Back in the Groove: A Look at 9th Grade


Victor Montilla , Student Writer

Going back to school is fun and exciting. It doesn’t matter whether you are in preschool or high school, everyone is looking forward to the first day of school.  However, first days can be awkward and nerve-racking too – new school, new teachers, new schedule, new subjects, and the list goes on. Adjusting to an unfamiliar environment takes a while, and in that period of transition things can be a bit challenging. To learn more about everyone’s transition to ninth grade, interviews were conducted to learn more about how our incoming freshmen feel as a part of the class of 2025.

The jump from middle school to high school can be quite intimidating. For a start, Windsor High is physically bigger than Sage Park. Bigger buildings mean larger crowds. Larger crowds mean busy hallways. Busy hallways mean more time to get from one class to another. Hence, familiarizing oneself with the room assignments before the start of the semester was extremely helpful for many students who attended the freshman orientation this summer. For most ninth graders, the year has been off to a good start. It’s amazing that high schoolers are now given the choice to select their own classes depending on their skills and interests. Luckily, Windsor High offers a wide range of courses from woodworking to healthcare to help students explore other careers and discover job opportunities. With that being said, many have begun to realize that high school course loads are more intensive. Students are encouraged to become more independent in handling schoolwork, which makes the transition overwhelming for many. Gabby Gartrell is one of these students, sharing that “[she’s] constantly occupied with work. In high school, there are high expectations for students and others aren’t going to help you out.” I myself agreed that the first few weeks were hard to manage, and many other freshmen felt the same.

What made this ninth-grade transition unique from previous years was that many students haven’t stepped into a classroom since March of 2020. With remote and hybrid learning, adjusting to high school life has been a bit complicated. Miles Jeffers pointed out that “[his] biggest concern with returning after hybrid learning last year was the lack of quality social interaction because of the cohort system. In doing so, [he] find[s] it harder to maintain relationships with new people.” I personally could relate to this. Myself and many other freshmen initially had a hard time getting back on track after having sat in front of a Chromebook with no social interaction other than a quick hello in the chat for an entire academic year.

These students were also asked to give personal advice to other freshmen to make their high school transition easier.  Sam Garcia’s response was especially moving, suggesting, “Take chances, be involved. Make sure you embrace every opportunity Windsor High offers. Learn everything the school teaches. Enjoy these four years before you need to go to college, face the real world in its whole. I know that every single person in this school has the potential to do something meaningful for the world. You just need to work hard every day to get to that goal, whatever it may be Even though sometimes you just want to lay in bed and sleep, you need to put in that extra effort, get that A, embrace, and learn all the skills the school teaches to get to the point in your life to be able to succeed.”

Transitioning is a process, it’s not a one-day event. Most importantly, it can take as long as you need it to. To any freshman, please remember that the administrators, school staff, teachers, and your own friends are here to make your high school journey a wonderful experience.

Special thanks to Sam Garcia, Miles Jeffers, and Gabby Gartrell for agreeing to participate on such short notice.