Hi everyone, it’s Ryan*. This week I started high school as a freshman. The bad news is that the week was terribly long. The good news is that I learned some things that might come in handy for kids starting high school soon. Take a look:
1. No one cares what you wear.
My mom made this big deal about going back-to-school shopping because she thought I’d care more about my clothes in high school. I don’t. I care about being comfortable. A lot of people look like they just got out of bed anyway. Some kids wear actual pajama pants.
2. High school is really different than junior high.
The school principals think junior high prepares you for high school, but it’s actually really different. The classes are harder. There are way more kids. The school has vending machines, and they don’t really care if we use our cell phone at lunch.
3. I need a wallet.
We’re supposed to carry our student ID on us all the time. The school scans it for everything. And since they sell donuts before school and I sometimes walk to McDonald’s after school, I should carry a wallet. The juniors and seniors have driver’s licenses so they obviously carry one.
4. Some of the kids seem really old.
Some students drive and have jobs. Some of them have full beards and already know where they’re going to college. Some are even voting in the election!
5. High school isn’t like the movies.
I’ve seen a lot of movies about high school, like The Breakfast Club, Clueless (because of my mom), Napoleon Dynamite, and Dead Poet’s Society, and high school is nothing like any of those movies. No freshmen are getting dumped in trashcans or anything like that. I know I just started, so I’ll have to see.
6. You can go all day and hardly see your friends.
I’m on an educational track for kids who want to be in the health science professions, so I don’t have any classes with my friends. It sucks because I don’t know any of the kids in this program yet. My break is too short to really hang out with my friends, and lunch is really short so we hardly have any time. I think I saw my friends for maybe 20 minutes today.
7. It’s cool to know older kids.
I’m on my high school’s cross-country team and trained with the upperclassmen all summer, so I already know a lot of older kids. They’re really cool and are nice to the freshman. Knowing kids in the upper grades makes me feel like I belong.
8. I’m short.
I used to be really short. I was literally the shortest kid every year in elementary school. In junior high, I had a huge growth spurt and wasn’t the smallest anymore. I was actually really average. In high school, I feel small again. Most of the guys are a lot bigger than I am. Some of them are really huge, and like, a foot taller than my dad.
9. I’m one of the few kids not on social media.
I’m not on Facebook or Instagram. I have a Snapchat, but I don’t really use it. I use my phone for Pokémon Go, searching up stuff on the Internet, and YouTube. Social media is cool, but it’s too much work and I don’t really care what people eat or where they go. I mean, if we’re friends, you’ll tell me about it anyways, so I guess I just don’t really see the point.
10. French is going to be harder than I thought.
My parents told me to choose Spanish as my foreign language because they both took it in high school and could maybe help. My dad speaks Tagalog, which has some similarities to Spanish, so he thought that might help, too. I chose French instead because I wanted to try something different and I can already tell it’s going to be really difficile.
11. High school has a lot of group projects.
I don’t like getting paired up with strangers for projects. It’s the first week of school and I’m already part of two of them. I’m like, “Hey, I don’t know you, but here’s my phone number and let’s meet at your house this weekend to get this thing done.” If I had friends in my classes, I wouldn’t care.
12. High school’s confusing.
I’m not really sure where the ASB office is or how you buy lunch in the cafeteria. I lost a really cool water bottle and I don’t know if my school has a Lost and Found or where to even find out. I don’t like to ask people questions, so I guess I’ll just figure it out eventually.
13. School pride’s not dumb.
I used to think school pride was sort of lame because school was boring and long. I just never cared much about it. High school is different through. Now that I’m in athletics, we represent the school and that’s cool. I can already tell that high school’s way more fun when you’re involved, so if I’m going to be here for four years, I want to feel good about it.
*Name changed for privacy.