You know, I never was afraid of high school, until it was my turn to enter it. At age nine I believed that high school was just like it was shown in the movies: a happy and fun place where being the most popular girl in school meant you had to be mean, and being the cute outsider meant you’d get the boy. Of course, this education came from the Disney channel and “Barbie” movies.
As I’ve grown older and the movies I watch more mature, I’ve even realized they now depict high school differently and more unrealistically even than it really is. Take the “Twilight” movies for example. No eye rolling. Those movies tell of an awkward klutz of a girl who is suddenly whisked away by a model-perfect vampire man. I’ve been caught up in these fantasies since I was a little girl; and now that my time has come to enter high school, I realize I really know nothing about it. Being the eldest child in my family, I have no one to tell me of what high school is really like. Of course I could ask my parents, but they grew in a completely different time than me. Who knows? Maybe high school was in fact exactly like the movies for them. But, as I said, I have no one to tell me of high school. This means my image of it is still a warped Disney movie, with a little “Twilight” mixed in there.
So one day, in hopes to find other helpless eldest children entering the ninth grade, I began to interview people. I asked them about their fears, their excitement, and what they knew of high school.
“I hear it’s not all that bad. You just really have to watch out for people and teachers,” was the response I got.
What was that supposed to mean? This ended up hurting me more than helping me. For my panic grew. I soon sunk to online tests in where I was going to end up in high school. (I often got “nerd” or “artsy rebel.” Which again, I have no idea what this means.) But then a light at the end of the tunnel emerged, a possibility I had neglected: I realized I knew students who were already in high school whom I could ask about the experience.
And after speaking with them, I’ll tell you right now, all that fear and dread inside me began to melt away.
“I was afraid of entering high school at first,” one told me. “I had always been at small private schools and didn’t want to be treated differently just because of that. But it turns out, people were really nice and I soon my own crowd to hang out with.”
All these high-schoolers told me the same thing: find your place. High school had cliques, it had “mean girls,” but the important thing was to find where you belong and to stick with those people. Whether you are a nerd, rebel, jock or outsider, you have the ability to find your place and to make friends who will support you all throughout high school. It may seem scary at first, believe me I know, but high school is really about discovering whom you are and what you want to do with your life; and there you will meet people who want to help you do as such.
Take me for example: I want to write. I thought I wanted to be a journalist, but maybe I want to write novels. I don’t know yet. I’ll find out in high school with my “clique.” I am no longer afraid. Remember that the movies have it all wrong. It’s not about what clothes you where or who you hang out with. It’s about what you do with your life and how you make yourself out to be in the crazy world that is high school.