High School Feelings and Changes

Bella Torres

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As the end of the school year closes in, the current eighth graders are preparing themselves for their first year of high school: freshman year. Luckily, before the next school year, the students have at least part of the summer season to lay back and relax, giving them time to recuperate from the previous year and prepare for the next. Freshman year is probably considered one of the most awkward, horrible school years that a student has to experience. And no wonder, considering the incoming high schoolers have to experience several new things, including a new school with new teachers, older high schoolers, classes they’ve never had the opportunity to take before, and people they’ve never come in contact with. Not to mention, they’re still trying to discover who they are, all while going through big changes in life, including learning how to drive, getting jobs, and even preparing for college. The eighth graders at RPEMS are about to experience a whole new world.

With a new school year comes new feelings. Every current eighth grader has a different way of looking at the upcoming school year, whether they’re negative or positive outlooks.  Most people are excited and ready to take on the new year, while others are more overwhelmed by anxiety. When asked if they are excited for high school, Ali Fielder, Kayla Cea, and Chad Gardner all simply answered, “Yes.” Hillary Elrod explained, “I don’t know if I’m excited, I think I’m just scared,” and Sydney Sampson said, “Sure.” Most people agreed that they are excited to see and meet new people and have more freedom. When asked to go into more detail about why or why not they’re excited, Ali said, ““Because I’m excited to meet new people.” and Sage Buckley said, “I’m excited to talk to people that aren’t in our grade for a change and to take new classes.” Hillary and Sydney had a different opinion, stating, ““Because I might get lost in the school,” and ““Part of it seems exciting but other parts seem stressful.” Kayla responded with, “Because we get more freedom,” and Chad excitedly said, “There’s a lot more classes to take and a lot more extracurricular activities.” Most of the students had different reasons for being excited, varying from new people, friends, and growing up to better school dances and late starts on Thursdays. Another factor that plays a role in the incoming high schooler’s feelings are the new district changes. While most people agree that they were looking forward to traveling from building to building, others are looking forward to having all their classes in the same part of the building and having their own Freshman Center. Overall, most eighth graders are both excited and nervous for the new school year.

In order to successfully start and go through with Freshman year, preparation is essential.  Since there are numerous sports and extracurricular activities at the high school, many people choose to participate in at least one. That means they need to start preparing for their chosen activities, even though a lot of people would prefer to just have a relaxing couple of months. Whether it’s just reading over the summer or beginning to condition for sports, many people do things that help prepare them either mentally or physically for the next school year. Kayla and Sydney said, “I think there might be a thing for swim,” and “Swimming; conditioning.” There is conditioning for swim, football, and several other sports. There are also band camps and marching band preparation. Other people stick to reading or possibly doing school work over the summer. Kayla said, “Mmmm, possibly reading.” when asked whether she chooses to do any work over the summer break. A huge way that a ton of people choose to get a head start for freshman year is summer school. Both in-person and online summer school is available, and depending on the student’s needs, they choose either one of those options or none of the above. When asked if she was taking summer school, Sydney said, “Yeah to get PE out of the way,” which most people agree with. Some people also go school supply and clothes/shoes shopping as another way to prepare for new school years.

Another huge part of transitioning to a new grade/school are the changes that come with it. While there are many nerve-wracking changes, there are also some exciting and big changes. When asked what the most uneasing change they think they’ll experience is, Ali said, “The people are scary,” and Sage had a similar response, “Being in a school with people who are all older than us.” Kayla answered, “Getting lost or not knowing where to go.” Sydney and Chad both agreed that the most uneasing change will be the advanced classes. Sydney said, “Taking harder classes,” and Chad explained, “The classes are going to be a lot more difficult and harder.” As shown, the most uneasing changes tend to be the new and older people, as well as the seemingly harder classes. On the other hand, students are looking forward to more exciting things. Sydney said, “You really get to focus on the stuff you want to,” while Ali and Sage were looking forward to longer lunches. Ali said the biggest change will be “…teacher attitudes,” and Kayla similarly said, “Probably the different people.” Some students said the biggest change will be maturing and having different surroundings.

A huge change of going from middle school to high school is the new variety of offered classes, courses, and activities. There are several new elective classes and after school sports available. Some sports include Football, Cheer, Prowlers, Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball, Wrestling, Track, and the new options of Softball, Tennis, Soccer, and Swim. Other Extra Curricular activities include NHS, SLT, Marching Band, Band ensembles, and Forensics and Debate. New class options include Parenting, Interior Designing, Elements of Art, Fashion, and Journaling. Freshman year is also a year with several different leveled classes, including different levels of Math and Spanish. One motivator for choosing specific elective and core classes is the fact that they are prerequisites for future classes or diplomas, like AP or IB. When asked why she chose the classes she did, Kayla said, “Cuz they seem interesting and are prerequisites,” Another motivator is the student’s idea for their future career. Sydney said, ““Parenting because I want to go into the medical field.”

Although school is a big part of a student’s life, it sure isn’t all of it. Going into high school opens the doors for several new experiences and opportunities. For many students, that includes beginning to study for the driving tests that allow them to get their permits and start to actually drive. Many people are going to start studying for the test and learning how to drive next year. When asked whether or not they are going to learn how to drive next year, Sydney said, “Yeah, summer. I’m turning 15 in July.” Kayla responded with “yeah,” and Hillary and Sage both said “Yes.” High school is also the time when students begin to apply for and start jobs. For most, the start of jobs begins at age 16, which is mostly during Sophomore year, but some jobs are available for 15 years old, including babysitting.

Overall, high school is a huge step in student lives. As well as going through major life changes, including driving and jobs, students also experience new surroundings and new people. Beginning high school can be a stressful time for some, while it may be an exciting time for others. Some people choose to prepare for the new year, while others like to spend their summers relaxing and recuperating. There are also new classes and extracurricular activities available, allowing the students to really dig deep into what they are truly interested in. No matter what, high school is a natural part of life, so enjoy it!

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High School Feelings and Changes