Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

BEHIND THE SCENES / ORANGE COUNTY

It's a Start : Try to relax. You'll outgrow it. Every upperclassman was a freshman once.

September 05, 1996

It's back to campus, and you know the drill. Well, maybe not. What if you're an incoming freshman transferring from junior high and all your friends are heading to a different high school?

In a sea of, say, 1,500 faces, maybe you'll only recognize a handful. How big is this place anyway? And how are you supposed to get from one class to the next in minutes, with social stops in between?

High school anxiety, the Day One jitters.

Brian Johnson, a freshly minted freshman at Fullerton Union High School, isn't letting it get to him. He cruised onto campus for the first day of school Tuesday with the thought that everything was OK.

It's not just a job; it's an adventure.

"I've been looking forward to coming," says Brian, 14. "It was the end of summer, and it got boring, so now I have something to do. And since there's only about 10 kids from my school--Parks Junior High--here, it's unknown territory. I'm looking forward to starting fresh. No one knows me with the exception of a few friends."

Principal Cindy Ranii says about 30% of Fullerton Union High School's students are freshmen. She organized an opening day assembly in the auditorium to get everyone acquainted.

The school, which opened in 1893, has something new this year: the Academy of the Arts, an academic and performing and visual arts programs.

But a few things remain constant: School dress codes--where inappropriate or gang-related displays mean a conference with parents--and the age-old tradition that freshmen get treated, well, like the lower class.

"I'm scared," confesses freshman Katherine Futterer, 13, "because everyone tells me, 'You're gonna be a scrub, and you're gonna get trash-canned,' but I have lot of friends here, including my best friend.

"I'm only bummed that I'm starting a new school and I'm around new people, but on the first day I had to to wear my choir uniform--a white polo shirt and blue jeans--for the assembly. And the choir director said we couldn't wear perfume because someone singing next to us could take a breath and fall over. Afterward, I changed my clothes."

But Brian's not worried about being a scrub. After all, his father, paternal grandparents, aunts and uncles all survived their first year at Fullerton Union High.

No sweat, man.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|