Sophomore supremacy

10th grade at Texas High offers the best experience

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Photo by Abby Elliott

In the roller coaster of ups and downs that high school offers, these eight reasons supporting sophomore supremacy make it clear 10th graders are in a great position. For the most part, sophomores get away with using their remaining youth to avoid responsibility and emerging adulthood to justify their freedoms. 

Story by Doug Kyles, staff writer

While they may not be as optimistic as freshmen, as dedicated as juniors, or as mature as seniors, sophomores are in the high school sweet-spot, the “Goldilocks Zone,” of all four years at Texas High. Tenth grade offers important advantages and an environment that makes all other years seem dull by comparison.

While some would consider 10th grade the dull sequel in the high school saga, here are eight reasons, some serious, several satirical, why the sophomore experience is superior to all others. 

1. Freshman year is all behind you. The days of frantically searching for classes, finding one’s identity, and desperately clinging onto middle school friends are over (hopefully). By now, odds are the campus is a second home for you, or at the very least, not as big and scary as it was freshman year.

2. You are no longer the enemy. Let’s face it, few people can look back on themselves as freshmen and avoid cringing. The fact that freshmen are often seen as pests or glorified middle schoolers (and treated as such) doesn’t go far to make memories of the year fond. Now, as sophomores, you have gained the privilege of pretending you’re better than those trying to survive their first year, even if you were in the same position just a few months ago.

3. With driving comes tremendous freedom. For most students, sophomore year means driving for the first time. After the infamous test is completed, you have complete freedom to go wherever you want whenever you please, right? Well, not exactly. While you may not be able to stay out until 1:00 a.m., the days of mom chauffeuring you in her minivan are largely over, and that’s something to be thankful for.

4. Coursework is challenging, not crushing. Freshman year may have left you wondering if your middle school teachers were exaggerating about the difficulty of high school, but they weren’t. It’s just that the higher level classes that strike fear into students everywhere haven’t been offered yet. In sophmore year, truly challenging AP classes make their debut for most. (Although those forced to take AP Art History freshman year have unfortunately already been familiarized. Thanks for that academic advice, Dad.) Luckily, many courses do not offer the most challenging levels by 10th grade.

5. All play and no work. All high schoolers are in a middle-ground between their care-free childhoods and the responsibilities of adulthood, but for sophomores, they are even more so. By sophomore year, all the freedoms of upperclassmen are available without the responsibility they face, because most sophomores don’t have jobs and won’t until they are older. Long hours of working is a worry for the future for 10th graders, not a current problem.

6. You haven’t lost all motivation yet. Senioritis is a serious affliction, but one that, like the name suggests, mainly preys upon upperclassmen. By sophomore year, the work you’ve put in is significant, but not enough to have drained you completely. For most, the goals and hope that was formed from freshman year has survived up until this point. To their credit, sophomores are gullible enough to believe that every assignment will be the most challenging yet and the class they are worried about will get easier any second now. 

7. The college process is an inevitable danger, not an immediate one. When and where to start with the monstrous college application process? Well, not yet. As a sophomore, one can keep telling themselves they have all the time in the world before they have to worry about their future outside of high school, and be right in part, because 10th grade is just far enough away from graduation that it is useless to worry. 

8. Joining Publications. Sophomore year is the year one is eligible to join Texas High Publications. What awaits you is a world of editors not responding on Trello, constant rewrites on stories that you just can’t seem to get right, and hours spent on stories that seemed simple when you pitched them. But last for even a short while on the Tiger Times staff or in the photography studio, and you will quickly feel the satisfaction of a finished story, making the struggle worth it all the while. 

In the roller coaster of ups and downs that high school offers, these eight reasons supporting sophomore supremacy make it clear 10th graders are in a great position. For the most part, sophomores get away with using their remaining youth to avoid responsibility and emerging adulthood to justify their freedoms.