A Tale From A 7th Grade New Kid

A Tale From A 7th Grade New Kid

I was being treated like a museum artifact whenever I walked into a new classroom; something that everyone wants to look at but can’t touch.
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I woke up to the futile efforts of my alarm clock. As I rolled out of bed my bare feet touched the cold, hardwood floor that I was not yet accustomed to. As we ate breakfast my mom tried to cheer us up.

“You guys will have a great first day”, she said to me and my sister.

“Oh yeah, kids staring at us and teachers asking us lots of questions, yeah, things will be peachy!” I said in my sassy, 7th grader tone.

My mom flashed me a look and told us to get in the car. As we drove to the school my mind thought of what it was like for my sister. She had spent two and a half years at our old school, and now she wasn’t going to graduate with the kids we grew up with, but with people, she would barely know. I was only a 7th grader, I wasn’t thinking about graduation, but my sister was only a few months away from graduating junior high school. I thought about my friends that I left behind in Mt. Prospect, but had I known then that I would only keep in touch with two people I wouldn’t have worried too much.

As we sat in the office of the school, school started. Hundreds of students walked in as if it was a riot. We soon met the principal and the guidance counselor and we received an “exclusive tour” as the guidance counselor put it. I guess during the run of that exclusive tour the counselors decided “You know what is the best way to welcome new students? Let’s give them standardized testing!” So we spent two hours of “fun” taking the M.A.P. test before we received our schedules and locker numbers and were sent off to class.

I walked into the 4th-period gym and realized that I knew someone already; he was a relative of one of my godsisters. His name was Michael Chaires, I mean we didn’t know each other very well, but at least I knew somebody. However, my good mood changed when the teacher decided to stop the whole class to introduce me. The teacher asked me the questions that I anticipated; the usual questions like “what’s your name?” “Anything you want people to know about you?” I was petrified the entire time, from what I had seen in all the movies up to that point the new kid in school is usually the first kid to get beat up in gym class, but before the end of class Mike introduced me to some people, so I felt slightly less awkward.

Things were okay until the one thing I feared the most came, lunch. All I kept thinking is that I was going to die. I had heard all the horror stories, the new kid always gets tripped while carrying his lunch, or gets their money stolen by your stereotypical bully; you know the one with the ripped up clothes who’s secretly crying for help because he has his own emotional issues. I didn’t make it two steps into the lunchroom before the worst possible thing happened; the principal grabbed me and dragged me around the room trying to get people to talk to me.

Eventually, she found a kid who would let me sit with him, and his name was Nick Clark. And I haven’t actually taken the opportunity to thank him until now; So Nick, thank you for making a terrifying day of my life, less horrible. The rest of my day was “interesting” to say the least, especially when I was being treated like a museum artifact whenever I walked into a new classroom; something that everyone wants to look at but can’t touch, or being asked if I was “in a gang” by one of my classmates because of my Randy Contour shirt. When I came home from school that day, I had to admit to my mom that she was right. She still hasn’t let me live it down.

Although my new school wasn’t the same as my old one, it was all new. I’ve made new friends and I keep in touch with the old ones. I have come to know some great people since moving here, whether it be the Kishore twins, who for the first two and a half years I knew them I could only tell them apart by their shoes, or one of my best friends Johnny Barrett, who in the five years I have known him has gone through five different hairstyles. I can honestly say I learned two things from moving schools; One, don’t be afraid of change. And two; never admit to your mom that she’s right… Like ever.

Cover Image Credit: Cole Keister

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Coping With The Loss Of A Passion

It's hard to get it back once you lose it.

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In college, time to focus on passions seems limited. The homework, essays, group projects, and exams are never-ending.

In high school, I took my free time for granted. I was dancing four hours four nights a week, but I wasn't constantly stressed. I had time to focus on my passion, which is dance.

In college, I am a part of an amazing dance club. But I don't get to compete, take technique classes, or be with the team I was with since I was 8 years old. Now, I receive videos of my team from home's amazing performances, and it aches a bit. I am so proud and happy for their growth but jealous that they have more years than I do. It is nearly impossible to find technique classes at college to take with no car, little free time, and barely any money. I miss my team, I miss my dance teachers and choreographers, and I miss competitions, but most of all, I miss the person I was when I had the opportunity to pursue my passion several hours a week.

My passion will always be there, and I do get to pursue dance on a smaller scale with some amazing dancers in college, but I am coping with the fact that I will never do another competition with my team again, I will never be able to dance with them again, and I will never be able to learn from my dance teachers again. It's a hard loss, one that I think about every day.

To anyone who still has the opportunities to pursue their passions to the fullest extent, you are lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to keep up with their sport, passion, or activity that they dedicated all of their time to in high school. Don't take a single second of it for granted, and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Take time to reflect on why you love it so much, how it makes you feel, and how you can express yourself during it. Whatever this passion or activity is, make every second count.

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