Starting a new year of high school: It's Complicated

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Monday, September 21, 2015, 8:48 am
Danny Kaplowitz

The passage of Labor Day and first snap of cold weather mean one thing for students across the state of Michigan: back to school.

As alarms are set, assignments are hurried through, and backpacks are packed, the return to school is different for each student. Right here in East Lansing, I found a vast diversity of thoughts on coming back to the hallowed halls of ELHS.


Junior Carina Arnosti, for one, did not find the return at all pleasant. “I would say my first week was much harder and way more stressful than I expected,” she begins. “It’s been difficult finding a balance between school work and extracurricular activities, [and] I don’t fully wake up until around third hour.” The stress of school, in fact has so gotten to her that she says she had a nervous breakdown on just the fourth day of school: “Friday right after school, I stared laughing hysterically, which turned into sobbing. I still have no idea what happened.” As for its cause, Arnosti is unsure, but partially blames the early start for interrupting her normal sleep schedule, as well as the stress of a full course load.


In contrast, Betoul Ali (also a junior) feels that her start to the year was better than she anticipated. That said, she also feels she misjudged her workload. “With some classes I underestimated the amount of work I’d get assigned. While some teachers understood that it was the beginning of school and students were just getting back into the swing of things, others wanted to jump right in as they thought we didn't have any time to waste. “ She too had some struggle adjusting to the early start, but admits, “I’ve gotten used to it very quickly.” As for her day’s high points, she points to classes that allow creative expression to some degree, like AP English Language and Psychology.


Sophomore Konrad Rauscher actually enjoyed his first weeks back. “I’m really excited for what I’m going to learn in my classes, and I’m also glad that I have several friends in most.” The early start also didn’t seem to bother him. “I’d been getting up around 9:00 for the week or so before, so it wasn’t that much earlier. Having to wake up at all is my issue, not the early time.” He does agree that the homework was more than he anticipated, though: “I kind of expected to not have much homework the first week, but some of my AP teachers started assigning it right away. I guess it was a little harder than I expected, but not by much.


Senior Arturo Ruffin says he feels the start to his last year has been pretty good, as compared to his anticipation. “It’s easier than [I] expected with both my classes and with waking up early,” he says. Despite this ease, though, he doesn’t find school too great, claiming that generally, “it’s all been pretty mediocre.” The one struggle, he continues, is preparation for his college orchestra auditions.

All in all, the students of ELHS are settling in to the school year. Getting used to long days and nights filled with work and extracurricular activities can be hard, but as summer turns to fall, we all, in our own way, remember what it is like to be a person in high school.

And though sometimes the mountains of homework seem bleak, High Schoolers everywhere can remind themselves, as they’ve always done, “Only 270 days until summer”. © 2013-2020 East Lansing Info