Confessions of a Freshman

The Class of 2023 shares what they are scared of as they enter the halls of Van Nuys High.



The change from middle school to high school is a big change that leave a lot of underclassmen anxious.

Transitioning into a new chapter in a student’s academic career can be exciting yet frightening. 

Unlike the portrayal in Hollywood teen movies, high school isn’t always like being on cloud nine.

Entering a new environment, with new people, and a new campus can all be overwhelmingly stressful—especially for students who are just starting the ninth grade and don’t know what to expect. 

Adapting to high school is a big step for freshmen, and with every big step comes courage and overcoming their fears.

Getting lost

New classes, new school, new campus. Having to navigate around a big, confusing campus can be pretty difficult and stressful. Using a picture of a campus map to find classes and asking around random strangers are typical solutions for new coming freshmen. Bianca Boulso, one of this year’s new ninth graders, said “I was scared of getting lost around campus and being late to class because of that. I didn’t want to show up late and be the center of attention as I walked in. At the end of the day, I did not end up getting lost so everything turned out okay.” 


‘Everyone doesn’t like freshmen,’ is a common stereotype where upperclassmen find ninth graders annoying and too innocent to get to know. Nonetheless, many freshmen remain afraid of upperclassmen.

“Most of the upperclassman look intimidating and so much older,” said Kevin Arreola. “The upperclassmen have just about mastered high school while the freshmen have just begun their high school journey.” 

Hard Classes 

Another common fear that many freshmen have is getting hard classes. “I thought that AP Biology was going to be my hardest class but as of right now, no, it is not my hardest class,” said Nieco Erasmo. “It is definitely my English class. We just get so much work and you can’t cheat the work, you have to actually do the work for Honors English. AP Biology is going pretty well right now and I definitely feel like it’s going to be the hardest class this year.” While there may be difficult times, many feel that it’s a rewarding experience in the end. 

Making friends

Meeting new people can be challenging, especially in a new environment. Another reason why making new friends is challenging is that many people have anxiety or are not sociable, so being in a new environment that they are not comfortable with can cause even more anxiety. Others had different opinions on making friends and were actually excited to meet new people. “I was worried about keeping old friends because people tend to change over time,” said Ethan Phuong. 

Bad environment 

A good environment is essential for effective learning and study habits. Some new students were afraid that high school would be a place where they couldn’t learn and where many of the people would be rude. Many were afraid of getting into legendary high school fights that they see posted all over social media. Another concern for a lot of freshmen is being in a place where they don’t feel comfortable to the point where they don’t feel like they are able to be themselves. 

Mean teachers

Rumors about tough teachers start in middle school. Many new students were scared that they would get classes with tough teachers who would misinterpret them and constantly give immense amounts of work. “I was afraid of having a rude teacher that wouldn’t understand me,” said Firaole Kebede.

To all the freshmen out there, the next four years in high school will be an opportunity to learn new things, acquire new skills  and experience everything school has to offer.

High school may be a rollercoaster, but remember: even as a new, wet-behind-the-ears freshman, all of the jaded sophomores, overwhelmed juniors and the too-cool-for-school seniors have all been in the same position.