Changes in Freshman Coping Methods from 2019 to 2022


From left to right: Avery Joy (9), Samantha Rodriguez (9), Alayna Ramos (9), and Erica Camarillo all sit at the cafeteria

   Freshmen cope with the transition from middle school to high school in a variety of ways.

   Some of these ways are efficient and help with the students’ career, but others, which are sadly more common, can have more detrimental effects on the students’ education and future. 

    In the 2019-2020 freshman year, there were a number of more complex issues, including the ransomware electronic outage in early fall, leaving the entire RPS205 district without working technology, and the COVID-19 stay at home order in late March. Finding classes on time, talking to new people, and the amount of work given were all challenges, all of which are just a few of the things that many freshmen also struggle with now in 2022.

    “I was isolated in my room for eight hours straight, not talking to anyone,” said senior Eman Arab, who attended school in Dubai until transferring to GHS this year.

    Many of the problems that students have are underlying issues in their home lives, in addition to at school. Almost all students have complicated relationships with family and friends, along with problems that they articulate in their own heads, and many just struggle to grasp information during school.

    “It’s really difficult for people our age to function in a working class all day for eight hours, then go home and do two hours of homework,” said Avery Joy, freshman.

    All of these things can make it hard for anyone to adjust to a new environment, but there are many good things about high school as well. 

    “There is a lot more freedom in high school than middle school,” said Denny Zhang, a freshman who attended Eisenhower Middle School. 

   Zhang says that knowing a lot of people going into freshman year at Guilford has greatly helped his ability to adjust. This is because many eighth graders that attended Eisenhower transitioned to GHS for freshman year.

   Some believe high school students should be held to higher maturity standards, with stricter rules helping to maintain the students’ education, while others think high school should be a more fun-filled “you only live once” type of experience. Some students’ views stand somewhere in the middle.

    “I am in my senior year, and at the end of the day you only live once,” said Arab.

   Nearly 75% of other teenagers agree with her, as was said by Brita Belli, January 30th, 2020 in a Yale news article.

    One major difference between freshmen in 2019 and freshmen in 2022 is the effect that the stay at home order in 2020 had on teenegers’ mental statuses. During this time, face-to-face contact slowed, causing a boom in the world of social media. A total of 203 million people had Snapchat in 2019. In 2020 alone, the app gained 35 million users. By the end of 2021, 319 million people had Snapchat. As of now in 2022, more than 493 million people use Snapchat every day, which was stated in a Statista article, 2022.

    Constantly using a screen to talk to people can have a number of effects on an individual’s mental health, which is just one of the problems that high schoolers have in 2022 that was definitely not as prominent in 2019.

    “I don’t think that there are very many big differences, but I would say that there are more mental health challenges, which I think is a result of the isolation, and people not being taught proper coping skills,” said Ms. Hannah Bowers, who has taught freshman classes since 2019.

    Many teenagers, especially freshmen, have trouble coping with high school. Few are introduced to helpful coping mechanisms, leaving many to spend endless hours on social media instead of completing their homework.

   “I think freshmen will always be freshmen,” said Ms. Bowers.