From SJH to SHS

Three main changes freshmen face


Lindsay Ruskin

FRESHMAN. After a couple of months in, freshman have started to adjust to SHS. Now that school is a couple months in, everyone has seemed to settle into their group.

   Imagine walking into high school on the first day of school, but then you realize it isn’t as bad as you thought: our district prepares us for change.

   In Sycamore Community Schools, junior high(SJH) is for seventh and eighth-graders, and after, they enter high school(SHS). These two years in junior high are what prepares our students for the next stage of their education. However, when students move up to high school, there are many changes that they experience. Adjusting to them can often be tough because you are in a new environment than you’re used to.

   So what does this change process entail?

   Namely: transitioning. Going into high school can be very difficult for teenagers because they are trying to discover who they are during this time. When you move to a new environment, you change start to change, and sometimes you get confused.  Transitioning can be difficult for high school students in different ways as well—physically and or mentally. Luckily, freshmen camp was created so that the incoming ninth graders feel more comfortable with the transition.

   “The goal of freshman camp is to make SHS a comfortable feeling place…we just want it to be a comfortable place to go to school as possible…my advice would be to get involved with something outside of the classroom,” said Mr. Tilton, freshman camp coordinator and SHS math teacher. 

   Additionally, as you get older, you lose and gain friends that impact who you are. The group that you choose for SHS affects how you act and who you hang out with for the next four years. However, this can also mean the emergence of cliques.

   Looking around, you see all of the different cliques when you get to school in the morning and also at lunch.

   “Many groups of friends have shrunk and they are more reserved and don’t let people in, which makes students feel excluded,” said Samantha Taylor, 9

   Taylor is one of many students who has witnessed people that are not in a friend group anymore because they have become more exclusive. This is difficult because you don’t truly know where you belong in SJHS, and that is what you figure out in high school.

   Nonetheless, SHS has over 100 clubs and activities which helps to see what kind of things you like to do and who you can meet through those different activities. When you commit a lot of your time to an activity or club, it helps the move from SJH to SHS.

   Finally, many teachers don’t trust “junior high” kids with large amounts of work, because they assume that these students cannot handle such a large amount. At SHS, teachers start to respect their students because these teenagers are becoming young adults. This respect cause teachers to give more work because they trust that high school students are responsible enough for that much work.

As a result, high school classes require more effort in your work than ever before. They also give you more work to confirm your knowledge on a certain topic. This is a change from SJH because teachers do not consider you as young adults until you enter high school. There are many obstacles when you move up to high school.

According to, “As [ninth graders] face the social, emotional, physical and intellectual challenges of this stage of development, it is easy for them to feel overwhelmed, confused and alone.” As teenagers grow, more stress is put on them, and this is a large distraction from school work. 

   After 2 months of being in school, Taylor has been interviewed yet again.  She was asked the question, “Now that you have fully settled into SHS what did you think was going to be an obstacle but wasn’t?” 

 Taylor’s response was, “Becoming distant from close friends…but after a while, I’ve just found so many opportunities to hang out with them.”

   This shows that you can settle into an environment you have had your doubts about, but it will turn out just fine.