Along with a lot of other semi-offensive definitions, Freshmanitis is described by Urban Dictionary as “when freshmen hang out with seniors who talk about senioritis, and they believe they have any reason to be sick of high school.”
Even though it seems absurd to feel completely done with high school a mere hundred-eighty days in, Freshmanitis is definitely an epidemic, and it’s spreading.
I have this theory that Freshmanitis is not as much feeling annoyed with high school, as feeling fearful of all the new work and tired of the place that you’re in on the high school food chain.
Around this time of year, most freshmen are experiencing their first set of cumulative finals. I’ve gotten lucky enough to take these hellish tests since sixth grade because of prep school. But for most students, this is the first time in their life when they feel their own real “high school workload” illustrated in parenting magazines and high school movies. It’s a scary feeling, kind of like you’re, yes, drowning even when you can see the shore, and your senior friends standing on it in triumph.
Realizing that you have three more years of this same feeling of dread is pretty discouraging- but, dear freshmen, it is not the end of the world. Contrary to popular belief, high school will end.
And even after high school, there will most likely be a time in your life when you look back on what you thought was unbearable amounts of work and laugh at how naive you actually were during this time in your life. Of course, I can only speak of this in speculation. I’m comparing it off of what I thought of as hard from the first time that I felt like I was “sinking”, during those sixth grade finals. But, if I’m comparing to that, back then seems pretty insignificant as compared to now.
I’m not telling you this to imply that it’s all downhill from here, and that you can pretty much just assume that the rest of your high school and lifelong career are going to be building levels of work.
I’m saying that you learn how to put one foot in front of another, and how to take a deep breath and come to know that in the scheme of things, three more years is nothing.
With that said, I’ve been scrolling/stalking/procrastinating with #UVAgrad during graduation season and still, even with my confidence in my high school future, feeling pretty ready to move onto bigger and better things than high school. I’m a person who genuinely loves where they go to school, even our workload and wasteful sprinklers, and it’s been hard to deal with the feeling of immeasurable doom during the spring trimester.
I feel like the end of freshman year is taunting; you’re right on the edge of being sixteen and driving and not being considered the bottom of the pecking order, but you’re still not quite there. You’re just as exhausted and ready to leave as the rest of the student body, but you get pushed to the back burner because it’s easy to dish on freshmen.
It’s pretty rough feeling like you’re not really part of whatever everybody else is talking about, and that’s how most everybody I know categorizes freshman year.
But, going back to what I said: this is not what you will feel like forever, and someday, sooner than you probably think, you will go to college or travel the world or get a job, and freshman end of year jitters will be that little tiny speck on your timeline. And if far off aspirations like those seem a little bit too out there for you to picture, Summer is right on the horizon; you just have to get through this last little bit of work.
Pro tip: when you’re really unhappy that you have to take finals, take selfies instead.
So, on that note- clean out last years binders and appreciate that even though being a high school student is hard.
And remember when you’re wishing for post-college life,
adults have to work through summer.