Freshmen versus Seniors: How Do They Compare?

Ethan Zhang

Besides the clear height differences between towering seniors and shorter freshman, these two groups at Brookfield East have many similarities and differences. While freshmen are still navigating their transition to high school, seniors have already spent their past four years making Brookfield East their home. To compare the views of freshmen and seniors, two representatives from both grades were interviewed about their experiences at Brookfield East thus far. 

Freshmen and seniors are both amidst transitional periods of their lives. While seniors are preparing themselves to take on next steps after high school, freshmen are adjusting to the transition between middle school and high school. Avery Schwartz (9), a current freshman at Brookfield East is one of many who is adapting to a high school environment. Avery is not only transitioning to high school, but also a new district, far from her hometown in Connecticut. “It’s scary,” she admits, “[but] it was really cool to meet completely new people.” Starting fresh can be a big transition, but freshmen like Schwartz are stepping up to the challenge. 

Another shared experience between freshmen and seniors is attending the various sports games at Brookfield East. Agastya Bhadoria (9), a freshman at Brookfield East expresses that he enjoys hanging out with his friends at sports games. Schwartz agrees, adding that as a new student to the Elmbrook School District, she finds sports games as a great way to socialize and meet new people. The seniors, O’Connell and Schatz also highlight that football games are a great way to bond with others and make memories. “You’ll regret it if you don’t go and experience it for yourself,” says O’Connell, “You are only in high school once.” 

When reflecting on their different stages within their high school experience, all the seniors and freshmen interviewed chose to express the gratitude they feel towards the educators around them. They cite teachers that have had a strong influence on them and others who have been a line of support through their transitional periods. Bhadoria (9), a student by day and an athlete by night appreciates “Mr. Westphal [who’s] done great [things ] for the athletic department.” Schwartz (9) on the other hand looks up to Ms. Zieman, who she refers to as “such a queen.” Schatz (12) a saxaphone player and active participant in band ensembles emphasized her appreciation for “Mr. Loughney [because] he advocates so much for music and [for] the music program to stay in our school [and] it really makes a difference.” Schatz (12) adds, “This program has shaped who I am today and it’s because of Mr. Loughney that we have this amazing program.” O’Connell (12) recognizes her public speaking teacher for her warm presence in the classroom. “Ms. Mathia [who is someone who] encourages all students,” O’Connell (12) says “She is super upbeat [and] welcoming.” 

Although freshmen and seniors share certain experiences, there are many subtle and obvious differences between them. Primarily, the seniors have more experience and plenty of advice that comes with. O’Connell (12) shares some advice for freshmen during the interview, specifically stressing the importance of taking initiative over learning. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help because [teachers] can’t help you unless you ask for it.” Schatz shares similar advice at O’Connell, “If you are struggling on a test or an assignment, ask your teachers.” 

Regardless of age or grade, each student is a valuable asset to the Brookfield East community. At the end of the day, freshmen and seniors are both a part of Brookfield East’s student body and have their own ideas and identity as a group.