News from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla.

Freshmen and seniors try to find common ground

Like cats and dogs, freshmen and seniors seem perpetually and inevitably opposed. After a recent dispute involving a vandalized bathroom window, some freshmen and seniors try to clear the air.

March 20, 2018

Graphic by Katie Delk

Graphic by Katie Delk

The battle between freshmen and seniors did not begin with scrawls on a window in the second-floor girls’ bathroom. The window was graffitied with degrading remarks from both freshmen and seniors about one another. With no insults spared, the word war on the window reflects the dichotomy between the two grades. The clash calls stereotypes into question: are immaturity and hypocrisy true markers of each respective grade?

Various seniors see freshmen as not only immature. Senior Sydney Cabana, for example, sometimes refers to freshmen as trapper-keepers. “It’s the stereotype of a freshman equipped with every possible school supply,” Cabana explained. “Every color of highlighter, index cards, etc., all stored within a giant backpack.”

Many freshmen are upset because of the stigma. “The seniors treat freshmen badly because they’re younger and more naive, so they don’t really listen to what [we] have to say,” freshman Lourdes Martinez said.

Others feel that the seniors’ treatment of freshmen is unfair considering they were once new to the school as well. “We were all freshmen at one point,” senior Miguel Gonzalez said. “We all had that time where we were the goofballs and didn’t really know what was going on in high school.”

According to some freshmen, the whole argument is pointless.

“It doesn’t make sense to dislike someone just because they’re younger,” Martinez said.

However, Martinez acknowledges some truth behind the stereotype of freshmen. “There are some really immature freshmen,” Martinez said. “Some of them never grow out of it but most do.”

Some students share a similar sentiment that seniors should be more understanding of the freshmen because they are just trying to adjust.

“They’re all trying to get used to high school,” Cabana said. She said she wants students to understand that they are all a part of the same, unified school.

On the other hand, Gonzalez disagrees with the statement that all freshmen are as childish as their reputation suggests, and he even has close relationships with some of them.

“I actually have a lot of freshman friends,” Gonzalez said. “Some of them are [very] mature.” Gonzalez said that inter-grade friendships between freshmen and seniors are not as rare as upperclassmen make them seem.

Freshman Kevin John understands the feud between the two grades but claims that there should be a level of mutual respect. “I also feel like freshmen need to respect seniors as their upperclassmen,” John said.

A lack of respect between freshmen and seniors is not a new issue; however, as shown by the insults on the window in the second-floor girls’ bathroom, it is still a persistent one.

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