The class of 2021 has been waiting patiently to leave their middle school days behind them, filled with embarrassing and awkward memories, and embark on a new school year in an entirely new place. It can be daunting going from a smaller middle school to a huge high school like Walter Johnson. With about 2,400 students enrolled, all classes are filled to the brim with no empty seats. An environment that differs from the cushy and open feel that middle school has to offer.
It was especially intimidating for freshman Sophia Maxwell, who went to Oneness Family School in Chevy Chase, a private school where she only had eight other classmates in her grade.
“It was really hard to make friends, like especially in the first week. My middle school was super different considering the size and it’s different because I have seven teachers throughout the day,” Maxwell said.
It can be overwhelming the first couple of weeks. Classes can be quite challenging compared to those offered in middle school. Some hard working students even take on the difficult task of AP Government their first year of high school. The workload is doubled and the content is nothing like students have experienced before.
Freshman Charlie Newman stepped up to the challenge, influenced by his brother, and was met with standards that he did not anticipate.
“I expected [high school] to be a lot of work, but I didn’t realize that it was going to be like six hours of homework each night. AP Gov takes up most of my time, I feel like if I didn’t take AP Gov I would only have an hour of homework,” Newman said.
Despite this, students are able to balance the new intense workload with some interesting clubs, sports and other activities in their spare time. WJ is fortunate to have an abundance of different options for students to participate in. From the field to the stage, there is a place for everyone.
Freshman Arno Amalyan is excited to be a part of the theater side of the WJ community, and is eager for the fall play to get on the way.
“I’m really looking forward to being a part of STAGE productions this year. I’m doing lights crew which should be fun,” Amalyan said.
It takes a while for freshmen to adjust to high school, it is such a culture shock whether they’re coming from a small middle school, taking hard classes, or finding the right activity to do, it’s never easy in the beginning. It all takes time and sooner or later, the class of 2021 will be in the class of 2018’s position, stressing out about college and leaving behind the place they have called school for the past four years.