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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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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Saying "No" Is OK

It is okay to put yourself first and do what's best for you

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It's that time of year again when your days are filled with nothing but class, work, assignments, clubs, extracurricular activities and much more. Your time and brain are going in every possible direction. But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if letting go, actually gave you something back? That's right, I am talking about the word no and all it can do for you.

I too, fall into the trap of doing more is better. Having all my time devoted to activities or work is good for me. Taking nineteen plus credits hours somehow makes me a better person, even smarter person. Well, I hate to break it you, and me, that this thought process is extremely detrimental.

There are no rules that say we must do everything and anything. If there are, they are wrong. And that's why saying no is so important.

Currently, I am taking nineteen credit hours. Soon, I am going to make sure that it is sixteen. After the first week of classes, I discovered I was in a class that would provide me with a wonderful education, but it was not counting towards my major. After thinking about it long and hard, I decided that it would be best to say no to this particular class.

Before this year, I would have said, it's okay (even if it wasn't) and muster through the class. To the old me, dropping a class would be like quitting, but I cannot even begin to tell you, and me, how far from the truth that is.

Saying no is brave. Saying no is the right thing to do. Saying no allows you to excel in other areas. Because I have decided to say no, I am opening two more hours in my day. I am relieving myself of work and projects that would add to my already hectic schedule. I am doing what is best for me.

However, there is a part two to this no phenomenon. Continuing with my example, I now have two open hours in my week. The overachiever in me would try to find something to fill it. Maybe another club or activity. Maybe more hours at work or a place to volunteer. And while none of these are bad things to do or have in your life, you are just replacing a time taker with another. When you say no, mean it and don't fill it.

This is your year to say no. Not because you are lazy. Not because you aren't smart enough. Not because you can't. Say no because it is best for you. Say no because it frees you. Say no because you can!

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