Next year you’ll enter a new, exciting and scary world: high school.

The bad news? It’ll be an adjustment from what you’re used to. But the good news is that you’ll have even more opportunities to learn, make friends and participate in awesome activities and organizations!

Check out what these high schoolers have to say about their experience transitioning from middle school to high school.

Classes are harder, but more rewarding. 

“The biggest transition from middle to high school was the work load that I have to manage independently. My teachers don’t push me as hard to do my work, therefore I have to do it on my own if I want to get good grades.” -Lauren Griffin | Freshman | Austin, Texas

“My classes definitely got more demanding with homework. I don’t remember having a night off from homework since middle school. The classes were more challenging, but that was expected going into a higher grade level.” -Elizabeth Burgess | Senior | Shreveport, La.

“Since multiple grades are in one class, you have really diverse opinions when having discussions and different interpretations of different things.” -Piper Gorup | Sophomore | West Lafayette, Ind.

Friendships grow. 

“Some of the biggest changes [I experienced] would be interacting with people three years older than me and forming new friendships.” -Paige Cohune | Senior | San Luis Obispo, Calif.

“For me, high school seems more relaxed socially and adults definitely trust you more. My friendships are a little more widespread than in middle school, and I generally know everyone at least a little bit.” -JT Frantz | Freshman | Elgin, Ill.

“I was friends with students who didn’t really care about academics in middle school, but with college just on the horizon and with an increased ability of study habits, I’ve become friends with a group of students who take their academics very seriously, yet know how to have a good time when the occasion comes.” -David Choi | Junior | Dallas, Texas

You have more responsibility. 

“There is more freedom to do what you want. A library we can go to whenever, no confined lunchrooms, stuff like that.” -Justin Ginsberg | Freshman | Buffalo Grove, Ill.

“I feel that adults, especially teachers, have given us more room to choose what we want to learn in classrooms and have left it almost completely up to us to complete our tasks with limited guidance. I think this is better because it allows us to learn to manage our own time without teachers nagging students with deadlines.” -Ava Cobleigh | Senior | Ardsley, N.Y.

“I think adults trust us more in high school. At my school we’re allowed to have our phones in the hallways and our teachers don’t bother us about homework or if we’re doing bad.” -Ivey Topel | Sophomore | Buffalo Grove, Ill.

Extracurricular activities are more demanding but also allow you to explore your interests in more depth. 

“My extracurricular [activities] have changed in the sense that they take up a lot of time and are very important rather than being ‘just a sport.'” -Lauren

“I really like that I’ve become more social in high school and my friend groups have expanded with being in clubs and sports with four grades, rather than just one.” -Piper

“I’ve become a relatively active member of the community by being elected to be a DIGs leader (Disciples in God) to a group of freshman, joining the varsity golf team, joining the school’s STEM club, going to Interact meetings, and playing cello in our school’s praise band every Thursday during chapel. The list can keep going on and on, but basically I’ve changed from a very dull and not-so-interesting student in middle school to becoming an active and relatively interesting part of the community.” -David


High school is an opportunity to learn and grow. Your four years allow you to truly explore your interests and learn about what you want to pursue after high school. For STEMers, high school is the perfect time to try out classes at your local community colleges, join clubs, attend scholastic fairs and more. As STEM is becoming an increasingly hot topic, more opportunities are opened up to students. Take advantage of your next four years – it will be a transition, but you’re not alone in the process.