By: Bryanna Major, Sophomore; Nahia Pino, Sophomore; Zykeria Rolle, Sophomore
Sophomore year is the forgotten middle child of the school year. The freshmen have the beginning of highschool, juniors worry about SAT, and seniors have college applications and the looming adulthood to worry about. Meanwhile, sophomore year is an experience entirely dependent on the student. So when we asked student for their experience, their answers greatly varied.
Most students thought that sophomore was going to be less stressful. As second year students now used to the high school lifestyle after the experimental freshman year, sophomores find themselves in a familiar rhythm. Adam Weinberg told us, “It was better than last year. The classes were harder, but I already had experience with dealing with all of work so I was able to deal with more stressful situations than 9th grade.” Ella Rabinno said, “ It was a lot better than last year. I felt like everyone kinda calm down a bit and weren't as hectic like ‘Oh my god its high school.’ I also think that we kind of got to know each other better and know limits and boundaries to each other.”
Some students have the opposite experience, particularly those tackling their first Advanced Placement classes. Most sophomores take Psychology or Statistics as electives, but the name AP alone is enough for many to stress. Eden Shimunova, for example, told us that “It was a very stressful year. I didn't like how there was a lot of work.” However, one bonus is that the AP teachers are familiar because Mr.Sultz (AP Psych) is the ninth grade World History teacher (AP and honors) and Mrs. Hankollari (AP Stats) is the Geometry teacher.
Even with the difficulty, students showed their resilience, such as Lucy Calvo who said, “I feel like when you’re in the moment, it looks worse at the moment. In freshman year, at the moment it was hard, but looking back [now] it was easy. Same with sophomore year.” Or Yasmin Cobo explains that, “ It was more stressful in freshman year, after working hard in your classes to get good grades you feel relieved in the end. Overall it was a good year.”
Surprisingly, the sophomores’ common sentiment for their greatest challenge came not from AP classes, but from Ms. Keller or her class. Many find her class rigorous, as Gemima states, “Keller’s was the most challenging class despite having AP’s.” Nicole Calero had similar feelings, emphasizing that, “[Sophomore year] was harder because of Ms. Keller,” when we asked. Despite the rigor, students become stronger readers and writers, as Camila Moreno explained, “I liked Keller’s class, because I love analyzing and getting a deeper understanding [of the texts], which she taught us to do very well.”
The most consistent reaction was one of satisfaction. At the end of year, relief reigns. Sophomore year marks the halfway point through high school, which brings us closer to adulthood. Next year, whether we thought this year was challenging or a breeze, sophomore year will always be with us. The late night Membean sessions and the same stressful Mondays are a part of our psyche.
Other sophomore responses:
“I was expecting it to be a lot harder, but now I think I handled it well and am not too scared for next year, except SAT, I’m terrified for that. For incoming sophomores: ‘everybody take physics’.”
- Austin Ronson
“I expected it to be slow, but it went by really quick. My highlight was Spike-it-Up. The hardest part was AP Biology, but the test was not as hard as I thought it would be. I’m excited for next year.”
“It was alright. I didn’t think it was going to be that hard, but it turned out to be just normal, I just procrastinated a lot. I liked the math classes. There was too much homework. I expect next year to be way harder than it is now.”
“Meh, it was okay. It went by pretty fast, I guess that was good. Stressed but not really stressed, if that makes any sense? THE WHOLE YEAR WAS A PARADOX. I was terrified in the beginning, if i'm gonna be honest. Because of things I heard, I was very scared of some new teachers, but once I got there I felt like I got back into the comfort zone and adapted easily. I liked Keller class, because I love analyzing and getting a deeper understanding of a lot of philosophy stuff, since I was already interested in it. I also liked talking with my friends during lunch. AT one point, the teachers would hit you with a bunch of tests and projects in one year so you had to pick what to prioritize, but you get through it. I expect next year to be very intense and stressing because of the new environment in internship, hopefully dual enrolment, and APs. You would think that sophomore year it hard, but next year.”
“I wanted to be more expressive and show my personality. I really loved Iprep; it was very different from China in a good way. More active classes, less homework, and getting taught by Ms. Keller.”
- Yulun Wu
“It was harder and I felt like an actual high schooler. I loved psychology and strongly disliked chemistry.”
- Camila Lopez
“Same as freshman year. Decent. Average.”
“It was fun. There were a lot of new classes, new people, new teachers. I like all the books I read this year and the activities. I feel like we were more involved this year than freshman year.”
“It was busier and funner.”
“Compared to last year, this year was a lot more fun and relaxing. I definitely enjoyed 10th grade more than 9th grade. I'm pretty excited of what the next 2 years hold for me.”
- Sebastian S.
“10th grade was overall a more challenging year, but in other aspects.”
- Sebastian L.
“10th was a distinctive year. It challenged me in all aspects in a good way."
“ You’re older, the classes are slightly harder, there's freshman to give advice to and Keller.”
“If anything, I think the classes got a bit easier. Definitely is a lot less stressful at the end of the year compared to last year.”
“ I would say that sophomore year is good because you know everyone better than freshman year and the classes are easier. Whatever you do, do not take any AP classes on FLVS”