The separation of CHS’ upper and underclassmen


The class of 2024 is especially disconnected from the upperclassmen of CHS due to their hybrid freshman year.

Francesco Thorik-Saboia

Freshmen in high school can have trouble fitting in, especially at a school like CHS where they probably aren’t going to know most people in their own classes, let alone students in other grades.

Factors like age differences, a lack of shared classes and COVID-19 contribute to many underclassmen struggling to make connections with the upperclassmen.

Junior Joseph Esposito of Tinton Falls suggests that COVID-19 is the reason for the classes’ separation.

“I blame it on COVID because I feel like when we were freshmen, everyone in the school got to see our faces, and every day we were showing up to school,” Esposito said.

COVID-19 caused the current sophomores to experience the first month of their freshman year at CHS in a completely virtual environment, and the grade was divided into cohorts for a majority of the 2020-2021 school year.

“The sophomores, in general, were very separated from the school and each other for those first few months,” Esposito said.

“Teachers have gone on rants about how a lot of the sophomores and a lot of the freshmen are very underdeveloped socially because they lost two very crucial years in social development,” said senior Aiden Cole of Neptune. “It’s a lot harder for them to connect with each other, but also [to] connect with everyone else just because of that.”

While the majority of underclassmen feel detached from the juniors and seniors, some of the upperclassmen felt the same way during their time as freshmen and sophomores.

“I would definitely say I was more detached because I didn’t really talk to any of the upperclassmen,” said junior Brian McGowan of Wall.

To combat this issue, senior Danielle McLaughlin of Tinton Falls believes that clubs are the best way for upper and underclassmen to mingle.

“I’ve met underclassmen through drama or underclassmen I work with for Inkblot graphics or a CCC event,” said McLaughlin.

Although most believe that there is a significant separation between under and upperclassmen due to and COVID-19, freshman John Pallone of Long Branch disagrees.

“I don’t think there’s a separation between classes,” Pallone said. “There’s a stereotype that upperclassmen don’t like underclassmen and vice versa but I don’t really think that exists.”

Students like Pallone hope for a closer relationship between the different classes for a more well-rounded high school experience.

“I think they should have a bigger relationship with each other because they both have their positives and negatives that they can contribute to each other,” Pallone said.