the summer of my senior year, I lost my granddad. Not in a “I knew it was coming” kind of way, but in a “dad running out of the house at 12:30 am, because my grandfather had a heart attack” kind of way. Flash forward to 2:00 in the afternoon, when we all thought he was finally stable, and instead he died. That day will be permanently burned into my head with things I desperately wish I never had to experience.  

It began rough, but my senior year has improved. Going into senior year, the big hype is “rolling night.” It’s senior year’s long-standing tradition and hands down one of the most memorable high school experiences that you are going to have.

Seniors get lots of perks. They get first pick on parking, which is amazing in the big scheme of getting in and out of the parking lot quickly to avoid being stuck in traffic for ten minutes. Seniors can also get Minimum Day schedule, which is another pretty big deal. That being said, perhaps the greatest scheduling advice any current or past seniors can give is to take PM minimum day. Sure, AM sounds great — extra sleep in the morning and all — but at the end of the day, those extra 45 minutes of leaving to go home when everyone else is still in school… that’s perfection. 

Regardless of what class you’re currently in here at Cartersville High School, know our school is a great place to be. Teachers and administration are rooting for you on this wild and crazy ride. And yes, it’s like a roller coaster. Freshman to Junior year is a climb, but senior year… you’re at the top and ready to drop. Live in the moment and enjoy the ride at every stage.