Biggest Turning Point
“High School is going to be the biggest turning point in your life. Everything counts so make it count.” These are the words I heard everyday from middle school, and I applied them to my life everyday.
It’s the second semester of eighth grade and all my classmates are excited for high school and the new opportunities they’ll have with their friends. Everyone except for me. I received news that my family would be moving from Texas back to Wisconsin and I wouldn’t be attending the same high school as my friends. I’m scared. Even though we moved from Florida last year, I’ve never moved before the school year begins, so everyone will already have their cliques. No one will know me, and they won’t care either.
I’m officially a freshman. School is going to start in a month and there’s so much I need to do.
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I don’t have official testing records from Wisconsin, so I need to take placement tests to decide what classes I can take.
As I looked at through my tests, I looked up at the teacher and exclaimed, “Excuse me, Ms … ? I know I need to take these tests, but I’m suddenly drawing a blank. If it helps to know, I was supposed to be taking AP Bio, Geometry, and all honors classes.” “Okay. Well, try your best and I’ll look over some of your old class work and we’ll go from there.”
As I predicted, I did not perform well on my tests. Even though I was supposed to be taking advanced courses, the teacher told me I would be taking the basic courses. I’m upset because I know I can handle more and I’m going to fall behind from where I should be. I’m not going to let this happen. I’ll do whatever I can to get caught up again.
My first year of high school has ended and I passed my classes easily enough with a 3.5 GPA. Now that I’m going to be a sophomore I need to get caught up. I’m going to double up on my science classes, try out for a higher level band, and take Western Civilization for my History class. On top of all this I want to continue swimming on JV,marching band, and take ski patrol. Unfortunately, the class for ski patrol is an hour and a half away on Tuesday nights from six to ten. I know this year will be difficult but I know I can do it. My eyes flutter as I try to stay awake in class and after swim practice I want to go home and hibernate for the rest of the year but I have homework and studying too. As a result from my busy schedule, my grades didn’t show my full potential. When swimming, marching band, and Ski patrol ended, I had a lot more time for studying and focussing on grades but I don’t regret taking extra classes and becoming a volunteer ski patroller because I am caught up, and found a hobby that determined what I want to do in the future.
It’s Junior year and I have to look at colleges. My friends bustle around me signing up for the ACT, starting to pick out colleges, taking advanced courses. I need to do the same. I look at the course guide and decide to Choose AP US History, double up in sciences again by taking Physics and Anatomy, and take Advanced Algebra. My palms sweat As I sit in the hard plastic desks as I read through the syllabi for my classes. I know AP US History will be challenging because it’s a college level course and I haven’t taken US History since eighth grade. I am dreading taking Advanced Algebra because math is my worst subject and the word “Advanced” leaves doesn’t leave me at ease. I don’t know what to expect for physics but Anatomy should be easy after taking Outdoor Emergency Care for Ski patrol. Even though I have less going on compared to last year, I’m just as stressed out. Even though my parents have the same job, and my brothers and I attend the same schools, our homes have a habit of changing annually. Not only do I have to maintain my grades and study, I have to get all of our things packed and moved into our new house, keep up with my extracurricular activities, and start studying for the ACT. The ACT is going to be my worst enemy because I am a poor test taker. When I signed up for the ACT second semester, I was excited to finally get it out of the way; however, my heart sank as I saw the date. My ACT is going to be the same day as my first prom. I studied as much as I could and tried to push prom out of my mind but with all of that combined with my test anxiety, I didn’t perform as well as I would have liked. I need to try harder. If this is going to be my ACT score, I need to make everything else perfect in order to get into a good college.
Senior year. I have taken all my required classes and I can finally relax on my course load, but once again, the stress lingers around me. My family is now broken in half due to my dad’s job and I’m living in a new house with my mom and one of my brothers. I have to take care of my family since I’m the oldest as well as the families I created in Swimming and Marching band. I’m at the top of the food chain and people are looking up to me now. This weight on my shoulders is unbearable but now more is being added as I determine the next chapter of my life by choosing a college. Everything I have done the past three years comes down to this. I don’t regret my choices that I took because I made it. I made sure, to make it count.