Getting ready for the big day-back to school


Students prepare for new classes, new friends and, to the dismay of many, new homework

By Brittany L. Turek/Special to The Malibu Times

Every year after Labor Day, students must rub the sleep from his or her eyes as they roll out of bed at a decent hour after two glorious months of sleeping in. Once again, summer vacation has flown by, which means parents must hear their children lament that it seems like last semester just ended. However, the inevitable first day of school looms straight ahead. There’s always the mandatory shopping for school supplies. Some students get prepared by shopping for new clothes-or not. “I’m not doing anything to prepare,” said Malibu High School senior Trevor Porter. “No back-to-school shopping. My summer clothes are my school clothes.” Porter prefers a more academic path of preparation and is catching up on his summer reading. Alison Greenberg, a junior at MHS, said, “I’ve been writing essays for all the [advanced placement] classes I’ll be taking. It’s almost impossible to be ready to start school. It always comes too suddenly. I think that, even if you spent the whole summer preparing, you still wouldn’t be ready.” Switching gears from summer pastimes to schoolwork can be challenging. Jonathan Hudson, a freshman at MHS, spent his vacation playing football competitively. “I get back into the school mode, put my thinking cap back on,” said Hudson, of his preparation for school. “After not doing anything all summer, you have to go back to school and focus.” Although focusing on school is a priority for many freshmen, it’s not always the top priority. Longtime buddies Geoff Roth and Kate Pritchett are mostly looking forward to seeing all their friends after having been on summer break. Allen Starnes is excited about “girls and parties,” he said. Being the new kid on the school block can be particularly worrisome for freshmen. I’m nervous about all the big kids,” admitted Starnes. “Maybe I’ll get picked on.” While freshmen ponder the actions of the big kids, the big kids are thinking about the end of high school.

Tami Rollins will be taking a full six-class schedule of nothing but advanced placement classes. “This is my last chance to do well,” she said, “and that’s how I’d like to finish off my high school career.” Porter said he’s looking forward to “seeing how it looks from the top” during his senior year. I’m glad that high school is almost over,” said MHS senior Luke Beck. “I’m ready to make that next step to college.” From elementary school to high school, not one student interviewed could deny that the single thing they are least looking forward to upon returning is dreaded homework. “I’m nervous that I might get a bad teacher,” said Taylor Barry, a 4th grade student at Webster Elementary.

As the children in elementary school worry about bad teachers and being placed in a class that none of their friends are in, junior high students are anxious about entering high school. High school freshmen groan about the difficulties of algebra, while sophomores prepare to take this year more seriously. And juniors cram in as many difficult classes as they can handle. “I think I’ll be really busy,” said Greenberg. “AP classes will take up a lot of time. But I think I can do it.” Some seniors are taking a breather from their junior year.

“Last year was a more difficult year … You had to figure out your priorities and learn time management,” said Porter. With every new school year comes a new set of priorities for the growing student. Rest assured, though, that no matter how mature they get, it’s traditional most students will always hate homework.