Upcoming ninth graders: get ready to spend more time working than sleeping. The unrealistic expectations middle schoolers have on 9th grade are more freedom and the independence that comes along with being treated as an adult. As the first day of the most challenging era approached, many forgot about the strict classes and monotonous work once they obtained freedom, causing them to rest upon a pile of never ending assignments by the end of the first week. “How hard can it be. It’s the first year of high school,” thought Natalie Abramowitz, a hard working freshman that was completely unaware of the demanding requirements of this crucial year. Many believed the year would be simple while others such as Mauricio Fuhrman understood that, “There will be higher standards for our reading, writing, and mathematical abilities. Our teachers want us to start off high school strong and expect a lot from us. This year is our chance to obtain astounding grades while building relationships with mentors.” As opinions among freshmen vary, it is clear their “expectations were nothing like the reality,” Abramowitz stated. The pressure, assignments, and formative assessments have to be completed with hard work and dedication, which many believed wouldn’t be required as the year approached.
Students entered the first day of school with a positive mindset, determined to try their hardest because of what their parents, teachers, and themselves expected out of the year. As Dana Croitorescu explained, “The second I stepped onto the campus, I could feel the pressure crushing my shoulders and the diverse classes tormenting my brain like a category five hurricane. Courses that were once insignificant became so rigorous and demanding. This year is no year to slack off; It’s a year to work, improve, and adapt to this continuous cycle of work.” Again, the 9th graders are hugely impacted by the change from middle to high school. Danna Fischbach says, “The amount of work is incomparable. High school is a different world full of opportunities and challenges. It has a harder grading system, harsher teachers, and a greater amount of classes designed to push us to exceed our limits.”
Although the amount of work has been overpowering throughout the first months, the freshmen can not deny how much fun this year has been so far. “There are cool assemblies, activities to help us get closer as a grade, and of course the Israel trip which we are all ecstatic for,” added Natalie Abramowitz. The hard work and determination the 9th graders posses is compensated by the school’s effort to make the tremendous amount of work bearable. Mauricio Fuhrman happily says that his “Work comes before anything, and Hillel really does try to facilitate this drastic change for us students. They do this through fun assemblies, cool sports teams, and our lunch break, which gives us a chance to take a break from the world around us.”
These students are still adapting to the amount of pressure and work in high school, what seems like a whole different world. This will result in the students pushing further than their limits and becoming the best they can be, both academically and personally. How one handles this amount of pressure determines many aspects of one’s life, as this won’t be the only time we go through major changes. “We’re going to do the best that we can do and always have a positive attitude,” said the students altogether, proving their desire to succeed this coming year.