Four years of turmoil

The struggle is real for all the years


Photo by Kaitlyn Rogers

Photo Illustration. Students from each grade level represent their respective era of the high school experience and the emotions that accompany it.

Story by Aislyn Echols, staff writer

Filled to the brim with tests, homework and peer pressure, high school is a fight for survival in all four years. Even though every grade level comes with its own type of problems, some problems are constant throughout all of the years.


For freshmen, they have to deal with being in a new environment with new classmates, teachers and classes. Almost everything is different; they are now a small fish in a big pond. These freshman may be young, but they might soon realize that they may have some of the same problems as the older years do.

Just starting out in their first year of this new journey, freshmen start to try and understand what life might be like for the next four years.

“[The difference from middle school is that] there are bigger classes with more people,” freshman Dominic West said. “Nothing is the same from middle school, everything is different.”

Transitioning to a new school with possibly new people can be a challenge for some, and the new atmosphere and social environments that they are put through can be difficult for them. Even though they have just started their journey, some are already looking to the future to see what it entails.

“Getting into college will probably be the hardest part of high school,” West said. “[I will] probably find certain classes the easiest to deal with [in high school].”

Though they have yet to see the full high school experience, it doesn’t mean that they have no words of wisdom to people who will soon be in their shoes.

“[My advice to younger people is] don’t get into fights in high school,” West said. “Take classes that fit you the best and that fit what you want to do in the future. Commit to homework assignments, and definitely, have good time management skills.”

Once a person has survived freshman year, they only have a glimpse of what is in store for them for the next three years. 


It doesn’t get any easier during sophomore year for most people. People do know their fellow classmates a bit better, but they still have to deal with about twice as much homework, the same amount of stress and trying to balance a social life. 

“[Something that hasn’t changed for me since freshman year is] my attitude about going to school day in and day out,” sophomore Jacob Grierson said. “[Also], not wanting to get up in the morning and having to persevere through stuff.”

Though a year isn’t much time to have passed for a person, they still might go through plenty of changes in their personal and school life in that time.

“[One thing that has changed for me since freshman year is that] my procrastination has gotten better,” Grierson said. “I’ve stopped waiting to get work done since we’ve got a lot of AP and DC classes, you just can’t get it all done in a short amount of time and my overall work ethic has improved.”

High school can come with many hardships and struggles. What those struggles are and how people deal with them is up to the person.

“[One thing I struggle with is] doing homework late into the night and waking up early in the morning, [especially] this year having early morning workouts for sports, going to school, and then you have to go home and do it all over again,” Grierson said.

Though sophomore year is still a major challenge, there aren’t always trials and problems that need to be faced, and there can be some light in the midst of this dark path.

“[What I’ve found easiest is] getting what work we’re supposed to do in class [done in class],” Grierson said. “I don’t have a big problem with focusing [on the in class work], but when I get home is when I don’t focus very well.” 

Though tiring, this torturous amount of workload is meant to prepare students for their future.

“I’m not really scared of anything in the future,” Grierson said. “I’m ready to get through and go on to college.”

Being in the older generation can mean that the younger people look up to them and ask them for advice and guidance. Leading the younger people can be difficult, when they are still looking to their elders for guidance, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to say.

“[I would say to the younger generations is] square away what you need to get squared away,” Grierson said. “Don’t wait to do stuff, because the classes get harder. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where you realize you can’t get stuff done.”

With two years down and two more to go, people at the end of this phase of their journey are already halfway done with high school. They’re not at the finish line yet, and the next stage is junior year.


Most consider junior year to be the hardest year of all. With the possible repressed memories of the previous years and the present mistakes that might possibly be made looming over people, junior year can be mind overload.

“A lot of mental things [have changed for me since my first year of high school],” junior Brice Hacelwood said. “[My mental state] has gotten a lot worse over the years.”

Having been through most of high school already, Juniors have seen some of the worst things high probably has to offer.

“I guess [the hardest part of high school] would be all the work and the pressure of getting everything done, when it’s supposed to be done for every class, and trying to get to the perfect standards so that you can get into college,” Hazelwood said.

Juniors have two years of experience riding on their shoulders, so they could have changed a lot from when they were once the new freshmen in the school.

“I find I’ve been more depressed [since freshman year], but I feel like everyone in high school,” Hazelwood said. “Year by year, gets more depressed because of everything going on.”

For juniors, the future is coming in fast and it isn’t stopping. Some are trying to figure things out in school and being pressured to think ahead to the future may overwhelm some.

“One thing I’m scared of is not meeting [society’s] standards,” Hazelwood said. “There’s just certain standards you have to meet and everything, and I’m really hoping I meet their standards. [For senior year] I’m hoping I pass, so I don’t have to redo it.”

Being close to the end of high school Juniors have had to go through a lot of fantastic and unfortunate parts of high school. They can be the guide for the younger generation, to warn them against some of the same mistakes they had made before them.

 “[My advice is] just don’t stress too much over everything,” Hazelwood said. “Try to have fun, but don’t have so much fun that you end up messing up, or you just end up giving up and not caring about everything else. You might think it doesn’t matter, but it will matter eventually, and when you find that out it’ll be too late.”

Now with another year under the belt, there is only one year left in high school: senior year.


The final count down till the end of high school has already commenced for some once they reach senior year. Living through all the commotion all the other years have thrown at them, seniors have possibly gone through some of the most grueling trials that high school has to offer. 

Seniors have gone from being at the bottom of the high school hierarchy to being the top dogs on campus. On their fourth and final year, most seniors have changed plenty from their first year. 

“What I wanted to do after high school has changed,” senior Madison Allen said. “I used to want to be a vet, but now I want to do something else. [Also] my art [skills have changed] because Mrs. Philips helps me a lot in improving my skills in doing more stuff like painting.”

Having to go through the many difficulties of high school and still having to deal with one more year filled to the brim with issues, seniors have seen almost all the possible problems high school has.

“[For me, the hardest part of high school has been] senior year,”  Allen said. “Trying to get done everything fast might be the worst and in math, I’m not good at it at all.”

Though school might be a pain to most people, not all parts of high school are are completely intolerable.

“[What I find the easiest in school is] English, it gets a lot easier over the years,” Allen said. “Instead of just having to do essays after essays, it gets simpler.”

With high school coming to a close, the future of seniors can be bright, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any fear within them.

“[I’m scared of] graduating,” Allen said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do after I graduate.”

With a final bow, the long journey of high school comes to a close. What the future entails is still a mystery, but through the trials and tribulation, students become the future leaders of tomorrow, the story of high school ends and the curtains close.