My High School Experience by Kristina Q., Alumnus of ABL

My High School Experience

Many of you have thought about high school at some point in your middle school lives. For those in sixth and seventh grade, well, you probably don’t care all that much at this point. For the eighth graders, the thought alone might be exciting, or it could be terrifying to a lot of you. My personal transition from Christa McAuliffe to Staten Island Tech was TREMENDOUS. Many specific changes had occurred because of the high school that I had picked. To start off, my commute is now about three times longer. Not to mention that my school is in another borough. There isn’t any more last minute hopping on the bus, or hailing a taxi to get to school. It also means responsibility. That’s one of the greatest things you learn while going through high school. Teachers won’t be as personalized as McAuliffe, and you won’t be able to get away with things as easily such as a missing assignment or mouthing off in class. As for copying homework and procrastinating, you won’t get away with that either. The last group of kids that plagiarized got suspended, and the last time I procrastinated, I stayed up until 3AM. The difficulty and intensity of assignments is increased dramatically. You’ll be forced to think outside of the box and actually put effort into everything you do. So yes, once you graduate, you’ll have to change your habits. No more staying up and playing League or Neko Atsume all night.
   Now, that’s simply focusing on the academic side of things. What about socially? I can’t give you a general summary of all teens in all high schools, but I can give a pretty accurate summary of mine. I’ll be honest, I’ve never really gotten used to the friend groups in my school. They’re a lot more rigid and defined than McAuliffe. You know exactly who’s “popular”, who’s on the sports team, and who’s the smartest kid in the grade. Word spreads fast.
    But all of this isn’t meant to SCARE you. There are a lot of amazing aspects to high school life as well. As for the friend group, I’ve formed bonds with many people that I’m now close with. Many of those kids are from McAuliffe, as we’ve formed a “squad”, but a lot of them aren’t. I’ve met new people and learned to appreciate the diversity of their personalities. There are so many more clubs and teams, as well as opportunities to make a difference. You could be an officer of the Student Organization, or a captain on the volleyball team. Want to make a club about Dolphin Appreciation? Sure, you could do that too. The work load of high school is pretty bad, but it isn’t impossible. I’ve survived about half the year, and people before me have survived too. You’re more than capable of handling it. Not to mention after you finish a really difficult assignment, you have a sense of pride and accomplishment. The teachers aren’t these demons with pointed horns either. When they see the students struggling, they ease up, or even reschedule their testing days.
    Honestly, that’s one of the best things that I love about high school. Flexibility. You are flexible to change your classes if you’re uncomfortable, or hang out in other places, and just hold a general sense of freedom. Sure, there are downsides to high school life, but what can you do? You just have to keep focusing on the bright side and believe in yourself through whatever happens.
I wish you all the best of luck!
-Kristina Qoku, former 806 student
Class of 2015
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