Class of 2023 Freshmen Experiences

Get a taste of the Pre-Covid AMHS


Times have changed since the class of 2023 were freshmen. Notably, we got taller and less awkward. And also experienced high school with a global pandemic. We were the last to see Academic Magnet pre-COVID. So, now that Biden has declared the pandemic over, what better way to celebrate than reflecting on some of our experiences during the pre-COVID world? 

To preface this article, an anonymous senior said that our experiences as freshmen were mainly influenced by “the treatment we received from the upperclassmen.” So, let us begin. 

We jumped off after this

Let’s start in one of the most significant settings for Academic Magnet up until 2020. Danny Jones Stadium. Mine, like most, memories here are surreal; this is where we got our first taste of AMHS spirit. It can be summed up in two words: heat and noise. I miss the authenticity and character of Danny Jones, even though our freshmen memories here were a tad bit unpleasant. It was ridiculously crowded. Carolyn Selvidge compares it to “standing like sardines.” As well as this, Emily Pilla remembers “standing directly next to a sweaty Marshall Fleming” and that she will “never forget the two times where [her] entire body was pushed up against his sweaty wife beater.” She exclaims, “Those were the days.” The crowdedness caused the obvious “FRESHMEN JUMP OFF” chants that lasted for five minutes at a time.

Primary source

Some of us even jumped off the back of the bleachers. With pride. I’m not kidding. In my class alone right now, 42% of us jumped off at some point. Upperclassmen’s saliva sprayed on our faces as we got screamed at. After halftime, seniors blocked the entrances so we couldn’t get back in, and as Emily Byrne remembers, “there were times that we had to crawl up and down the back of the bleachers.” Safety hazard? Laura Robertson reminisced, “Me and Mary Blake climbed 15 feet and were dangling.” Dakota Hasty was forced to climb over the fence on the side of the student section, and she “ended up with a large scratch and bruise on [her] leg that left a scar.” Nonetheless, we showed up at each game hungry for a win without complaining. Carolyn Selvidge remembers it as “pivotal in most of our developments as Magnet students.”

Next, when it came to lunchtime, our spots were strictly inside. We dare not step foot into the courtyard. If we had to for any reason, we kept our heads down and feet moving. The risk of public humiliation was too high. As Emily Pilla remembers, “We were terrified even to try, so none of us did.” Additionally, an anonymous member of the class of 2023 said that “seniors even declared their own lunch tables outside, and no freshman could get anywhere near them.” 

Shall we continue? Or have you heard enough? 

Just kidding; there’s ALWAYS more.

Let’s move on to spirit week.

Our very first wall (with blazing, uncovered lights)

As freshmen walls are, both of our walls were sub-par, to say the least. However, according to an anonymous senior, “upperclassmen would run through our walls, tearing everything down, and would take parts of people’s costumes from them.” I have witnessed the tearing down myself. We also were told that we were not allowed to cover the lights that were a part of our wall, probably worsening the whole wall situation. To continue, of course, there is the whole scream tunnel situation (that this year’s freshmen don’t even know about). A senior said that this scream tunnel with the whistles was a “staple of spirit week,” and they are “thoroughly saddened [it] is no longer there.” In addition, another anon stated that these outrageous traditions “never bothered me. If anything, those things just entertained and/or impressed me and caused me to be more excited about someday being a senior.” Senior privileges are like no other, and everyone at this school will be able to experience them one day, even if it seems unfair now. Lastly, we did face some verbal intimidation that now is actually very laughable. Upperclassmen said I looked like a hussy on baby day”, exclaimed an anonymous student. Which is actually very creepy because how do you look like a hussy while dressed as a baby .It was actually disturbing that that was said. But don’t read too far into it.

Loud cheers during the pep rally

A couple more experiences that don’t fit into any particular category include “getting shoved into lockers” and “[having] their IDs stolen” during regular school days. Additionally, it was known that “Freshman duties are a central part of many sports, and we had to accept that on the pretense that everyone else had to do it too.” Makes sense, doesn’t it. 

So, that’s how it was. A lot has changed since then, of course. I’m sure any senior can affirm this behavior, and a majority probably have personal stories. Feel free to ask around if you’re curious. We hope to carry on the Pre-Covid AMHS legacy as best we can, as it is our duty. As we move on, I hope and pray the traditions won’t.