My honest feelings on new school years

For me, the days bridging the end of August and the beginning of September are also the first few weeks of school. It’s also the time of year when I most frequently get asked questions such as What do you think of ___ year so far? Do you like your classes? Do you like your teachers?

They’re usually asked as either a) a broad conversation opener by an acquaintance/friend or b) an honest inquiry from my parents. My automatic response to the first group is ‘Good! How about you?’ It’s like a reflex, similar to how I answer when people ask me how I’m doing.

My instinctive answer to the latter is ‘Fine, don’t worry about it.’ It’s because I know that if I respond in any way besides neutrally, my dad will want to analyze my answer and my mom will either get excited and ask follow-up questions like ‘Very good? Or just good?’ or get genuinely anxious and ask a different set follow-up questions. Neither of which are particularly helpful responses.

But honestly? That’s a very untrue answer. It’s false. Incorrect. Wrong.

I might’ve liked first days when I was little, but since sixth grade, I know I haven’t. They’re just kind of boring. This is what they’ve been like. (If my description seems a bit different, it might be because I go to a private school.) In middle school we sorted through school supplies, created passwords and set up all our accounts (such as for the school website and Turnitin), and went over rules. On top of that, I as an art student had to initial every piece of art equipment we received. That included individual colored pencils.

In high school, first days have changed up somewhat, but they’re still the same at the core. Teachers go over syllabuses (or is it syllabi? according to WordPress, it’s syllables), we fill in questionnaires, and the administrators have an assembly and talk about the same things: uniform rules, other rules such as having clear waterbottles filled with clear water, consequence descriptions, and warnings about how this is the year they’re going to start giving girls detentions for short skirts. Riveting stuff.

However, my trouble with the beginnings of school years isn’t just the first day. It’s the first few weeks. I remember how last year (freshman year), most of the people in my grade were excited about high school and all the new “freedoms” we had. Ten minute passing periods instead of four, being able to buy snacks at the store portable on campus during school hours, being able to use our phones at school while we’re not in class.

As for me, I did not like those first few weeks. It would be better if I could look back on my actual thoughts from last year, but I’m not sure which notebook I was writing in at the time and where it is. From what I remember though, the major thing was the size jump. I went from middle school and being in a hall that had at most two grades in it to being in high school and sharing a building with three other and older grades.

It was only a jump from about two hundred fifty people to maybe six hundred (which probably seems miniscule if you go to a normal-sized public school), but the switch felt bigger than I had anticipated. I was never scared of the upperclassmen like some of my friends were, but being around them did take getting used to.

This year, that didn’t faze me at all. It actually felt weird when I walked in on the first day of school this time around and felt so completely comfortable in the high school building while remembering how out of place and unsure I had felt the year before.

This time around, the adjusting has had to do with something else. The things that other people might dislike (waking up early, homework, the actual school part of school) aren’t things I had too hard of a time getting used to. It was the opposite- it’s been strange noticing how quickly I fall into the daily rhythms of school.

This time around, it’s more of the people part of the school equation that I’m refiguring out- the class dynamics, the teachers, the easy and short conversations, the being around people for hours after spending most of my time by myself for three months.

After a solid month of school, I think I’m finally to the point of truly getting into the groove of this school year. That might seem like a long time- maybe even too long of a time, but that’s something I’m learning: if I’m in the process of deliberately adjusting to change, telling myself I’m taking too long only adds grief and guilt to the mess.

It will take how long it takes, and however long it does, that’s the right amount.

ps

Have you used ever Turnitin? It’s a website that checks for plagarism.
What’s the transition between summer and school like for you?
Does it come easy to talk to your parents about school happenings or are you more like me? Telling my parents about my day is not something I’m naturally inclined to do, and I’m not sure why. I have to consciously make an effort to do so.

13 thoughts on “My honest feelings on new school years”

  1. This was such an interesting read! I go to public school so it was cool to see similarities and differences…I started using turnitin.com a few years ago and I’m not sure why but I always get stressed out when I turn things in, even though I don’t plagarize anything…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yea, public vs. private school is always something I’m curious about. I completely know what you mean! It’s like when you’ve triple checked that you brought something important, but you still get a mini heart jump when somebody asks if you remembered.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess people have different relationships with their parents, because I share a lot with them, particularly my mum. Anyway, you think high school in America is scary? Try it in England, we don’t have middle school, so years 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, AND Six form (2 more years) are all together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I very much agree with that! I would say I share more with my dad, but usually it’s more about what I’m thinking about and less about what’s going on at school. Whoaaa, I did not know that! That’s almost like middle and high school being all together.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with this post! It takes me a few weeks to get in the groove. I am homeschooled, but I have to get used to the increase in workload and difficulty of subjects. I’m finally starting to get it (this is week 3 for me) but have also thrown the weight of working more on my more side courses as well. (the beginning has the least work, so I might as well use my time to get as much done as I can on those other courses so that I don’t have to worry about them 😛 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Question: what side courses do you take? That sounds very interesting! And some more quesitons: I’ve never been homeschooled, and I realize that this is a very general quesiton, but what is it like? Like scheduling, extra-cirriculars, things like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I take Art, Creative Writing and Publishing, and PE. For CTS courses this year, I’m taking Visual Composition, Typography, and Electronic Layout and Publishing 1 and Electronic Layout and Publishing 2.
        It’s flexible. Because I do online classes, they have their own set time, but I basically run my schedule with my family. I have to take care of my own homework and practice (piano 😛 ) I don’t do my school in pajamas, except for when I broke my collarbone last December. Then for the first couple weeks, I stayed in pajamas since they were a lot looser and more easy for me to get in and out of. During that time, homeschooling made it easier to get to my check-ups. Classes are recorded, so I could still watch them.
        The online school we do is across Alberta, I believe, and they organize things that we can do in person. I take soccer during the first and second semesters and gymnastics in the first. They run for around 8-10 weeks. Some things are just one day. That way we can meet teachers and classmates in person. 🙂
        Basically, homeschooling teaches me how to manage my own time well, use technology, and have a schedule. It’s flexible, but the school itself isn’t easy. I can email teachers for help, but I have to study on my own and follow the agendas. There’s a lot of reading involved, due to online schooling. I like doing it this way, though, and am glad I don’t have to go to a ‘real’ school.
        And just to dispel any thoughts people might have, no, homeschoolers are not dumb. We are smart, and it’s quite possible we’re smarter than other people. Here’s a link to a list of famous people who were homeschoolers:

        http://www.famoushomeschoolers.net/writers.html#.W7FIoq2-K9b

        DISCLAIMER: I AM TIRED TODAY. I USUALLY DON’T REPEAT MYSELF THIS MUCH AND NOT MAKE THIS LITTLE SENSE. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Whoa, typography? If that’s what I think it is (fonts and how words look), that sounds very interesting and fun. I love how all the classes you’re taking seem so tailored to your interests.
        Oh, I play piano too! Hahaha, I appreciate that you answered the pajama question without me even asking. Is that a choice you made by yourself or is it because of a rule? And also, yikes, I’m sorry about your collarbone.
        By recorded, do you mean videos of a teacher teaching? I’ve never known if online classes is where you can see the teacher or if you just see the “board.” Oh yes, there’s a homeschool association that organizes sports like that where I live too, which is something I know because my school plays a homeschool team for volleyball.
        Yea, being homeschooled seems like it requires more time-management skills because. If you’re not homeschooled, you have to manage the time you spend at home but not really the time you spend at school.
        Oh hm, I’ve never gotten the feeling that people think of homeschoolers as dumb- actually, I would say it’s usually the opposite. And whoa, that’s a good list of people! It’s interesting how they’re all writers.
        Hahaha, I think you made complete sense. :)) Thank you so much for answering my questions!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Being in pajamas is more of a rule. I know classmates of mine probably wear their’s and sleep in. 😛 It’s just a thing with my family.
        We use something called Blackboard Collaborate for classes, and have ‘collaborate’. You sign in the room with your name, and can talk with the chat box, or a microphone if the teacher turns on your permissions (that’s how we read in class) In Blackboard Collaborate, the teacher is the moderator, so they can toggle everyone else’s permissions to draw on the board or talk or even use the chatbox, and they can turn on and off the recording (so if we’re just going to be silent for 5 minutes while we all figure out a math problem by ourselves, then we don’t have to record that 😂)
        I actually know this man who really isn’t impressed by homeschoolers. He’s like ‘oh you did good for not going to school’ and whatever. Like… why??? (he did that to my sister last week, but she’s actually graduated. We didn’t tell him though) (I have 2 siblings graduated, and both of them had high averages when they finished)
        No problem 🙂 We’ve been homeschooling for just over a decade.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh hm, I’m interested why he felt that way. I also wish he hadn’t said that to you and your siblings. The phrase you did good for ____ is never a good phrase. The one that I think is most said is you’re good… for a girl. It might be more of an insult than a complimet.

        Liked by 1 person

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