Photo obtained from Arely Anaya.
Sophomore year is like the middle child: overlooked and underestimated — yet completely free. You go into tenth grade with a grip on high school, at least knowing where all your classes are (no matter how confusing the South hallway is). Without the responsibility of menacing AP classes or the SAT, you get the year to kick back a little and really dive into who you are. It is the time to find your niche at school, whether that is a club, sport or activity.
Sophomores can find salvation in being forgotten–there is no defined “role” for tenth grade like there is for other grades, which can make it feel like an insignificant grade. But being a sophomore is a time everyone should absolutely take advantage of: have fun, make friends and find ways to enjoy school, because you are in it for the long haul.
The class of ‘24 is certainly relishing in their sophomore-ness, making the most of moments and opportunities they missed out on last year.
“I know a lot of outgoing people who have just made this year their year,” Mandalena Peou said. “They’re going out volunteering, getting opportunities [and there are] lots of officer positions going around. And I think it’s really nice to see that the pandemic didn’t bring down the spirits of a lot of high achievers.”
Though (generally) very goal oriented, not all sophomores are on the same page. But that is what makes sophomore year so wonderful: everyone is in different places. Some are prioritizing preparations for the rest of high school, and others are just making time to start their journey of self-discovery.
“I feel like sophomore year has really helped me just grow as a person and get to know the school better,” Isaac Lutalo said. “Our class had a really weird freshman year, and during quarantine and the times we went remote, we had that time to just do self reflection. Then, coming back into school, we had a fresh start.”
The class of 2024 has come a long way since Covid made space for itself in all of our lives, but they are pretty much all over the place. They are not freshmen, but they also did not have a real freshman year. So they got to use this year to try new things and find their people while also looking at the rest of high school on the horizon as the underclassman sun sets.
“We’re just kind of figuring it out,” Peou said. “It’s awkward. It’s clunky.” After two years of limited opportunity, ‘24 is redefining what it means to be a sophomore, taking the “chill year” by storm, whether that means finding what they love or growing into their potential.
Yet, even as they are all on different steps of their experience, there is an incredible level of support among the class. Diverse in many ways, the class of ‘24 is a family within the greater Raptor community.
“It’s just like — we get each other,” Lutalo said.