Taking the leap from middle school to high school

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By Camille Sweeney-Carter

(Illustration by Camille Sweeney-Carter)

As people go through life, they gradually learn things, see things, and experience things, good and bad. The process of growing up can be hard, and people often long for the comforts of childhood they once had.

In elementary school, students had less responsibilities: one teacher and no locker combinations to worry about. Hanging backpacks on hooks, going out at least once a day for sweet, sweet recess, having little to no homework: these were the luxuries that allowed students to have a less stressful day in and out of school. Then, middle school came along, and kids said goodbye to four square and stress-free evenings. They were assaulted with six different classes, virtually no breaks during the school day, and far more responsibilities such as remembering P.E. clothes and writing down all the homework that needs to be done so it won’t be forgotten. Lastly, in the final transition, eighth graders stepped into a whole new playing field, high school. They went from being the top dogs to chihuahuas in a St. Bernard world.

For starters, high schools are much bigger than most middle schools. Coronado has two stories, a huge quad area, an endless amount of corridors, and at least three times the number of classrooms compared to middle school. With how spread out everything is – some classes seeming to be clear on the other side of the world – most students have a lot farther to walk to get to their next destination. Plus, the hallways and the quad are ridiculously congested during passing periods. Everyone is constantly bumping into each other and gathering in clusters leaving no gaps to squeeze through. It is a miracle anyone ever makes it to class.

Every year the school is bombarded with a whole new batch of incoming freshmen; this year, it brought the school’s population to over 3,400 people. While school is filled nearly to the brim with kids and staff, Del Webb and Bob Miller only have about 1,800 students each. After getting used to the drastic change in numbers, freshmen also have to brush up on the phrase “excuse me.”

There is no doubt that high school has a larger workload than middle school. Going from having a reasonable amount of work to getting a dumptruck full of responsibilities can be jarring. With all the projects, deadlines, and endless math equations to solve, it’s astonishing how students ever even find the time to breathe. School seems overwhelming already, and it’s not even the end of first quarter. More work means staying up later, and an earlier school start time already means less sleep, which, of course, calls for coffee… lots of coffee.

Emotions can run wild in high school. Students here might as well be the stars of a soap opera. Emotions fly around like insects, swarming and buzzing around, this way and that way.  Sometimes kids are stressed because they have a test in every single subject tomorrow, or they’re sad because the person they like is dating someone else. Students could be mad at their best friends, or jealous that someone got a better grade than they did on a test when they know that person didn’t study. It’s all these emotions, however, that makes everyone who they are; they make people human.

As kids get older, these feelings, that may have not been prominent before, intensify. These sensations start to seem like they’ll affect the rest of the teenager’s life. Even if the problem isn’t extremely important and life-changing, every miniscule moment of drama is like a tsunami of emotion. This “natural disaster” may feel like the end of the world, but in reality, the damage will be cleaned up, and everything will be alright again in a few days.

Eventually, freshmen will become seniors, where they will graduate, head to college, and find themselves at the bottom of the heap once more, longing for the good old days of childhood.