When worlds collide…

Underclassmen and upperclassmen find common ground through elective classes.


Logan Stelle

Students working hard in Journalism 1 during first period. This class has students from every grade.

For many incoming freshmen, one of the scariest parts about transitioning from middle school to high school is being surrounded by a new group of people. It can often take a while to get used to the vast age gap between freshman and upperclassmen. After all, incoming freshmen go from being the oldest and wisest grade as eighth graders to becoming the “babies” or youngest in the school. For some students, it can feel intimidating to simply walk in the halls during passing periods and look up to see upperclassmen with facial hair holding their car keys in their hand. 

However, while underclassmen and upperclassmen may seem as though they are a part of two separate worlds, these students often have more in common than what might appear when viewed from a distance. 

At Wilsonville High School, it is not uncommon for students to be in classes with other grades. Most common in elective classes, some of the classes with the largest mix of students from different grades are art classes, journalism, language classes, and even a few math classes such as advanced algebra and pre-calculus. While it may seem intimidating for younger students to have older peers, many underclassmen actually enjoy being able to interact with other grades.

Logan Stelle, freshman, is one of many underclassmen that has a class with freshmen, sophomore, juniors, and even seniors. As one of her current electives, she is taking Journalism 1. This is a class that is offered to every grade, no matter their experience as writers.  According to Logan, there are many benefits to having older peers. “I don’t mind having classes with older people in it. Most kids just sit within their own grade levels, but there are a few really nice juniors and seniors in my class. Plus, I can ask them for help with other classes, since a lot of them are in more advanced classes,” she commented.

Jadyn Platt, senior, is also a student in Journalism 1. Whereas some upperclassmen may find it difficult to be in a class with mixed ages, Jadyn enjoys getting to hear about the experiences of her classmates, both older and younger. She said, “it’s kind of fun getting to hear them talk about their classes and give them advice about their classes. I get to hear about some of the stuff that I missed during my high school career that they are getting to enjoy, which is cool.” 

So, while becoming a high schooler comes with many worries and changes, WVHS allows students of every background and age to gain a sense of community through their classmates and peers.