Freshman Interview

Lilliani Franchini

Eighth graders from all over Joliet suburb schools joined together this fall to make the Freshman class of 2025. They all came from different backgrounds and distinguished characteristics, one thing that they all have in common is that they all have come back after almost two years of online school during a pandemic. One of those freshman students is named Audrey Rodriguez. She has been attending Joliet Central High School since August, and she has a good amount to say about her experience as a freshman so far. Before actually starting high school, freshmen were “prepared” for it through many factors (teachers, orientation, tours, etc.). They were about to undergo one of the biggest transitions of their lives by entering their high school years. Most were coming to a bigger school with more students, activities, and teachers than their previous schools. Of course, this led to experiencing many emotions over it. Anxiousness, excitement; both emotions that may have come up but the most present one for Audrey was nervousness. However, as it probably did for many other students,  having classes with friends and former peers and the welcoming staff of Joliet Central helped calm her nerves as she settled in to finally being back to in-person learning at a new school. After being out of school for almost two years, coming back to school did help improve her school experience significantly. During online schooling, students were isolated and stuck inside their houses for long periods. This affected many aspects of their lives: their education, social lives, and mental and physical health. Students can now experience a new environment and socialize with others, which can benefit mental health since social interaction is important for humans. Overall, it turns out high school life really isn’t as scary as she thought it would be. Instead embracing the change has brought on many opportunities and experiences that freshmen like her can carry with them throughout the rest of their lives.