What they don’t tell you about sophomore year

Everybody talks about the pressure and anxiety associated with junior year, but they often fail to mention the transition from freshman to sophomore year. Today, many students don’t feel prepared for their classes, and teachers can confirm. 

COVID-19 brought about a lot of changes for students with online school, and a general lack of work ethic. “Covid definitely ruined people’s work ethic. Because everything was online, I didn’t have to study for anything and most of my tests and quizzes were open note and so I didn’t have academic integrity at all,” Savannah Seawell, a sophomore at Montclair High School said.

The transition to in-person learning was difficult for students, but teachers did their part in making it comfortable, especially for the class of 2025. This allowed many of them to ease into high school, however, it did not properly prepare them for what was to come in 10th grade. 

Ninth Grade Academy, the freshman building at Montclair High School, is set up to provide freshmen with a climate that makes the transition easier emotionally, academically, and socially as stated on the Montclair school website. Although this allows incoming freshmen to ease into classes, it gives them the wrong impression of what the rest of their high school career will look like.

“More students are not coping with the workload, and they feel that the teachers should adjust to those expectations, rather than them rising to the occasion,” MHS chemistry honors teacher, Ms. Panchekha said.

Since we were remote for so long, many students came into high school expecting the workload to accommodate them. Many students brought that mindset into sophomore year, without considering the consequences that would come with it.

Avoiding this problem is easier said than done. “Advice I have for freshman is to know how to manage your time, learn how to study,” Julia Lynch sophomore at MHS, said.

The best way to prepare for the upcoming years of high school is to start building good habits and good relationships with teachers. “When people say classes are very hard and [a] significant commitment, they are telling the truth. If you don’t like a subject, don’t take the highest [level] class [offered],” Seawell said. 

If a student is not prepared to dedicate themselves to rigorous courses and adapt to the workload, it might be best for students to be more cautious during sophomore year when choosing these classes.