Oak Ridge

Sophomore Suffering

If you thought freshman year was tough, you’re really in for a treat. The constant stress of grades, sports, and adapting to new social situations take a large toll on the daily life of students. However, overcoming the seemingly never ending challenges is possible.

With growing age comes many difficulties, and one of the largest problems students face is the race for success in classes. Sophomore year carries many optional advanced courses and is the first year that   presents the option for AP classes.  Many students feel the need to push themselves in school, for factors of parent expectations, college stresses, and many others. Advanced classes are difficult to completely succeed in.. Fortunately, focus, determination, and good habits aid in keeping the grade desired. AP World, the World History class offered sophomore year, brings a large workload, demands studying, and finishes the year off with an AP Exam. Time management and good study habits help throughout the year, as do pushing oneself to focus and do you best. AP Exams are indeed hectic, but with good preparation, it can be a breeze.  Also, colleges begin to look at GPA and grades sophomore year. While most colleges disregard freshman year grades, this is a new concept for many. It is more important though to stay calm, rather than stressed when all you can do is your best. Believe everything happens for a reason and work as hard as possible.

Sports can be both a fun and stressful pastime for students at Oak Ridge High School as well. Sophomore year can be tough as it is without the pressures of sports weighing in. There is too much pressure put on kids to excel in their sports while still being expected to do well in school and still have a social life. Sophomore year is critical in several ways, this is especially true for sports. When asked what the most stressful part of sports as a sophomore is, student athlete Ryan Carpenter replied: “time management was extremely difficult my sophomore year because I had hours upon hours of practice, plus school and homework, and then trying to fit some sleep in; it was very stressful and difficult at times.” This shows that students are stressed and teachers, friends, and parents need to take notice of the situation. Coaches need to be more understanding of their athlete’s needs by possibly decreasing hours of practice. Teachers can also pitch in by giving more time in class for work. It is important that everyone understand the amount of pressure student athletes are put under so we can help make the situation better for everyone.

Friends are a huge aspect of one’s life, and as a sophomore at Oak Ridge it is important that you have the right friends by your side. Sophomore year is very important, and with that there are many struggles throughout. Distance between friends is easily created and when the stress of sophomore year hits, it’s easier for friends to drift apart. Even though friends are lost throughout the year,  it happens for a reason. Being a part of a whole new friend group means that old friends were never real friends. Losing old friends suck, but throughout high school you know you can always count on your real friends. Another thing about sophomore year at ORHS is the “social ranking”. What this means is that as a sophomore you are now welcomed, not entirely an outcast. You are no longer a baby freshman or a someone no one likes. You are an acceptable person at Oak Ridge. Sophomore year brings new opportunities, like sitting in the cafeteria (“the Caf”) with the older kids and being more included by upperclassmen at times. When sitting and hanging out there you can socialize with all the grades, and make the friends that will have your back in the future. When asking Jackson Slaughter what it was like being a freshman and then a sophomore this is how he replied, “I’m not going to lie, freshman year sucked. As soon as I began to sit in the caf my sophomore year, I made tons of new friends, felt like i finally fit in, and felt so much more included. My friend group changed a ton and it was a good decision hanging out with the new people.” Remember that you should always chose your friends wisely, make sure they are good influences, and of course make sure they treat you well and that you are happy. Friendships are everywhere, from sports to the classroom, and are willing to make new friendships at any time.

Throughout all the pain, sophomore year is a learning experience. Things like growing, learning, focusing, working hard, being patient, and being yourself will get you through alive. Overall, it will be challenging, but the most fun year yet.

Article by Kashtin Holly, Kelly Owens, and Taylor Pollard

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