The Class of 2025 missed out on crucial middle school experiences (Opinion)

Current freshmen should not be expected to ignore the fact that they missed out on more than half of middle school


DJ Gallegos

Freshmen work with Mr. Steitz in integrated history and english class.

The Class of 2025 had their last full year of in-person school in 6th grade. We missed out on 11 of the 18 total months that make up 7th and 8th grade.

Five of the months were spent all online, from March through May, and August through September of 2020. Six of the 11 months were hybrid, starting from October and ending in March of 2021.

Freshmen had a confusing and non traditional 11 months of their middle school experience — so what did we really miss out on? 

Similar to the Class of 2022 missing out on most of sophomore and junior year, the Class of 2025 missed out on most of 7th and 8th grade. How do we compare two very different COVID-19 shutdown experiences?

Current freshmen in particular had countless opportunities taken away: growing up without our middle school friends, school dances, and social experiences that only take place in middle school.

Freshmen never really had a chance to grow up. No matter how old we are now, we’re still, in a way, mentally in middle school because we never got the opportunity to grow out of instilled middle school mindsets. The transition into high school was very irregular.

We never got to genuinely experience middle school.

We never got to fully develop to the maturity levels everyone believes we should be at.

We never got an opportunity to grow into who we are, our identity.

Now we’re walking around high school, expected to act like freshmen instead of middle schoolers. People are ignoring the fact that a peak period of growth in our lives was taken from us.

There is maturing that takes place from 7th to 8th grade, then from middle to high school.

Why does that matter? It was only middle school, some say.

And that is just the point — it was middle school. It was our three years to grow up and find out who we want to be in high school.