Freshman year is an important time in any student’s academic career. Students become acclimated to a new school and environment. This typically includes standard “high school things,” such as a change in school policies, harder classes, and structured midterms and finals. Some changes, like a more lenient dress code and rules permitting students to carry their backpacks to each of their classes, are welcomed. However, many people still have grievances about some of the aspects of life at Marblehead High School.
The Fire Drill
Perspective #1: Freshman year has been a whirlwind, and all that can be said is…I’m glad it’s finally over. From false fire alarms in the freezing cold to realizing the doors had alarms to the school going broke, freshman year is finally over. Many people don’t remember the false fire alarm, but I do. I was in the English wing when the fire alarm went off. My study teacher looked around like she didn’t know what was going on. Everyone around me got up and started to mill out. People were chatting all the way to the parking lot until we saw that there were actual fire engines pulling up. By the time everyone had reached the “safe space,” it was chaos. No one knew where to go or what was going on. I only found my study teacher by chance because she was wandering around. A rule I have learned in a fire drill: if you have no idea where your teacher is, just form a pack with other kids in your class so people can’t yell at you. Just as I found my teacher, they told us the school was safe to enter again. By then, people were frozen to the bone and everyone wanted to get inside. It was like watching a funnel, all one thousand of us trying to get into the building through two doors. Turns out that something had gone faulty in the English wing, so good thing it wasn’t a real fire or I could have been crisp. All I can say is that high school is just something else.
Perspective #2: I was sitting in my A-block study hall when suddenly, the fire alarm started going off. Everyone in the class rose and made our way down the stairs and out of the building. At this point, all of the students leaving the building had merged into a solid mass of bodies all trying to get into the parking lot. Fire trucks came screeching to the front of the school, everyone oohing and ahhing. Once everyone arrived at the parking lot, however, it seemed that half of the student body thought we were all supposed to line up with our advisory teachers, and the other half thought we were supposed to stay with the teachers of the class we had just left. It was a rather cold day, and many small groups of students started clumping together. I saw a least three people turned into ice cubes by the bushes. Legend has it they are still there today. We then proceeded to penguin huddle until our limbs were no longer purple, and luckily enough, we were called back into the building shortly after.
The Vape Detectors: Are They Necessary?
Perspective #1: To be honest, I don’t think they are necessary. Even if there are detectors, it won’t deter people from vaping, they will just go to a different bathroom or spot around the school. In my opinion, they are a huge waste of money. I understand the reason behind them and how they are supposed to make bathrooms more of a safe space and stop people from doing something that might be detrimental to their health, but I think there are bigger issues out there and much better solutions to the problem.
Perspective #2: I think the vape detectors have had mixed results. Ever since they were installed, the number of people vaping in the A-wing bathrooms has definitely decreased. I used to walk in and see people leaning against sinks with their vape pens in plain sight, but now, I rarely see anyone vaping during school hours. It’s definitely nice to walk into a bathroom that is not crowded with people vaping in the stalls, but the detectors have not been 100% effective. Since they are located only in the A-wing bathrooms, many kids go to other bathrooms to vape. This drives other students to avoid the bathrooms in places like the health wing. Overall, the results have been mixed, but I think that the detectors are a step in the right direction.
Perspective # 3: I think that it was a good choice for the school to buy vape detectors. However, I’m not positive that they are effective, because the D- and E-wing bathrooms smell like vape now that there are detectors in the A-wing bathrooms. Personally, I never want to use bathrooms in which people are vaping because they are harmful to breathe in, and I don’t want to be accused of vaping myself if a teacher walks in.
Most freshmen also had their first experience with midterms. Despite teachers and upperclassmen assuring us that midterms are not as bad as they are made out to be, it was still a tense time for freshmen. Now, we are preparing for our first set of formal final exams. Freshman Izzi Warner says that “Finals are more stressful because we need to remember everything from the very beginning of the year. I liked how we had different days to take our midterms, and I feel like these midterms were the hardest but will become less anxiety-provoking in the next few years.” Final exams take place in the last week of school, so freshmen are looking forward to finishing finals and then being able to relax during the summer break.