• Home games this week: Tues., 4/16: Tennis v. Rio Grande @ 3:30 p.m. / Tues., 4/16: Softball v. SF Indian School @ 3 & 5 p.m. / Thurs., 4/18: Baseball v. Robertson @ 3 & 5 p.m. / Sat., 4/20: Softball v. Manzano @10 a.m. & noon.
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Age vs. Maturity?

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Throughout high school, students undergo a series of changes. The mature stay mature and the immature become more mature. Typically, children mature as their age and experience increase, and high school is a major turning point.

According to Psychology Today, teens begin to question the world and their identities during adolescence, the transition from childhood to adulthood. During this period, often during high school, most teens successfully shape their identities.

This is also the period when mental issues are rooted. Teens’ physical and relationship transitions create anxieties that often turn out negative. According to the American Psychological Association, “Teens undergo dramatic changes. Some…experience problems that can lead to dropping out of school, drug use, or crime.” 

These issues follow teens into their adulthood and can lead to many mental health conditions. 

Another major change is in academics. Sara Karnish, writing for CollegeXPress, states that students in middle school/junior high who are preparing for their first year in high school are relatively unpressured, facing few expectations and challenges. 

However, fresh out of middle school, high school freshmen experience a dramatic change. High school is much more demanding, requiring more critical thinking and hard work.

Santa Fe High English teacher Mr. Robbins said, “Freshmen have to face a lot of creative challenges. They have to navigate academic and social obstacles.”

Under pressure, ninth-grade students start formulating their path toward maturity. The path is long and rebellious. According to MedicineNet, many of the rebellious actions are rooted in brain development, a desire for independence, and a desire for attention.

“Most freshmen don’t have the right mindset as a senior does,”  a junior, Crispin Bustamante, said.

Santa Fe High’s orchestra teacher, Mr. Tafoya, who is also the Santa Fe Chamber Orchestra director, has taught mixed-level classes. He said, “According to statistics, students fail the most classes during their freshman year. These fails directly impact their future careers.”

During sophomore year, a portion of the previously immature students become more focused on their school work, rather than being inattentive. According to Society19, sophomores know better to study and attend classes. These students start to understand the importance of academic skills. 

During junior year, more students begin to work much harder and are highly aware of their grades. This is also the year when the major tests are taken (SAT, ACT) and extracurricular events heat up, such as varsity sports. By eleventh grade, students better understand the significance of their academic grades and attitudes.

Because of the changes, juniors are typically the high school teacher’s favorites. These students tend to work harder than any other grade-level students.

“Juniors are my favorite!” history teacher Dr. Valdez said.

“I like juniors the most because they are mature and capable of having a conversation with me,” Mr. Robbins said.

Although during their senior year students do not need to take as many classes as the other grade levels, they have more responsibility. Seniors have to consider college applications, future careers, and their future lifestyle. Under the combination of pressures, they have no choice but to mature.

Mr. Robbins said, “Seniors have to decide what they want to do in their lives. Parents are ready to kick them out. They’ve got to make some real decisions. And it should be a fun and exciting time.”

“Seniors are older,” Crispin continued. “They know how to act at school, and act more like adults.”

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