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Freshman Year This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Traditionally an eighth grader feels that he is a supreme being. He walks down the hall, shoving aside anyone younger. He graduates and then brags all summer long about being in high school while secretly he is scared stiff. Then comes a two-week camping trip that begins freshman year. It brings the members of the class together, but it fails to prepare them for the treatment they will receive as freshmen. Suddenly, the freshman is tossed out of the comfort and security of his middle school into the large and strange world of high school, where he is, in fact, no one.

In eighth grade I seemed to have all the free time in the world. During my free periods, I would go the art studio and paint, lie in the back yard and sunbathe, or occasionally take a trip to the local convenience store with a teacher. Now, however, I look forward to frees so that I can get the homework done that would otherwise keep me up until all hours of the night. I used to talk on the phone for hours; now sleep is my sanctuary where I go to revive myself for another trying school day.

I spend most of my frees in the quiet room, a silent section of the library and a frightening place for a freshman. As I walk in, the door creaks slowly open and then closes with a swoosh. Suddenly, all eyes are upon me. I duck into the closest seat. Everyone goes back to work. With a sigh of relief, I unzip my backpack, which sounds to me like a freight train compared to the silence in the room. I take out my work and blend in with the silence of the quiet room. Suddenly, I have to sneeze. I try every method possible to prevent it, but there is no stopping it. It comes out like a tornado, and again I am the center of attention. I slink down in my chair and bury my face in my book, cursing the ragweed that caused such humiliation. I finish my work and leave, relieved to be back to the noise of the corridor.

In the eighth grade, I looked forward to assemblies. There I could forget the pressures of school and make a fool of myself. I managed to do this in many different ways. Sometimes I would stand up and do silly dances or make jokes without being embarrassed. Our soccer team used to try to make our announcements funny and different. We were undefeated last year, and we were one of the prides of the middle school. This year, regardless of our accomplishments, we are overlooked, and Varsity gets all the attention.

Freshmen are forced to sit in assigned seats. My seat happens to be in the back row, which makes me feel especially insignificant. While the seniors standing in back of me talk and laugh (hopefully not at me), I pray that I don't get called on to make an announcement. Finally, those words of comfort arrive: "Seniors and faculty dismissed."

Freshmen friends at public high school have had their clothes stolen in the shower and have been forced by seniors to wear to school their field hockey skirts with nothing underneath to school to get on the team. Although I have not experienced these miseries, I do feel the inferiority that comes with being a freshman in a large high school. I am no longer the shover, but the shoved. I know, however, that when I am a senior, I will have forgotten my timidity as a freshman and will regain my position as supreme being. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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loveibanez said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm
As an upcoming Freshman, I can relate to some of this. I am really scared and I just want to know what to expect! This piece of writing was really unique and it kind of reminded me of my style, thanks for posting :)
 
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