Freshman year: first semester reflection

Ofelia Mattingly

As the second semester is still just beginning,  freshmen have just completed their first semester at Manual. Here is how they’ve been feeling after getting through the first half of their freshman year.

New Friends

One of the first things people do during their first semester is meet people who they can call their friends.

“My first semester was pretty stressful, but I enjoyed making new friends,” Ellie Neel (9, HSU) said.

“The first semester has been hard, but like really, really fun meeting people,” Gracie Robsthin (9, YPAS) said.


Getting used to being in a magnet offered students new opportunities that they had not previously had before coming to Manual.

“It was pretty fun,” Phoebe Hatherstick (9, VA) said. ” I haven’t been in anything like Design and Production, so learning the technique on how to do tech things was really fun.”

“It was really fun being in dance and experiencing new things I hadn’t before,” Robsthin said.

“I enjoyed having new experiences and trying all the things that HSU had to offer,” Neel said.


With the adjustment from middle to high school, stress is a common theme with freshmen in all magnets.

“It was really fun with red/white week, but finals week was really stressful,” Joseph McGuire (9, HSU) said.

“I feel like the hardest thing about the first semester especially for freshmen was getting used to all the pressure and the new environment,” Saurov (9, MST) said. “But I feel like the people who thrive the best are the people who are more open to it.”

“My first semester at Manual was really fun. I liked the diversity of the school,” Tiziana (9, MST) said. “Science fair is sort of stressful with all the papers that are due, but overall I enjoyed it a lot.”