Expectations vs. Reality of High school

Freshman new to Lee express their opinions about their new experiences.


Kevin Palma-Aguilar and Bianca Jackson

Many students entered high school with a smile across their face, excited to explore their new school and meet new people. While other students, like both of us, were merely on the bus and were not ready for this nerve-wracking experience that we call high school.

The demands of high school can be exhausting. From social demands to academic demands, it can all be too much for students, especially new students, like us.

When I, Kevin Palma, started high school, I expected it to be stressful, challenging, and chaotic. I was right for the most part. It’s not as chaotic as I expected it to be, but it is stressful and challenging. It’s hard to keep up with the work from all your classes. Even missing one day will affect your grade by a lot.

Like many of the other students new to Lee, I, Bianca Jackson, was very nervous about the classes and the new teachers, and I thought that it would be super hard to adjust such a big change. As the school year progressed, I was getting used to the classes and the schedule. I still struggled with keeping up with my homework and projects. However, I quickly realized that if you manage your time and have everything you need to do written out, high school is not so hard.

Incoming freshmen gather around on Lancer Launch to learn about the culture of Lee High School.

Many new Lee students worried about academics and whether or not they could meet the demands of their classes. Freshman Nusrat Amin is new to Fairfax County Public Schools after attending a private school and was concerned about the demands of her classes.

“[I expected] that it would be really scary, and that I would fail everything,” Amin said.

Freshman Renee Segovia came to Lee from Key Middle School but still worried about meeting the demands of high school academics. However, she was pleasantly surprised.

“I expected it to be super hard and, like, difficult, and I was gonna drop out the second year. But nope,” Segovia said.

Segovia is happy with her schedule. “The classes are pretty easy, and the teachers are pretty nice,” Segovia said.

Some students worry about social demands at a new high school. The very idea of eating lunch in a high school cafeteria can be stressful for incoming freshmen.

“I thought I was going to eat lunch in the bathroom because I watched movies, and I thought that was going to happen to me,” Segovia said.

Imagine the worry of the students who come from a completely different area! Having to adjust to a new school, new people, and a new environment… That can’t be easy.

Sophomore Catherine Ferro came from North Point High School in Charles County, Maryland. Ferro didn’t expect much from Lee. “I thought [Lee] wasn’t going to be the best, but it’s been fine,” Ferro said.
Ferro has been happy with what Lee could offer to her. “What I like about Lee is all the support they give the students, the late buses, the after school stuff, the tutoring and all that,” Ferro said.
For us, coming to Lee was a pretty smooth adjustment. Of course, like other students, we had our worries about coming to Lee High School but within a few weeks, we were familiar with our classes and the students in them.