The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

Underclassmen vs Upperclassmen

Students share their insights and advice on grade level experiences
Graphic Courtesy | Julian Early

Being an underclassmen is way different than being an upperclassmen. Personally, as a junior, I think that being an upperclassman is more difficult than being an underclassman, but ultimately, that’s up to you to decide.

I interviewed upperclassmen and underclassmen and asked them to share the pros and cons of their grade level and some advice that they would give to future upper and underclassmen.
First up, I interviewed Juniors, Taeyang Lee and Allie Harris, and Seniors Odysse Plumridge and Michelle Borodyansky and asked them some questions about being upperclassmen.

What has been the best part of being an upperclassmen? All of them gave different pros to being an upperclassmen. Lee (11) said, “It’s nice knowing that I am not a freshman.” Harris (11) said, “There are more people that are involved and participate in spirit days.” Plumridge (12) said, “Getting to have all of the classes you want and having a little more priority with counselors.” Borodyansky (12) said, “I like being familiar with the school, it feels good to know you’re returning somewhere. It makes the school feel like another home.”

What has been the hardest thing about being an upperclassman? All of them explained how you have to take your upperclassmen years seriously because the classes are harder and you have to start thinking about colleges and also it being the fourth year that they have been at school. Lee (11) said, “The classes are way harder than classes that underclassmen take.” Harris (11) said, “Having to prepare for outside of high school.” Plumridge (12) said, “Having to plan for the future such as college.” Borodyansky (12) said, “Waking up early every day and having to come to school for the fourth year in a row.”

What’s one piece of advice you would give to future upperclassmen? The Juniors mentioned to study hard and start trying to figure out what you want and don’t want as well as being open minded about trying new things. Lee (11) said, “Studying hard because you don’t want to lose track of your studies and get poor grades when you’re about to graduate.” Harris (11) said, “Start figuring out soon what you do and don’t like, take classes that you normally wouldn’t have the option to take, and just try new things.” The Seniors shared that you should stay organized and make sure to keep up with the work, but also make sure to be involved in some way in school. Plumridge (12) said, “Staying organized and staying on top of your work.” Borodyansky (12) said, “To do more activities and be more involved in school.”

Do you think it is harder being an underclassman or upperclassman and why? Taeyang, Allie, and Michelle feel that being an upperclassman is harder because of the stress and having to think about the future, while Odysse thinks that being an underclassmen is harder because those aren’t the best years of high school. Lee (11) said, “I think it’s harder being an upperclassman because it’s more stressful.” Harris (11) said, “I would say that it is harder to be upperclassmen because you have more pressure on you and some of your mistakes start to define your future self.” Plumridge (12) said, “Being underclassmen is harder because those are not great years.” Borodyansky (12) said, “I think it’s harder to be an upperclassman because I think that all of the excitement of being in high school goes away.”

What’s something you wish you knew before being upperclassmen? Lee (11) said, “Care about your grades more because when I was an underclassman I didn’t care about my grades.” Harris (11) said, “It’s okay to make mistakes and make sure that you find a close group of friends.” Plumridge (12) said, “It’s not as hard as people make it seem.” Borodyansky (12) said, “To do more school activities.”

Next, I interviewed Freshman Evelyn Reyes Leon and Caroline Ruiz Vargas, and Sophomores Kaitlin Pham and Ivy Nguyen about being underclassmen.

What has been the best part of being an underclassmen? All of them emphasized that not having as much work and responsibilities as upperclassmen is the best part of being an underclassmen. Leon (9) said, “The best part of being underclassmen is learning things from upperclassmen.” Vargas (9) said, “Their helpful teachers and friends, and it’s really easy to find classes.” Pham (10) said, “You have fewer responsibilities especially because when you are an upperclassman you have to start thinking about college, so I think being underclassmen is easier.” Nguyen (10) said, “Not having to take the SATs.”

What has been the hardest thing about being an underclassmen? Evelyn, Caroline, and Ivy mentioned that some students are rough and that there are many people that are much taller than you which makes it hard to get to your classes, while Kaitlin talked about how being involved in ASB means that you are expected to be as mature as upperclassmen are. Leon (9 )said, “Everyone being taller than you and forgetting which part of the building you are supposed to be at.” Vargas (9) said, “Sometimes the kids here are a little rough.” Pham (10) said, “I am the sophomore class president, so I have to be put with the upperclassmen in leadership, so I have the same expectations as the upperclassmen when I am in leadership.” Nguyen (10) said, “Getting picked on by some of the upperclassmen.”

What’s one piece of advice you would give to future underclassmen? Although all of them gave different advice, they are all super helpful for future underclassmen who don’t know what to expect. Leon (9) said, “Just to be yourself, don’t try to be cool because at the end of the day, it’s not gonna make you look cool, it’s gonna make you look silly.” Vargas (9) said, “Make a lot of friends, talk to a lot of people, don’t be shy, and make sure to get to school on time so you can find your classes.” Pham (10) said, “Not to worry too much about your grades, where it is the only thing you focus on.” Nguyen (10) said, “Don’t get picked on by upperclassmen.”

What’s something you wish you had known before being underclassmen? All of the underclassmen expressed their shock when they realized high school is way different than they expected it to be. Leon (9) said, “How much work you are going to get.” Vargas (9) said, “High school isn’t as hard as people make it out to be.” Pham (10) said, “It’s not what you would expect, but it’s not that bad.” Nguyen (10) said, “High school is nothing like you imagine.”

One of the great things about being an upperclassman is getting priority and having more people involved in spirit days, however, with that comes a lot of stress and having to prepare for the future. So to future upperclassmen, although right now is a little rough, the next years get better and they will get stressful at times, but overall you will enjoy your upperclassmen years better than your underclassmen years.



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Erika Kerimova
Erika Kerimova, Managing Editor
Hey guys! My name is Erika Kerimova and I am a Junior. I am the Managing Editor this year and this is my third year in journalism. I decided to join journalism because I thought it would be a good way to meet new people and improve my writing and design skills. My favorite article that I have written so far is the twin story or the immigrant parent’s story.
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