Freshman and Sophomores Take on the New School Year

By Amelia Vineyard, Deputy Editor

While COVID-19 has had a variety of different impacts on the student body, underclassmen have a notably unique situation, as they have yet to experience a year without the effects of an insidious virus. Older students are able to picture their school lives before COVID, filled with packed lunchrooms, bake sales, and an overall closer sense of community. These last highly-regulated years seem somewhat dull to upperclassmen in comparison to their first or second years at Flint Hill. However, freshmen and sophomores can have a refreshing point of view, one full of optimism and excitement when regarding the year to come. 

The most notable difference between the current school year and the 2020-21 year is the return to on-campus education. This year, all students are required to learn in person, which is a big change from the protocol last year where a large part of the student body was off-campus at any given time. Sophomore Hunter Pfromer said that “this year is a lot more fun than last year because we can socialize a lot more.” Indeed, many students are enjoying the new freedoms that this school year offers. The reinstatement of regular free periods where students can sit and work with their friends have helped students feel more connected with their peers. Additionally, students can enjoy lunch with their classmates instead of just their advisory, as well as picking up the provided lunch from the cafeteria. This freedom helps heal some of the distance students feel from each other and it encourages the cultivation of new friendships and relationships. Pfromer also said that she feels like there is a lot more time to socialize with people other than those in her classes, which is a major improvement from the prior school year. The sophomore perspective is definitely bright, as they have seen major progress in the return to normalcy since their freshman year. 

Similarly, it seems that freshmen also have a cheerful take on the school year thus far. Their first year in high school is abundantly challenging, yet many seem to be taking it on with stride. Freshman PJ Lyons said that “it’s been interesting adapting” to his new environment, but he is getting used to the high school climate. Another comment Lyons made is particularly interesting, saying that there is “a lot of freedom, a lot more freedom than I had in middle school.” Lyons is a new student, and so he is referencing his previous school and not the Flint Hill Middle School. Lyons’ claims about his freedom are curious, considering some of his junior and senior peers lament the loss of their independence in the last two years. Yet, for current freshmen, the high school experience is pretty much what they expected. They don’t seem to really comprehend some of the essential elements of Flint Hill culture that have been lost, but their forging ahead and enjoying their experience nevertheless. 

The younger students have a vivacious outlook on the 21-22 school year, hoping for the best outcome possible. While upperclassmen mourn the loss of their original high school experience, underclassmen celebrate the excitement of new starts and challenges. Their enthusiasm helps define an essential aspect of the Flint Hill community and the optimism that society contains at the tumultuous climate surrounding COVID-19.