Freshman Jitters and Crowns with Glitter
August 21, 2017
Approximately 3,500 students and 142 faculty members returned to Coral Gables Senior High on Aug.21 to begin the 2017-2018 school year. New teachers, students and classes all form part of the experience of a brand-new year. Although these are factors that unify all students regardless of grade level, each grade begins the year feeling very differently than those younger and older than them.
Freshmen have perhaps the most daunting year ahead of them. Most first-year students hail from middle schools that are smaller and have a strictly regimented structure that is long ways away from the more independent and competitive environment seen in high schools. Gables offers a traditional high school experience, meaning sporting events and pep rallies are a central part of school life, something which is very new to freshmen. To the surprise of most newcomers, the Coral Gables marching band marched through the hallways in all their glory on the first day, something unheard of in most middle schools. To distinguish the ninth graders from the rest of the population, one must only search for doe-eyed students with confused and overwhelmed looks on their faces. The colossal size of Gables and constant activity can be very intimidating for freshmen, but most look forward to this first part of their four-year journey.
“Although I got lost twice, I wasn’t late to any of my classes. Everybody was very helpful and even made some new friends but mainly remained within my friend group” said freshmen Isabella Villarroel.
Seeing as sophomores have had a year of experience in a high school setting, they enter this new chapter much more confidently than they did as freshmen. For them, the first day means returning to a familiar place, getting reacquainted with friends they haven’t seen since school let out and the exciting prospect of not knowing what this year will bring. Most look forward to re-joining clubs, assuming leadership positions and being much more involved in all aspects of the school.
Junior year is said to be the most challenging year of all and justifiably so. The SAT, ACT and the beginning of the college process come front and center for the first time. For most students, especially those in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the stress and challenge of a full load of college-level courses come into play, all the while getting acclimated to unfamiliar teaching styles that come with high-level classes.
“My first day was really relaxed even though I don’t expect IB to be easy. My teachers are great and hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with everything IB throws at me.” said junior Kade Marriot
It’s the Seniors who are most easily spotted on the first day, seen rocking their senior crowns throughout the hallways. These crowns are meant to not only reflect the excitement and privilege that comes with being the oldest in the school but the students’ personality and unique flair as well. Many use glitter, feathers, and other attention-grabbing decorations to make a statement. This first day is often bittersweet, seeing as it is the last before college, but the prospect of graduation looming ahead often overshadows this melancholy feeling.
The first day brings a whirlwind of emotions: joy, confusion, frustration, excitement and even sadness for those who reminisce upon the freedom summer offered them. Regardless of what students feel as they enter the halls of Coral Gables Senior High, one thing holds true: the 2017-2018 school year is one that will be filled be with a plethora of different experiences for all grade levels. All students regardless of grade level feel jubilant when Gables’ sports teams win, their classmates succeed and they achieve the A they so desperately wanted. Regardless of what activities students participate in and what classes they take, all are united by the passion they share for being a Cavalier.