BY LOUIS DENNIN High school isn’t always lollipops and rainbows.  It can be a treacherous environment where only the strong survive, especially for an...



High school isn’t always lollipops and rainbows.  It can be a treacherous environment where only the strong survive, especially for an unwitting freshman who has no idea what’s going on.  Whether you’re an underclassman or a preparing for graduation, it’s likely that a few of these “freshman phobias” have tormented you at some point in your life.

10.  Being smaller than your backpack:

For the most part, as long as you had your lunch and some paper, you were good to go in middle school.  In high school, however, your backpack better be able to haul an anvil, because the textbooks, binders, projects, and extracurricular equipment you’re expected to carry with you may as well be a couple of cinder blocks stapled to your back.  For the wee freshman who weighs as much as his or her books, it’s like being a turtle whose shell is made of lead- but at least it builds character.

9.  Getting lost:

When consulting this year’s freshman class about their biggest fears in high school thus far, the most common answer seemed to be this- and who could blame them?  The majority of CCHS students come from Pioneer, a very square shaped building where just about everything is laid out in a nice grid-like fashion.  Moving from a one-story white square to this three-story, multiple building, confusing room numbering system labyrinth of a high school would disorient even Indiana Jones.  Make sure to bring a map, a compass and a wilderness survival manual, just to be safe.

8.  Being on CTV:

This one doesn’t actually apply to everyone, but to whom it does apply, it’s a very real fear.  We’ve all been that timid freshman just trying to learn the ropes of our new environment; just trying to get by and mind our own business, when suddenly we turn around at lunch to meet face to face with a couple of upperclassmen holding a camera and microphone up to your face.  You now have terrifying opportunity to improvise a response to whatever weird question they may pose upon you, and that response better be funny because all two thousand of your peers might be watching it on Friday.

7.  Upperclassmen:

Walking skyscrapers.  They know the drill; nothing is a surprise to them.  They’ve already nestled themselves into their little cliques and they have a million inside jokes that you’ll never understand.  They know how to survive in this environment, and you do not.  Just remember that they were once just like you- and in time you’ll be just like them.

6.  The bathrooms:

They smell bad, they’re overcrowded, something is always out of order, and they often serve as meeting places for the “campus troublemakers”.  It’s as simple as that.

5.  Love:

Everyone wants to live the dream of a high school romance.  It’s part of our society.  But is it a good idea?  All relationships are different, and some are obviously stronger than others, but most high school “love stories” seem to shatter into a million pieces amidst the constant turmoil of high school life.  Many incoming freshmen are scared that they’ll never find a high school sweetheart, but in all honesty that might make their life a lot easier.  Lonelier, but easier.

4.  AP classes:

Welcome to high school- and college, apparently.  These extra-tough classes are probably the reason why your backpack weighs as much as a grand piano, and why you couldn’t make that hot date last night.  Middle school doesn’t offer classes this stressful, and so it seems that many freshman accidentally fall into the trap of underestimating the workload of AP classes, not knowing the terror lurking beneath that course selection sheet… until it’s too late.

3.  The football team:

Not only are they upperclassmen, but they’re bigger, stronger and cooler than you.  Putting a freshman next to a football star is like putting Barney the dinosaur next to the T-rex from Jurassic Park.  Out of nowhere, freshmen are met with the reality that there are some people in high school that look like Olympians and move like war machines. Clad in armor and a hundred feet tall, the football team is truly an intimidating force of pure muscle.

2.  Making friends:

Some people don’t make good friends until high school, which makes sense because in high school it’s easy to join a club and associate with people who share your passions.  Despite this opportunity, there’s always a notion of uneasiness gnawing at the back of every freshman’s mind.  Being new to a school and new to a group of people, it feels like everyone is judging you at all times- and the worst part is that they probably are, so look alive and try not to do anything too stupid.

1.  Everything:

Each and every student will have different high school experiences, and as a result will be afraid of different things.  Whatever it is about the the high school life that frightens you the most; whatever you stay up at night worrying about, that is the number one place.

If you are a freshman, keep in mind that no matter what this number one place is for you, you’ll get through it, because you’re awesome.