Am I still a freshman?


photo via Audacy

At the beginning of each school year, the Hoban family accepts another new class: the freshmen. Up the totem pole everyone goes. The freshmen become sophomores, the sophomores become juniors and the juniors become seniors. It is the high school circle of life.


As a freshman turned sophomore myself, I cannot help but think the class of 2024 blurs the line between freshmen and sophomores. In terms of experiences, my class has been able to partake in about as many traditions as the new freshmen. That begs the question: are we still freshmen at the core?


In many ways, yes. 


With COVID-19 reducing the school year to a hybrid schedule, many traditions were tossed aside. No football games, no homecoming and of course, no real Mum Day. This lack of school spirit was felt by every Hoban student, but it was the freshmen class of 2024 who were left without proper knowledge of what true Hoban student life looks like.


It is easy to catch our inexperience all around the school.


At football games we timidly join in on the cheers and our choppy singing of the alma mater after a Hoban win hurts everyone’s ears. 


At homecoming, there will be twice the amount of awkward “freshmen” standing around not knowing what to do. (But seriously, what am I supposed to do at homecoming? The thought of the sheer amount of anxiousness makes me cringe).


The lack of exposure to these fundamental events has left a gap in the class of 2024’s experience as the babies of the school. We did not get the privilege of upperclassmen rolling their eyes at us, standing at the top of the football bleachers and wearing awkward party hats and pins to identify us as freshmen on Mum Day. Although these are not what most people would call enjoyable, they are a part of the Hoban High School experience.


Without knowing what it is like to be the lowest on the food chain as freshmen, are we really allowed to be considered sophomores? 




Although we lack the experiences that freshmen endure, we experienced something far more telling when it comes to if we are prepared to be sophomores. 


Throughout my freshman year, my class faced the struggles of making authentic connections with one other. We did not meet our whole grade until March and even then we could not see each other’s full faces because of masks.


Our ability to persist through these many roadblocks as a Hoban family exemplifies the undeniable strength of the class of 2024. One of our main personality traits as a class may be our lack of Hoban experiences, but we also know how to come together and help each other through times of adversity. 


We may have not taken the traditional path to becoming sophomores, but nonetheless we deserve the title.