The unspoken rules of Highlands grade levels

Disclaimer: This article is satire and for entertainment purposes only

Dear students of Highlands,

It’s no secret that there is a profound tension between the grade levels here at Highlands. Freshman transition from middle school, juniors start their search for colleges, seniors prepare for graduation, and sophomores are left in the middle of it all. All of this is a recipe for a pressurized ticking time bomb.

That said, there are some unspoken rules and untold truths regarding the grade levels that every student should know. 


1. Freshmen

Freshman year is the bottom of the food chain. You may have been at the top last year, but high school is a brand new story, and incoming freshmen have always been the ones to crack the spine of the hard copy edition. The incoming sophomores always warn the upperclassmen about the incoming freshmen, yet we never seem to be prepared. 

If you, or a loved one, are currently going through freshmen year, please note the following side effects: walking slowly or haphazardly through hallways, jumping to touch door frames, reciting every single meme they see like a broken record, forming a pack of freshman buddies to move as one through the school, complaining about reading The Most Dangerous Game or Of Mice and Men in Pre-AP English I (you do not know pain unless you’ve read Turn of the Screw), struggling through proper locker room etiquette, describing themselves as “quirky” or “too mature” for their grade/age, and more. 

If you have noticed any of these side effects, please correct them immediately before you get shoved into a wall. Thank you. 


2. Sophomores

Congratulations! You survived your first year of high school! Unfortunately, this year is mediocre at best. You are now the forgotten middle child of the family. However, if you have just earned your driver’s license, you are nowhere near disregarded. Rest assured, this is not a good thing to be told. If you have just received, or are working towards, your driver’s license, be advised to take a moment to read The Unspoken Rules of Highlands Student Parking. The actual upperclassmen will appreciate it if you do. 

In addition to potentially earning your driver’s license, you now have the chance to double your workload with AP classes such as AP Seminar and AP World History. I advise you to not read ahead if you are currently crying in a corner about these courses. Just trust me on that one. 

Oh, I forgot to mention this key detail of sophomore year: you are NOT upperclassmen yet. You have to learn to walk before you can run, and most of you still do not understand how to properly walk through the halls of Highlands High School. 


3. Juniors

Juniors, I apologize. The ACT, college search, workload, GPA stress, and the maintenance of a normal teenage life can get overwhelming at times. 2020 hasn’t made it any easier for you, I get it. With that in mind, the term “junioritis” does not exist. 

Furthermore, you have already made it through one of the most stressful English classes, AP Seminar, so AP Language & Composition should be a breeze for you. Some of you may also be starting your first year of AP Calculus. Don’t worry, you made it through Pre-AP Calculus. Just remember your unit circle. It should be a breeze for you (but in all honesty, it won’t be. Sorry!). You are also taking AP United States History, you say? Well, do I have news for you! The things you learned in AP World History will hardly help you at all. Don’t worry, it should be a breeze for you.  

Add on top of that workload ACTs that are even harder to get into (thanks 2020), college searches without being able to physically visit a campus (again, thanks 2020), and the natural changes a teenager faces through development, you get yourself a stressed teenager who is just getting by. Good luck!


4. Seniors

Welcome, my friends, to senioritis on steroids! Finally, you guys made it to the top of the pack. You “run this school” and walk through the halls with pride. You yell at freshmen to walk faster, ignore sophomores, and pity juniors (although, we dare not show it). 

However, you are still high school students until you walk across the stage to receive your diploma and flip your tassel. But, even then, you will realize that the journey of adulthood has just begun. Don’t be alarmed, it is completely understandable to not know how to apply for student loans, fill out a check, address an envelope, pay a bill or rent, file taxes, cook your own meals, and more. As you may have realized, none of these “adulting” responsibilities involve AP biology or calculus. I hope that adds fuel to that burning fire of senioritis for you!


Freshmen, you will eventually move up the ladder and will no longer be pond scum next year. Sophomores, you will eventually be recognized and acknowledged for your existence. Juniors, you will eventually understand what it truly means to have senioritis. And, last but not least, seniors, good riddance . 

No, seriously, please graduate already (I say as a senior)! 


A student who cannot wait for this year to be over