Freshmen reflect on the beginning of the school year


Elliot Heath

Freshmen share their first week of school experiences.

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This fall, incoming freshmen joined the school community for classes on September 8. The 2022-2023 school year looks to be the first time they can enjoy a “normal” school experience since entering middle school. With the transition to a new school, extra classes and teachers, and the focus back to academics after the summer break, it is natural to see students feeling many different emotions, whether it’s excitement, anxiety, or a mix of both.  

Before the start of the year, the Class of 2026 was invited to attend an orientation on August 31 to tour the school, explore clubs and teams, familiarize themselves with other students, and gain a better understanding of the high school environment. Unlike other grades, they were all able to receive their schedules in advance to the first day of classes.

Similar to many of their predecessors, freshmen quickly adjusted to the unexpected schedule changes and the fast-paced nature of rigorous class curriculums throughout the first weeks of school.

Below are some reflections by freshmen on the start of the school year, their experiences adjusting to this unfamiliar setting,  and their hopes for a long-awaited return to normalcy. 

Freshman Vicky Chen: 

I was very nervous when first entering [THHS] because I’ve heard that it has high standards and [teachers may] assign a lot of homework. Currently, I’ve been managing my time wisely and planning out a schedule. In a way, this feels like I’m [back in] 6th grade, going from class to class. I am ready for this change because it’s been long awaited.”

Freshman Alina Bhuyan: 

“[During remote learning] I started to lose my motivation to do school work, and I lacked the self-confidence to keep moving on. I was excited [on the first day of school] because I had already made some friends and I couldn’t wait to see them in person, but I was [also] nervous.” 

Freshman Zead Husain: 

“The start of the school year went great. [THHS is] a great high school [with] such a great environment and overall a great place to be able to learn in. I believe I am adjusting quite easily because, in middle school,  they started to prepare us for high school, so it’s a pretty easy atmosphere to adapt to, and so far, not bad at all.” 

Freshman Bianca Chen: 

“I was really nervous when first entering [THHS] because I had no idea what it would be like, but I was really excited to make new friends and to experience new things. Everyone was really welcoming and friendly at orientation, so it made a lot of us feel more comfortable and welcomed. The schedules and zero bands were really confusing at first, but the guidance counselors were all very patient and resourceful, so things became a lot easier as time passed.”

Freshman Sophia Lee: 

“So far the beginning of the school year has been going smooth. Everyone is welcoming, and it’s been fun to join clubs and meet new people.”

Though the freshmen are getting used to life at THHS, there remains one major milestone left to be fully initiated into the school culture: Founders’ Day. In four weeks time, the class of 2026 will swear the Ephebic Oath and then can be officially said to be “Harrisites.”