By Miranda Swartz
I think I got stabbed at least 80 times by the daggers students and teachers threw at me with their glares the first day of high school. I had forgotten how freshmen could be, with our towering shortness and our menacing high pitched voices. Us freshmen admit it; we are the annoying cousins of the high school, always there at family get-togethers and Thanksgiving, acting immature and annoying. Quite honestly, I have been dreading to be that annoying cousin. I have been dreading to be looked down upon, nervous for how I would fit into high school. At Cole, everything was laid out for us. Teachers would tell us exactly what to do and how to do it. Now, there is already three times the amount of homework and a hundred times the amount of stress. Why is the “easiest” year of high school already so hard?
On the first day of high school, it was an understatement to say I was excited to decorate my new and official high school locker. I still remember stepping into Mrs. Carter’s advisory for the first time, pulling out my magnet dry erase board and light up chandelier to put in my locker. I even remember pulling out a freshly purchased set of Christmas lights from Five Below, ecstatic to hang them up. Little did I know the lockers would barely be big enough to fit a single 1 subject notebook, let alone the massive chandelier that was awaiting display. I finally felt like the annoying cousin I’d been avoiding all along; I finally felt like a freshman. Although I was extremely disappointed I would not be using my cheap locker decor, the whole situation was necessary. I needed a wake up call, telling me I was not in middle school anymore. I needed to be reminded I no longer roamed the halls with children. I am no longer a kid waiting to grow up.
Having no life is not an option in high school. For someone to have no life, that means they do nothing with their existence, not engaging in anything or anyone. You do not have to have a bunch of friends or be out of the house for more than 10 hours to have life. For a lot of people, their life consists of devoting themselves to their classes and education. They may not do anything except what many of us experience: all work and no play. Full disclosure, I barely had a life in middle school, other than for hanging out with my friends. My free time was spent shopping, watching Netflix, eating out at restaurants. In high school, one of the biggest lessons you learn freshmen year (other than walking on the sides of the hallways so seniors can walk in the middle) is spending your free time enhancing your intelligence. You should be devoted to improving your skills and knowledge, but you cannot let it control your life. You work to live, not live to work.
Although homework is exhausting and time consuming, when you turn your assignment in, so much pressure leaves your body. The stress of completing it is no longer within you. The biggest change from middle school to high school is the phenomenon of the never ending assignment, one you may never know the answers to. In high school, students are no longer participating and working to merely get something done, but they’re doing it to ensure their future and stability for the rest of their lives. High schoolers’ fears are not what the consequences of their actions will be now, but the fear of what their consequences will turn into when they are 19, 20, 25, or even 40. The mistakes high schoolers make do not die after one detention. The mistakes become permanent gum stuck onto their shoes, making each step harder to walk, the gum impossible to get rid of.
In the long run, maybe I’m fine with being the annoying cousin. Soon I will be older, regretting I took my first year of high school for granted. I know I will miss being among the babies of the school, idolizing other people who are only a few years older than me. The years will fly by, and the time I brought my mini chandelier to my first day of highschool will only be a distant memory. Before I know it, I will be watching the new annoying cousins come in from middle school to the high school just like I had done so many years ago.