The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Freshmen Ask, Seniors Answer

Seniors share insight and advice on high school experiences

All students at Royal Oak High School have been freshmen once, for high school is a common experience. Entering high school can seem scary, but graduation can also seem scary. Even though the beginning of high school is different for everyone, the Class of 2024 lost the first year of high school to COVID-19. Students who are now seniors were able to change settings from middle school to high school in the comforts of their home. No struggle to find classes, no struggles in the hallways, and of course, not meeting new people face-to-face. Even so, seniors have coped with a lot of change and adjustment, and were willing to answer questions posed by underclassmen in an effort to help them feel more comfortable at ROHS – something that seniors probably needed when they entered their first full in-person year of high school.

Q: Does the school year get harder?
A: “Yes and no. Each year starts relatively smoothly, and then it peaks in the middle for midterms. That’s pretty much a repeat of the first semester after that, and starts to cool down.” – Jack Novak.
A: “ Junior year was rough. All classes opened up for me and I found it overwhelming.”
– Estela Blanton
A: “As you work your way up the grade levels, your classes do become more advanced.”
– Charlotte Murray

Q: Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?
A:“ Not really, but I want to go into the environmental science field.” – Daniel Panis
A: “I want to be in the entertainment industry, preferably as an animator or in a similar job. I want to make people laugh!” – Jazzy Gittinger

Q: What is something you wish/wished you knew more about?
A: “It’s so much easier to find information about colleges, apply to colleges, and find scholarships than I thought it would be! Walking into high school, it feels like you have this huge expectation of higher education on your shoulders, and not a clue how to achieve it, but applications are online and there are tons of guides for how to write the best personal essay and make your resume stand out. If you have a desired major in mind by the end of junior year, consider assembling a preliminary list of colleges that offer that major to get started on applications at any time.” – Charlotte Murray

Q: What’s something you wish you achieved as a freshman?
A: “Getting more involved!! You build friendships, qualities, and connections that will carry you through high school.” -Megan Haun.

A: “I wish I could’ve joined clubs as a freshman, but I didn’t see how that would work because everything was online (and my Xbox is in the same building I do all my homework in). It was just the lack of social events that I’m upset I missed out on.” – Jazzy Gittinger

A:” I wish I had joined the drama club sooner. Coming into my sophomore year after online school, I was nervous about not having an established in-person friend group. I didn’t think I was ready to join a group of strangers and have to perform in front of them.” – Charlotte Murray

Q: Did you take your first year of high school seriously? Did COVID-19 affect this?

A: “I did take it seriously, but maybe a little too much. I was constantly burnt out trying to keep up with the online assignments. I’m very glad we came back to in-person school when we did.” – Josie Devine

A: “Not really. I spent every class in my pajamas with my camera off and only did the bare minimum to pass the class. Because of being online, it didn’t even feel like school at all.” – Anna Young

A: “I tried my best, but the isolation was just too much of a big change. It made the year hard. The school work itself was pretty manageable, but the conditions we were put in were not.” – Daniel Panis

A: “Yes and no. The online aspect made me a lot less attentive in some classes, but I recognized that the grades I got that year would still matter later down the line, so I put in effort when necessary.”
– Haley Berry

Q. What is considered a “good” GPA?
A: “Anything above a 3.5 is a GPA that colleges will be looking for.” – Max Willey
A:¨Your best efforts stemming from your most sustainable work ethic will earn you a GPA to be proud of.” – Charlotte Murray

Q: Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?
A: “I want to go into the environmental science field.” – Daniel Panis
A: “I want to be in the entertainment industry, as an animator or a similar job. I want to make people laugh!” – Jazzy Gittinger
A: “Cosmetologist.” – Carlie Alexander
A: “ I’m planning to major in music production and technology, with a minor in theatre technology in college.” – Charlotte Murray

Q: How do you handle hard classes and after-school activities?
A: “As a person who grew up a so-called “gifted kid,” I’ve felt the pressure of maintaining the highest possible grades and feeling the need to produce my magnum opus in every piece of work. Within the past two years, balancing the rigor and time commitments of my classes with activities I loved, like drama club and choir, became significantly more difficult, and to retain my feelings of fulfillment and pride in all my schoolwork and performances, I had to delegate my energy and time to what my most important responsibility was at any given moment. Sometimes, that meant leaving AP Biology notes for the next day, because I was feeling mentally exhausted and needed a well-deserved break.”
– Charlotte Murray

Q: Is there anything I can do with cosmetology? Do jobs that don’t involve college still have a lot of job opportunities?
A: “Cosmetology is such a large field. If you’re attending cosmetology school, you’re going to be focusing on skin care, nail care, nail application, hair care, color theory, hair coloring techniques, hair styling techniques, and makeup applications. There are a lot of specific fields in the cosmetology department that you can specialize in. Massage therapy is also a service that many salons offer, and a good career.” – Kira Russell

Q: “Does being in a higher level math matter? For example, is calculus hard?
A: “I think that higher-level math classes require you to put in more effort to understand the content. They aren’t difficult in the sense that you won’t be able to figure problems out, but they can become more difficult if you don’t try.” – Emily Chafetz

Q: What are your emotions when it comes to graduating? Are you scared, happy, sad, etc?
A: “I’m equally anxious and excited about graduation and attending my first year of college. I feel mostly academically prepared, and have faith in myself that I’ll find success in the areas of specialty I’ll be studying. As somebody who’s not always comfortable with major life changes, I tend to ruminate on the ‘what ifs’ of my future, but I’ve spent these past several years of my life mentally and artistically preparing myself for the rigor of a college curriculum, and I plan on taking full advantage of that to achieve my dreams. Out of everything, I’ve struggled heavily with imposter syndrome, feeling like I’m not talented enough to pursue what I love the most and I’ll end up in a career I can’t stand, but I’m working on putting those fears aside to build confidence in my abilities, knowledge base, and creativity.” – Charlotte Murray

Royal Oak High School students have similar questions when it comes to high school. Some include asking how hard classes are, topics regarding the future, and graduation. High school is a fast universal process, at one point all ravens have been in situations or dilemmas that are similar to their peers. High school is something that you come to understand with time, Royal Oak High School has people who are happy to help all have the best and the smoothest experience possible.

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About the Contributors
Kayla Garner, Reporter
Hi! My name is Kayla Garner, I'm a senior and a reporter for Acorn. This is my first year in the magazine. Outside of school, I enjoy sports, shopping, reading, playing video games, and listening to music. My favorite music artists are Red Velvet, The Neighborhood, Melanie Martinez, Faye Webster, BTS, and Fall Out Boy.
Ava Emery, Head Photographer
My name is Ava. I'm so excited to start my second year in Acorn as the head photographer! I play varsity volleyball as a senior this year and  I love to read and write in my free time.
Lilliana Heline, Web Editor
Hi! My name is Lilly Heline and I am a Senior here at ROHS. This is my 2nd year on the Acorn and first year as web editor! I'm super excited this year for the start of the Acorn website. Outside of school, I love reading, travelling, and spending time with friends. I also play softball for the high school and am the starting varsity pitcher. My favorite movie is Fast and Furious, and my favorite flowers are Blue Hydrangeas. I am super excited for my last year at ROHS!

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