Triumphs and Defeats: the Epic Highs and Lows of Sophomore Year

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Sana Khan, Staff Writer

Some may describe high school as a place where “self-esteem, innocence, and dreams go to die.”

I cannot say I disagree with this description, as I agree to an extent, but I feel that this overlooks the positives of high school (surprisingly, there are some).

As a sophomore, this is my first year at Ward Melville. Hence, a lot of things are new for me. Over the course of the first two months here, I have been able to grasp the concept of high school and have a glimpse of what is in store for me.

First, I must address the elephant in the room. Is high school any different from junior high? Yes, it is. Your grades now count towards your future, so you may start looking at that 85 in math class and realize Harvard isn’t for you. In addition, sports have greater significance here. Being all-divisions, all-counties, and even all-state winners is the goal. In junior high, you either won or lost. In high school, it’s about being top in your division and county. It’s about getting that scholarship to Stanford, or any D1 school out there. So, all in all, high school requires much more effort.

On a positive note, Ward Melville has a variety of clubs, which is much more compared to the measly fifteen clubs that no one attended in junior high. Here, people can explore different career paths and subjects they are interested in. DECA, SciO, HOSA, MUN, Mock Trial and more have provided students with the opportunity to learn about different fields and, in some cases, to represent Ward Melville in conferences or competitions. This gives students personal experiences that can aid in career development. Clubs such as Kaleidoscope and Cinnabar have provided student writers with the ability to showcase their artistic side. Boards, such as 3V-IAB, have given students the ability to interact with the local business community. Overall, the clubs at Ward Melville are a huge step up from junior high. 

As a member of the Ward Melville Girls Varsity Tennis team, this year I found sports to be exciting, although it was very time-consuming.

Somedays I would get home past 8 p.m. because of long matches. However, the people I met and the friendships that I made gave my experience with the team more value. Even after the season, I spent time with my teammates, as I met some of my closest friends through the tennis team. After a hard and stressful day at school, tennis provided me with a calm and friendly environment which helped boost my mood.

Overall, I prefer high school sports over middle school sports because personally, they are of greater value. I met more people through high school and also took part in a higher level of competition. This pushed me to work harder, in comparison to how I slacked off during the season in junior high. So if you’re reading this and thinking of trying a high school sport, go for it! 

However, I must take into consideration that my experience was hindered by COVID-19, as I spent eighth, ninth, and now tenth grade living through a pandemic. Compared to me, the upperclassmen had a completely different junior high experience. 

But all in all, from my experience, high school so far is significantly better than the entirety of middle school.

Although high school can sometimes be terrifying and stressful, it has provided me with more opportunities in two months than junior high did in three years.