Fresh Meat

May 18, 2008
By Kristin Kirkpatrick, Valdosta, GA

Now that I am a senior in high school, I often reminisce about the past three years and speculate how I could have bettered my high school experience. Although my high school career has been and continues to be exceptional, I can honestly say that it was very difficult for me in the beginning. Prior to high school, I had only ever attended small private schools; I had been living a remarkably sheltered life. While my eighth grade class of ten students and I were fully prepared for high school academically, I lacked preparation socially and emotionally for the new world I was soon to encounter. No one could teach me how to embrace this new and crucial part of my life, for this was something that I had to learn to conquer all on my own.

Pacing the unfamiliar floors of this outrageously noisy and ruthless jungle under the power of the “almighty” wildcats, I immediately became afraid and insecure. To lower my self-esteem even more, I recognized only a handful of my new classmates, and the upper classmen introduced me to my new name, “Fresh Meat,” putting me at the bottom of the food chain. My fear of how my peers perceived me left me worried and unconfident in myself. It was not until later I realized that my entire class of over six-hundred students was referred to as “Fresh Meat” with me and that I was not alone. If I had the opportunity to “do over” my freshman year of high school, I would challenge myself to express my outgoing personality without holding anything back and take in every single minute of the four short years I have here to spend.

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