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Highs and lows of freshmen's first week

August 29, 2006|by NICK RITCHICK

Here goes another school year. For some of us, it's returning to the same school again and doing basically the same things over again.

While for other people, like me, this year is going to be something brand new. This year, I'm a freshman at North Hagerstown High School. After my first day of school, I just had one thought on my mind: I wonder what everyone else's first taste of high school was like.

So to answer this question, my editor and I hit the streets - OK, it was really Valley Mall - on Friday in search of freshmen to talk with.

The first two people we met were Brandon Shawyer and Joey Keith, both 14 and both freshmen at South Hagerstown High School. Brandon said the best part of high school was getting new teachers. Joey said his favorite class was social studies. Brandon didn't agree.

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"Social studies is the worst, only because it's a little boring," he said.

We found Sam Kersey, 14, a South High freshman sitting with a group of friends. He said his first week was, "alright, I guess. We've got four 90-minute periods, which makes the days seem longer." So far, his favorite class is biology. He can't wait to do some experiments.

Near Sam we found Elise Sweeney, 14, also a freshman at South High. She mentioned that her favorite class is French, she said that she would like to go to France one day. She said she didn't worry about older students treating her badly.

"I hang with freshmen, but I have a lot of older friends," she said.

Carlisha Smith, 14, a North High freshman, and some friends were walking near a school bus on display in the mall. She said North was not a big change from her old school.

"High school is just like middle school, but bigger and more packed," she said. "In middle school, we had 90-minute classes."

Carlisha got lucky; she has a lot of her friends in her physical education class, making it her favorite class.

As for me, I don't know anyone in any of my classes, which at first was kind of strange, but I'm learning to adjust.

Morgan Minifield, 14, and Sarah Eby, also 14, both go to North High, and are friends with Carlisha. They both came to the same conclusion: High school offers more freedom to be involved in clubs, sports, teams, etc.

As we were about to leave the mall, we ran into an old friend of mine, Kelsey Trostle, 14, and her friend Jordan Ambrose. They are both freshmen at Clear Spring High School, which seems to be less crowded than North and South.

"Clear Spring is not packed," Kelsey said. "But it takes time to get around."

One low point for Kelsey this week had nothing to do with classes.

"I almost got smushed by a teacher," she said. "I was walking behind him and then he started backing up."

Other than that, Kelsey and Jordan seemed to have a good first week.

It seems that the freshmen we spoke with like their new schools. Hopefully, it stays this good the rest of the year.

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