Teens share thoughts on adapting to high school
September 19, 2013 3:49PM
Updated: October 21, 2013 6:09AM
I received a number of comments about my last column, which dealt with the sometimes difficult transition students experience between eighth and ninth grades.
As expected, some students adapted better than others. Surprisingly, in equal numbers, both the boys and girls thought that they had similar experiences and few of the respondents admitted to having a particularly difficult time making the adjustment.
I will quote from two students who made comments that I believe may be helpful to readers for this column.
One young lady in the tenth grade thought the whole process of starting high school was an exciting time in her life.
Micayla wrote, “Every single day you set goals for yourself. Albeit many goals are quickly discarded as you find new things that you find yourself enjoying. As you grow up you are constantly changing and trying to figure out who you are so change is constant.”
I think that this is a fair summation of a student adapting well to her new life as a student in high school.
Micayla emphasized that goals must constantly be evaluated as teens look for independence.
“When you are in high school, grades and tests become so much more important. How well you do in ninth grade depends largely on how well you learned the basic academic skills in middle school.
“This is a hard thing for kids to wrap their heads around. Most students think that they are only freshman and don’t need to worry about careers.
“When you are a little kid people expect you to say that you want to be a ballerina or fire fighter. As a freshman students start thinking about their future more seriously. Choices are made based on your past, the people you meet, and places you’ve been.
“As your new life is coming at you faster and faster you have to remember to not let it overwhelm you. Focus on one thing at a time.
“When at school focus on studying and your school work, not which of your friends will be having the biggest party this weekend. You have to learn dedication and time management. After school don’t put off your homework until midnight — work on it right away.”
Another student, Sitha, a freshman in high school, told me how she dealt with the social pressures of making the transition from eighth to ninth grade. She said,
“I’ve learned to be more outgoing.”
“I have at least one friend in every class, new or old, so I am not lonely.”
“During lunch (I have a block schedule) I sit with people who are just acquaintances one day and my middle school friends the next day.”
“Attending football games is a good way to spend time with friends.”
“I joined after-school activities, and met new people.”
Based upon these comments one may concur that students today are more realistic and insightful about themselves than we might imagine.