Service hours increase: Yes.

Throughout high school, freedoms are expected to increase.

Service hours increase: Yes.

Anna Pohl, Opinion editor

Throughout high school, freedoms are expected to increase, yet with these come additional responsibilities. For instance, a license to drive can allow for additional time with friends or the ability to go wherever, whenever. It also brings the task of picking up younger siblings and neighbors in addition to groceries for the family.

As students progress through grade levels, they are given more trust and independence, but expectations are increased as well. Of these is the amount of service hours required for each grade.
Freshmen, new to high school, often have difficulty adjusting to the more rigorous academic requirements alone and are not yet prepared for 25 hours of service. They are simply not as equipped with the most essential life tool: time management. By the time students reach senior year, they have experienced the art of balancing school, work, activities and life. From the best methods of studying to how much time they can dedicate to practices, seniors have experienced this environment long enough to know what to do and when to do it. Meanwhile, freshmen are still new in the sense that they have often not yet had exposure to such high intensity and time commitments.

While I do not deny that freshmen are fully capable of achieving academic excellence, the fact is that we learn from our experiences. Since juniors and seniors have had much more experience with managing time than freshmen and sophomores, they will find it much easier to create the time for 20 or more hours of service.  

Compare eighth grade with freshman year.

In eighth grade, homework took a couple of hours. There was time on the weekends to have sleepovers. There were only one or two after school activities each week. There was ample time to play whichever game was popular at the time.
Freshman year, on the other hand, presents an entire new world. The activities fair alone might be overwhelming toward students who come from a school that offered only two or three clubs.

Additionally, schoolwork is much more demanding. For students previously used to having weekends as a break and playing games during free time, adding a required 25 hours of service seems cruel.

Juniors, and especially seniors, have been through this. After the first quarter, freshmen begin to find the best ways to create time for each class. They acclimate themselves with the new atmosphere. In some cases, upperclassmen may have used their own experiences to help the freshman manage his or her schedule. Moving from middle to high school can be a difficult transition, but by second semester students have already begun to enhance their time management skills.  

By sophomore year, they are prepared for the rigor of their new classes. They have found their place and know what they enjoy. Likely, they have found their preferred service agency as well. By looking back at how much they have learned of time management through their high school experience, students can rest assured that it will only grow through senior year, when they will be able to fulfill a responsibility they couldn’t in freshman year, to complete 25 hours of service.