The First Day

For the past few weeks, today being August 11, the talk throughout, well, practically everywhere for teens has been school. Especially incoming freshmen such as myself have been buzzing with excitement, anxiety, and nerves. A new era of our lives is about to begin and it is most definitely one that will mold who we are. As I look towards my generally bight future, I wonder why I’m the only one here that feels excitement alone for high school.

I see everyone else saying how scared they are, how they don’t want to go and would rather stay in the comfort and security of middle school. I’ve talked to two friends in particular that feel this way. The first is a girl who for the past three years has gotten sucked into the crowd of popularity, fashion, and dating. She rarely talks to me and each time it ends only okay. The first conversation we had in a year she lost all enthusiasm when she found out I was going to a private school for high school instead of he public school.

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It was like I was crazy or had lost touch with reality. “You know they have a really strict dress code right?” I remember her asking me. I nodded and told her I had already bought most of my collared shirts and khaki’s. Our second conversation we breached the subject of high school once more. I asked her how she was feeling about it and she simply told me she was scared, no not scared, terrified. She said she wasn’t looking forward to high school at all.

I didn’t ask why, assuming maybe it was the intimidation factor of moving up, or the fear she wouldn’t be in the same class as her friends. Maybe she was frozen in fear at the idea of going to a new building full of people she didn’t know. In any case, I reasoned that I wasn’t scared because I had picked a great high school. I told her if I had picked any other, I would have been scared out of my mind. But even as I said the words, something rang false.

The second girl was one that I have been friends with for nearly three years. She is undoubtedly the most loyal friend I have ever had the privilege to have, but at the same time she worries a lot about what other people think of her. She’s a people-pleaser and just wants to make people happy and wants to be loved. She was also very scared and just wanted the safety of middle school as her shield. I never thought she was scared about meeting new people because she said she was fine with meeting new people and just wanted to stay in the same school.

I did the same with her, thinking it was the high school I picked that gave me confidence. It wasn’t until hours later that I realized why I had confidence in my high school of choice. It wasn’t because it was the perfect fit for me or because there weren’t 2400 new people to meet like at public school. I looked at my two friends, the friends who cared about what other people thought of them, cared about whether their hair was straightened or curled, cared about who was big and important in high school. My vision for high school includes befriending the weak even when no one likes them, finding my good Christian club to help keep my faith steady when it gets hard, balancing homework and a job and spending time with my family, and making friends that will last a lifetime. The reason I’m so confident about high school, and the reason I’m ready to face the world, is because the first day of school I won’t be worried about making an impression of power and beauty, I will be working with God on my side to take on a form of passion and humility.