Arcata high freshman profiles

Ossian Briar-Bonpane, Photo Editor

27th October, 2022

(Photo Credits: Ossian Briar-Bonpane)

Aliyah Aaron
Aliyah Aaron envisioned high school to be “this terrible, crazy, scary thing” because of how it is portrayed in a lot of movies and TV. In reality, it’s more like an “upgraded middle school (…) and it just gives you a lot more freedom”, she said.

Aliyah appreciates the freedom she has in high school in comparison to middle school, specifically the freedom to take breaks and buy lunches.

She was shocked when she saw how big her freshman class was this year at freshmen orientation, as everyone was crammed onto one side and “taking up way more than half of the bleachers,” sitting shoulder to shoulder.

One of the hardest things that Aliyah has had to adjust to in high school is all of the friendships that were lost over the summer and during COVID. Even though she has been able to make a lot of new friends, she still sometimes misses “the friendships that split apart.” She is looking forward to becoming close friends with as many people as possible and to being treated like “less of a child, and more [like someone who] has a voice” that people will listen to and take seriously.

Aliyah’s classes are “challenging, but not in the way that [she] can’t do the work and keep up [her] grades”; they’re challenging her in the sense that she is actually learning. Her favorites are health and biology because both teach her about topics that “are actually affecting us (…) and that we can use” in the future.

Aliyah voted Redwood Yogurt as the most convenient lunch spot due to its proximity to school, affordable prices, and good atmosphere to hang out in.

(Photo Credits: Ossian Briar-Bonpane)

Rowan Carter
Rowan Carter expected high school to be “just about the same as normal school, just bigger”, and so far it has lived up to those expectations.

“Having to run so far to all [his] classes” has been the biggest adjustment of being on such a large campus in comparison to middle school. A more positive adjustment for Rowan has been that the “quality of food improved a lot (…), the lunch food here is a lot better” than food provided at his old school.

Although he does miss his old teachers and their humor, the ability to go off-campus to have lunch makes up for it. Even with the ability to go off-campus, Rowan said hanging out in the quad during lunch is most convenient for him.

Most of Rowan’s classes are “pretty challenging”, except for Math 1, which is his favorite because it is the easiest and his teacher, Mr. Kozera, is “really fun.” His least favorite is Tech because he feels like it’s too long and boring.

(Photo Credits: Ossian Briar-Bonpane)

Colton Constancio
Colton Constancio came into Arcata High expecting it to be very challenging. “I lost a lot of my old friends. I haven’t talked to them in a while, I’m trying to make new friends”, he said. In his experience, making friends in high school is a little harder than middle school “because there’s a lot more people, so it’s harder to find that specific friend that you want to hang out with the most.’’

The social environment shift from middle school to high school can sometimes feel dramatic to freshmen students. Adjusting to having so many teachers has been difficult because in middle school, Colton only had a couple and said he was able to “get to know those teachers really well since [he] had them all the time.”

On the bright side, Colton enjoys the amount of extra time he has and the ability to go off-campus for lunch. He is looking forward to taking a step up in all the sports that are offered in high school like basketball, track, and cross country.

He was surprised when he realized how large his freshman class is this year and shared that “it’s pretty special” to be a part of something like that.

Colton’s favorite class is German and his least favorite is English because he has always struggled with the subject.

Colton has a brother at Arcata High who is a senior, which “definitely makes [school] easier. I’ve learned more so I know how to act in high school and I know all the places to go. I know a lot of people, so it’s great.”

(Photo Credits: Ossian Briar-Bonpane)

Zalayshia Velazquez
Not only is Zalayshia Velazquez new to Arcata High, but she is also new to Humboldt itself. Zalayshia moved to Humboldt from Philadelphia just this year.

The biggest difference she has noticed is “just the way people treat each other (…) and mostly just the experience. Everything’s different’’, she said. In her experience, “people are way nicer” in highschool than in middle school, and people talk to her more.
Zalayshia emphasized that she is most looking forward to knowing everybody and making new friends.

In terms of academics, she is most challenged in her English class, and most happy to be in Photography. She shared that she is a quick learner so she hasn’t been struggling too much in her other classes.

Zalayshia is most excited to be able to play sports like basketball and participate in clubs like BSU, two things she did not have the opportunity for at her middle school.
Having an open campus is another new and exciting aspect of high school, and so far her favorite lunch spot is Carmela’s.