OPINION: The jump between freshman and sophmore year is too intense

As the school year ends, many sophomores may be reflecting upon their past two years of high school. One of the most significant differences between ninth and tenth grade is the increase in workload and stress.

The gap between the rigor in the first two years of high school is so wide that many students often struggle to adjust their work habits. Supposedly, ninth grade is a relaxing year to explore one’s place in high school. However, this “relaxation” may affect students in negative ways.

There are many short-term benefits with a less-rigorous freshman year, such as participation in extracurriculars – students can participate in more activities and find their niche. A long-term consequence is that they may develop bad working habits with their extra time. Many students begin procrastinating without consequence as their workload is very light. However, time mismanagement may negatively affect students as they go through their future years.

Freshmen can generally take up to two honors classes. By sophomore year, the majority of the classes in their schedule could be advanced. Without good study habits and time management that could have been formed the previous year, students may lose sleep, which could be detrimental to their mental health.

One solution to this problem is to allow freshmen to take history. Although history may be a challenging subject for underclassmen, it can train students to use their time more wisely and prepare them for harder subjects during their junior and senior years. Additionally, students would be able to take history their freshman and sophomore year. To reduce a heavy workload, they could choose between grades 11 and 12 for their third year of social science. This choice can enable students to even out their workload, depending on their situation, and to avoid drastic jumps in work and stress.

Another drawback is that students are unable to fit all their desired classes into their schedule. Freshmen are allowed at most three electives while sophomores struggle to fit in even one. Some of these classes, such as psychology, robotics and creative writing, do not have any course prerequisites yet are not available for freshmen. As students advance in school, they must also fulfill their graduation requirements, which prevents them from taking classes that they are truly interested in and pushes them towards more challenging classes.

To minimize this problem, there should be more leeway to which courses students can take during a certain year. With fewer restrictions, students can take electives they enjoy without worrying about not meeting graduation requirements.

Although many of these issues root from students’ personal habits, SCHS should make appropriate changes to set students up for better success.