When looking at high school years, it seems that each year has a clear purpose – freshmen are new to high school and are getting used to new routines, juniors are beginning to look at colleges, and seniors are thinking about their futures and enjoying their final year of high school before college. But, where does that leave the sophomores?
Sophomore year is seen by many as a “relaxed” year. According To Nicole Manilich (`11), “It’s a more relaxed year because we aren’t worried about college yet, but we are used to the school.” In this sense, it is less stressful than freshman year because freshmen are new to high school, and many are new to Gilmour. They may still be adjusting to the differences between high school and middle school. Also, as stated by Manilich, many sophomores feel there are no pressures about college yet, so sophomores are able to focus more on other things.
Maggie Cole (`12) thinks, “Sophomore year is probably the quiet year because no one seems to say much about it.” Kaitlin Futey (`11) states, “Sophomore year is quiet because we have to focus more on grades and studying.”
Sophomores have the opportunity to try new electives or classes, or finish other requirements for graduation, because they still have two more years of high school. They may want to finish all their graduation requirements early in order to be able to take an extra free block or an extra elective in their upperclassmen years.
Students can also use sophomore year to try a new club or sport that they may not have known about or had a chance to participate in freshman year. When asked about sophomore year, many students talked about respect from their peers. For example, Claire Wagner (`11) says, “You’re not the youngest, so no one picks on you, but you’re not respected yet.”
Matt Reesing (`12), looking ahead to sophomore year, states, “You will have a year of experience, but you are still earning the respect of your peers.”
A common consideration is also class camaraderie. Matt Pender (`11) believes sophomore year “is easier because you already know everyone.” Knowing your classmates seems to make the year more enjoyable for most students. Many students also considered sophomore year a good time to meet the incoming freshmen and upperclassmen. Looking back on sophomore year, Brandi Lawrence (`09) says, “It is the climax year. You know your class, and you know more about the school.”
Sophomore year is a “quiet” year for many students because of the increased focus on studying, but they enjoy it because there is no college stress yet, and because of the new opportunities that they did not have freshman year.