VOICES: As high school looms, student feels worried, hopeful

Megan Horne describes the stress, excitement that 8th graders are feeling

VOICES: As high school looms, student feels worried, hopeful


As I enter Mr. Weiss’ classroom, I see Mrs. Barnes, the 8th grade counselor, standing at the front of the room, along with papers that look like schedules laying on a desk for us to pick up on our way to our seat.

It’s time to get ready for high school.

I don’t feel ready, physically or emotionally. I’m not ready for all those stairs or running to classes or for getting lost and confused. At the high school, the passing periods are five minutes long — the same as at ROMS. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have more time to get from class to class than a one-story middle school. Of course, I can’t speak from experience; most of the worst-case scenarios that run through my head are just my imagination, as I’ve never even been inside the high school.

But somehow, that doesn’t make me feel any better.

Another thing that stresses me out is the idea of getting picked on. In most movies about high school, you see the freshman getting teased for being the youngest in the school. It scares me to think that those scenes are inspired by reality.

Emotionally, I hope I’m prepared for the stress that high school will likely bring. Eighth grade has already been stressful enough, having to reach at least a 70 in every class in order to be eligible to perform in choir and dance. A couple of times this year, I almost didn’t reach that threshold. It made me feel like I was going back to how I acted in 7th grade: failing most of my classes because I didn’t prioritize. Back then, I wasn’t doing what needed to get done. I can only imagine how stressful 9th grade will be with more work and responsibility on my shoulders.

I was also worried about the possibility of not getting to take the classes I love most. At first, it looked like I was going to have to choose between choir and dance sophomore year; it broke my heart having to give up something I loved to do because of all the other responsibilities I will have. I went to see Mrs. Barnes to work out my schedule; she took a look at it and fixed it to where I have everything I want. It made me feel like maybe high school wasn’t going to be so miserable after all.

But I’m not the only one who’s worried about being miserable; my mom is upset that I’m growing up too fast. “My baby is already going to high school,” she says to everyone she sees. But I guess she and I have different opinions. I can’t wait to grow up and get away from the middle school and build my life. I want to start working, get married, have kids, get my own car. I’m looking forward to my future after high school — I just have to get through high school first.

I am excited for the thought of people growing up a little bit in high school. Maybe people won’t be so annoying and immature like they are here; maybe they will worry about themselves more instead of following trends and making sure they “fit in.” From my point of view, they aren’t “fitting in” by being an exact copy of everyone else; they’re blending in.

Everyone listens to the same music, buys the same brands, wears the same shoes, talks the same. Everyone acts all “bad.” I don’t understand why they don’t want to stick out. That’s exactly why I try to be the exact opposite of them. I don’t listen to the same music, I don’t wear all the same shoes. I won’t ever become a copy of everyone else. What makes life fun if we are all acting like the “normal” people on that one episode of “Spongebob,” where everyone has the same house, look alike and wear the same clothes.

By the end of class, as Mrs. Barnes finished talking to us about our future, I started to feel better about high school. I thought of all the better things that will be happening, all the opportunities I will have and all the fun those four years will be.