High school v. middle school

Students share their opinions on the difference between middle and high school

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High school v. middle school

Freshman Merideth Meusey talks to a peer during school. Last year Meusey attended Southwest Middle School

Freshman Merideth Meusey talks to a peer during school. Last year Meusey attended Southwest Middle School

Charlotte Lebbing

Freshman Merideth Meusey talks to a peer during school. Last year Meusey attended Southwest Middle School

Charlotte Lebbing

Charlotte Lebbing

Freshman Merideth Meusey talks to a peer during school. Last year Meusey attended Southwest Middle School

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High school and middle school are two parts of students’ lives that they will try to remember for as long as they can, whether it be because of the friendships they built with students and/or teachers or the knowledge you obtained.

Freshman Meredith Meusey, who attended Southwest Middle School, says that you need to get motivated before you start high school.

¨Getting yourself motivated to do schoolwork and setting aside time for homework,¨ said Meusey.

However, it is not just the middle schoolers who need to prepare for life in high school. Even the teachers at the middle school have to work to make sure their students are prepared.

¨We worked on taking notes from the textbook and writing historical essays,” said Kevin Sheets, Southwest Middle School history teacher.

However, 8th graders don’t stay 8th graders forever. Eventually, they have to move on.

Each student’s experience is different and the changes affect everyone in different ways. High school is, of course, very different from middle school.

“A huge difference between middle and high school to me is the amount of workload. I remember in middle school, I hardly had any homework, and never needed to study for tests. Once I reached high school though, I received several hours of homework each night and studying was a necessity if I wanted to keep a good grade,” said Maple Wang, a senior at South High and former Southwest Middle student.

Sophomore James Morrissey is one of those many high schoolers who feel that grades matter more in high school.

 ¨There’s a lot more workload in high school. Also the schedules, like in middle school you have every class every day. There’s a lot more stress because at high school at this point it really matters,¨ he said.

Meusey agrees about the workload in high school.

“High school has more freedoms,” said Meusey, “but it is a lot harder.”

High school teachers also have higher expectations for their students according to Sheets.

“High school teachers expect students to be more self-sufficient,” said Sheets. “Middle school teachers provide more assistance.”

Another huge difference is how classes work.

¨Well, for one, they’re more challenging and they´re twice as long they were in middle school. I´m actually having a better time in high school classes because there are more ways to get help if I don’t understand something or boost my grade or whatever,¨ said Morrissey.

Morrissey is not the only student who feels that there is a difference between high school and middle school classes.

“They are longer which is a good and a bad thing. Good because it gives you more time to explore the material in depth. Bad because they are sometimes harder to get through,” said Meusey.

One consistency that sustains itself no matter what kind of school a student attends is how a classroom is structured. According to Morrissey the quality of a teacher’s work can sometimes make or break a student’s school experience.

¨My teachers in high school seem a bit more helpful. The way they´re taught stuff makes it easier to understand than my middle school teachers, but that may be because of Ac. Lab,¨ said Morrissey.

However, students feel that is not the only thing that changes.

¨There are so many more teachers in high school than in middle school. I feel like I’m able to connect with my high school teachers a bit more, though. There are more options for me to speak to them outside of class, whereas in middle school I mostly just saw the teachers when they were teaching,¨ said Wang.

Even though a teacher’s role can be monumental, as a whole, both middle school and high school have their share of faults and highlights.

Morrissey said one definite fault for high school is the starting time. South High starts at 7:35 a.m. whereas South Middle and Southwest Middle started nearly an hour later–at 8:20 a.m.  

“What I personally don’t like is having to get up early,” Morrissey said

 In fact, for a lot of students, including Morrissey, high school is viewed as the better of the two.

¨For one, block scheduling, AC lab, I’ve met some people I´m good friends with, so that’s really cool.¨ said Morrissey.

Meusey agreed.

“More freedoms, time in between classes, and Ac. Lab gives you more time to do work and get help from teachers,” Meusey said.

Not only did the high school have its faults, but the middle school also did as well, according to Wang

¨Since the school is smaller, you’re pretty much stuck with the same group of people, whether you like them or not. And I didn’t like that being in different teams in each grade meant you would never interact with the other team (champion vs trailblazer, for instance). It also frustrated me when I could only choose two extracurricular classes to take when I wanted to take multiple,¨ Wang said, “but in general, I still think middle school was a fun time.”

It was not only the lack of diversity in people and classes that were a problem according to Meusey.

“There was not enough time in between classes,” said Meusey.

Of course, the middle school was not all bad.

¨I did have like, some of favorite teachers in 6th grade. I finally became part of a friend group,¨ said Morrissey on middle school.

According to students, The high school and middle school have many faults and highlights.   After experiencing both high school and middle school, some students have decided which they enjoy more

“Middle school because it is a lot less difficult,” said Meusey.

However, Wang disagrees.

¨In general, despite the workload, I think I prefer high school. I love how much more freedom and choices you have, and I’m able to do a lot more with my life. I’ve also built many strong friendships and relationships with teachers that I never really did in middle school, considering the puberty turmoil. While high school is insanely stressful, it also gave me a chance to express myself and do what I want to do, and I really like that about it,¨ said Wang.

Morrissey agrees.

¨Well, middle school was easier, but, uh, I actually like the block scheduling of high school better because it makes it feel like the day is shorter even though the classes are longer. It also gives me more time to complete my homework. I´m gonna say I prefer high school over middle school,¨ said Morrissey.

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