I get into the car choking on the heat from the hot summer day. I feel the sun as I get ready to leave and go toward my new school Eisenhower in Wyckoff. I was excited to go explore, but scared because I didn’t know the school. In Sicomac, the elementary school I attended, I knew every single hallway, room and area that could be explored. However, at Eisenhower, I would be walking blindly into a new building. I was wearing my regular clothing except for my shoes. My new shoes were bought a few days before, and I had never worn them before leaving the house. They were clean and new, and I was not looking forward to getting them dirty, but I wanted to look good for 6th grade orientation. My mom told me middle school was nothing to worry about so, of course, I worried more afterwards. We arrived at the school in what seemed to be an instant, despite looking at the clock and noticing 10 minutes had passed. I saw a few kids from my school, but almost everyone I saw walking in was a new face to me. My mom dropped me off and told me she would be back around 12. I got out of the car and walked to the front doors. A teacher held the door open, and I walked into the unfamiliar building.
Then I walked through the doors into an unfamiliar lobby area. I had been in the school once before for a play my sister was in, but I didn’t remember the building at all. I was told to walk into the main hallway, make a left and then a right so I would be in the cafeteria, but I heard “make a right then a left” so already I was off to a great start. I ended up walking through the hallways trying to find the cafeteria. I knew within a minute I did not follow the instructions correctly and was lost. After this, I found a teacher and asked where to go. The teacher brought me to the cafeteria door and left me. I thanked them and entered the cafeteria with another group of kids, all of whom I had never seen before.
Once we were in the cafeteria, I finally spotted my friends at one of the tables and worked my way toward them. They saved me a seat and I sat down happily, knowing now I was not alone in the new school. The principal Mr. Iasiello started talking, but we didn't pay attention to any of it. We were told we had a scavenger hunt around the school and had to fill out a form. We knew this was to get familiar with the school, so when the principal finished we left to start.
I stayed with my group from the lunch room for a few minutes, but eventually I got separated from them and kept going on my own. I found a few of the checkpoints on the sheet before joining another group of both old friends and some new people. I remember the entire time I was complaining about walking aimlessly around the school, but I did know why we had to do it. Unfortunately from the walking, my shoes began to get dirty, which was disappointing because, before that point, I was trying to keep them clean. After about an hour, the teachers began bringing us back to the cafeteria to close the orientation.
When we got, inside I sat with my new group and the teachers began going over questions about middle school. I asked about recess, someone asked about using our phones, and another person asked about how lunch worked. This was a big question because we all heard about how lunch worked at Eisenhower and were excited for it. We learned how to cycle between classes properly and were eventually introduced to the different teams of the school (what hallway our main classes would be in for the year). Before long the time ran out, and we were allowed to leave the school. I talked with my friends for a while and then began to leave. One teacher Mr. LaMorte started talking to me and told me that he had me in his class. I knew him from my brother and sister, and I was happy I at least knew one of the teachers beforehand. After talking to him, I felt very excited for middle school, and with that, I left to find my mom’s car in the vast unfamiliar parking lot.
I got into the car and began telling about my day in the school. I talked about my friends, the teachers, the scavenger hunt and even about the different art work on the school walls. When I got home, I told the same stuff to the rest of my family eagerly and excitedly. My siblings began telling me more about Mr. LaMorte and the other teachers I would have in the upcoming year. For the rest of the summer, I was getting ready for middle school with only two thoughts: sixth grade was going to be amazing, and the transition to high school after was going to be terrifying!