Class of 2023 reflects on unique high school beginning

Freshmen Year in Review


Photo by: Nathan Petroski

Freshman Josh Huddle, Nathan Petroski, and Kevin Huang celebrate after a cross country race.

The freshman class had its first high school experience cut short due to the tragic spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Class of 2023 participated in many annual Midlothian traditions, they still missed out on spring sports, the end-of-year pep rally, and more. Given this unavoidable reality, this group of students has a unique perception of what high school is like versus the other classes. Despite these present day challenges, the Class of 2023 had a great first year of high school, coming a long way and growing into strong Midlo students.

The Class of 2023 received a head start to the school year, coming to school one day prior to all other grade levels, which gave students an understanding for the rest of the year, as well as an opportunity to connect with other newcomers. They visited each of their classes and met their teachers. Juniors and seniors also showed up as mentors to the new students and joined them in discussions about the anxieties of starting high school. These conversations continued throughout the first semester during homeroom. These meet-ups at the end of each week proved beneficial for the freshmen, helping them overcame their fears of a new school. Due to the freshman orientation at the beginning of the year, the students felt prepared for high school life.

For many of the freshmen, they underestimated the weight of AP level courses. Many adults encourage taking these classes early in one’s high school career, but some students underestimated the commitment that came with an AP course load. Freshman Dariana Neal shared, “With after school sports, it was difficult to find time for myself and friends because I was busy with higher level classes.” However, freshmen soon learned to adapt to the new workload and managed their new responsibilities.

Even though it was cut short by COVID-19, the Class of 2023 had a great first year as Midlothian High School students. With the sudden end to the school year, these students’ unique first year experience will allow them to grow into effective role models for future freshmen.