Crossing the divide

Splitting MCHS into a Freshman Campus and Upper Campus has had unpredictable effects for students and staff


Maddie Canada

Sophomore Kaylie Szczepanik holds a picture of her from her freshman year. A lot has changed in the year since she left the Freshman Campus, but not all sophomores have adjusted to the shift as well as she has.

Alayna Majkrzak, Features Editor

A sophomore walks through the halls of the Upper Campus, unfamiliar and unforgiving as they hear small snippets of conversation from the upperclassmen around them. All of them follow one consistent pattern, putting down the sophomore class for anything they can think of. Whether it’s fighting, vaping, or lack of respect to people in the building, there is always something wrong with the sophomore class.

2023 is the first year in which there is a sophomore class that has gone through the experience of the Freshman Campus. There is a degree of separation and division that courses through the Upper Campus, putting the sophomores on the outside of it. This division has been caused by behavioral issues and the upperclassman having never met them before.

“The entire experience just seemed isolating since we were all one grade and no one to correct our behavior,” Emma Enslow, a sophomore at the Upper Campus states. “Especially because the school made no effort to really include us in any school events they had going on.”

Though, many people still find the splitting up of the two campuses a very positive experience in some aspects. Not only does it allow for the freshman class to become closer to each other, but it allows them to adjust to the high school experience without the upperclassmen influencing them.

The Principal of both campuses, Jeff Prickett, states, “What we have seen, especially with the class of 2026, is that they have a great degree of school spirit, as a result of being able to develop a culture of spirit and pride here at the [Freshman Campus], without the influences of upperclassmen.”

The increase of school spirit within the Freshman Campuses is a positive outcome of this split, but there are also negatives that come with it. Many people may not think the reasoning behind the poor behavior within MCHS is because of the campus switch entirely. Though, there still may be truth behind the thought that it added to the behavioral issues. COVID-19 set students back socially, then there was isolation from the larger school community that came with being alone at the Freshman Campus.

Sophomore Jamison Shea finds that not having upperclassmen around may have impacted the sophomore class more than originally thought. “I think the transition has affected sophomores’ behavior because a bunch of the sophomores thought they were the ‘top dogs’ of Freshman Campus last year, so they went into this year with that same mentality, and tried to be those tough guys to the upperclassmen.”

Within the transition that the freshmen have to make to the Upper Campus every year, there is the added pressure of now going to school with more than just their class. Upperclassmen have a tradition of not taking any insults from freshmen and saying things in response. Due to the campus split, this mentality of “needing to put freshmen in their place” falls onto the sophomores.

Enslow finds that the difference of maturity level between the sophomores and the upperclassmen caused a lot of people to butt heads within the Upper Campus. “A lot of the juniors and seniors I knew were telling us how awful we were. It made me feel very invalidated because all of us were seen as bad, not just the ones who were actually causing the issues.”

Though, some sophomores have found that some of their peers’ behavior was a direct effect of not having upperclassmen around them. With no one to consistently show them the ropes of high school, it was hard for them to learn what was “correct” behaviorally in high school. 

“After being isolated as a whole grade just at the Freshman Campus, I realized just how bad my class was because we weren’t given the opportunity to have our upperclassmen as good role models,” Enslow states.

Isolation is a common emotion that was felt within the sophomore class after having spent time alone in the Freshman Campus. Even though the separation of the freshman and Upper Campus hasn’t been shown to lead to behavioral issues, isolation is a harsh reality that the people at the Freshman Campus have to deal with. After spending the year alone at the Freshman Campus, adjusting to the reality of high school may be harder than the sophomore’s thought when they first came from the Freshman Campus.