Freshman Impressions of Strake Jesuit


Liam Smith ‘20

Freshman: a first-year student at a university, college, or high school. Also known as tenderfoot, fish, rookie and sometimes knucklehead. We’ve all been freshmen at some point in our lives. Whether it’s trying out a new sport or joining a new group, we’ve all been a novice at something. Everyone takes this first experience seriously, in order to judge the appeal. However, in high school you can’t just quit and move on, at least until you’re 18. Now, a typical freshman attends school everyday, strives to make good grades, and generally goes through the motions of daily school life, yet he still form opinions about the school by instinct. Typical responses to such opinions are, “Why should I care what some novice thinks about my school?” or “To what value is his opinion, and how does this affect me?” In reality, freshmen’s impressions have meaning. Their views show an unbiased attitude and opinion of often overlooked aspects of the school. Their impressions spotlight certain areas in need of improvement and point the school in a direction to actively appeal to prospective students.

How the poll works

Twenty randomly chosen freshmen were asked about how satisfied they are with five different aspects of school life: sports, amount of homework received, teachers, the school atmosphere, and the inclusion of religion. Each freshman answered on an ascending scale of satisfaction from one to five, with the option of “No comment.” Here are the results:

No comment I II III IV V
Contentedness with sports 5 2 8 6
Amount of homework 1 2 12 6
Contentedness with teachers 2 3 9 7
School atmosphere 9 12
Inclusion of Religion 3 7 11


Sports: “Contentedness with sports” was meant to find how happy the freshmen are with the sports offered at Strake Jesuit and the way they function, their practices, structure of teams, and other sporting events. To clarify, this is not critiquing coaches; it looks only at what is being coached. For those who chose “no comment,” they do not plan on playing sports at Jesuit. As for the remainder of the poll, I was lucky to get comments from everyone.

Amount of Homework: Granted, no one likes homework, but a solid majority are reasonably satisfied with the workload they are receiving. However, as veterans have told me, “It only gets worse from here.”

Teachers: Happily, most freshman like their teachers, or at least want to be on their good sides. As for the mavericks that spoke against their instructors, the wonderful counselor would be available for assistance.

School Atmosphere: For such a great atmosphere, Crusader Crew is definitely to thank. Although summer camps set a precedent for the environment, it seems Crusader Crew was there to establish it. Whether it was competitions between houses or freshmen getting their heads shaved, Crusader Crew did an excellent job instilling a brotherly attitude among newcomers.

Religion: This had to be the most interesting question. With society actively downplaying religious participation, I find it crucial for young people to have a spiritual education in order to guide them morally throughout their lives. I expected the freshmen to answer in mostly threes and fours, yet they surprised me with even higher average scores. Not a single one gave religion less than a three.


The “Freshman Impression Poll” may not be the most scientific or extensive; however, it offers exciting commentary on what the “lowly” freshmen find in our school. Their commentary is helpful to the school because it is, by definition, “fresh” and instinctively original.  Perhaps in the future, if done with a larger group and with greater detail, this poll could constructively influence school policy and focus.