Shouts echo in the quad of Sierra College as students chase a Frisbee or a football back and forth. College students walk warily around the edges of the game, trying to avoid getting hit as they make their way across campus. “Ghidotti students,” some mutter under their breath.
The location of Ghidotti Early College High School on the Nevada County Campus of Sierra College necessitates daily interaction between the high-schoolers and local college students of all ages. The variations in ages, experiences and expectations of all involved produce many different opinions about the exchanges.
Sierra College students seem split on their opinions of Ghidotti students. Many enjoy interacting with the younger scholars in the classroom, as they often understand the material well and are able to provide assistance and a more youthful perspective to their elder peers. Outside of the classroom, however, college students tend to be less enthusiastic about the atmosphere created by the presence of high-schoolers.
“I think it kind of takes away from the college environment outside of class and around campus,” said Sierra College student Genesis Napel.
Fellow Sierra College student Gregory Tujillo said, “Coming from high school to college, you expect a bigger change, but it seems like nothing has changed.”
A general stereotype has developed among Sierra College students that all youthful and immature groups must be Ghidotti students, and all Ghidotti students must be immature. Those students who have met and interacted with Ghidotti students often find this untrue fairly quickly, often mistaking even the youngest high schoolers for average Sierra College students while in class.
Former Ghidotti students who now attend Sierra College full time say that their opinions have certainly changed a great deal since graduating.
“I never realized how young we were,” said Victoria Jokkel, who graduated with the Ghidotti Class of 2012. “I’m now looking from a different perspective.”
Even the opinions of current Ghidotti students tend to vary. It has long been an acknowledged fact among the upperclassmen that the immaturity of their lowerclassmen peers attracts far too much negative attention to the high school population as a whole, causing the school’s best and brightest (and quietest) to remain hidden in their quite corners of the Tutoring Center or library. The younger students, however, often feel that they are no more or less rowdy and immature than many of their youngest college peers.
The truth of the matter is that while Ghidotti students possess the ability to be studious in class, they are still teenagers trying to make the most of their high school years by having fun with their friends, whether those friends are of high school or college age. They add a little spice and energy to the college campus. And when it comes down to it, they help make Sierra College a more interesting (if less conventional) learning environment for students of all ages.
Macayla Jefferis is a senior at Ghidotti Early College High School.