9th Grade Reflection: Learning How to Reach Out

Demitrius Schwartz, ‘18

If there is anything that I can draw from this year it’s that sometimes you need help.  Coming into high school, I don’t really know what to expect.  It started out simple enough: uncomfortable silences, unsuccessful icebreaking, lunchroom cliques.  All of the stereotypical high school experience boxes were checked, but it took me a while to realize that not everything was as it seemed.

For the first part of the year, I spent my Deans Hours commuting and my free periods playing basketball.  It took me a few too many weeks to realize that these periods were better spent studying and my handling wasn’t getting any better.  For the first time in my life, I had bad grades, and found myself scrambling to fix them, in hopes of my parents not finding out, yet willfully ignoring student resources.  At the time, I was convinced that I could handle it myself. Why would I need help if I didn’t need it before?  Well, the result of this thinking was a lackluster report card, and hours spent crippled by anxiety and stress.

I finally realized that something had to change, and I started meeting teachers, making study guides, submitting homework on time, and overall, putting in more effort.  When I started doing that, my experience at BHSEC changed dramatically.  Of course, the workload has increased, and I still get stressed, but never overwhelmed, not like the first semester.

Even in my short time at BHSEC, I know I made the right decision coming here.  Not only have I made great friends, but great memories.  From antics in Lab and Intro to Music to events such as the Teach In, I’m left feeling that this year was meaningful, not just educationally, but personally as well.  As a writer, I’ve enjoyed my time in Literature of the Americas, spending time discussing and analyzing some of my favorite texts.  It really has helped me see things in a different way.  When you start to enjoy your education, not just go through the motions, the lines begin to get blurred.  Going into a classroom doesn’t feel like I’m putting my life on pause; it’s more like an extension of it.

I really do appreciate the fact that I have been given this opportunity to spend my high school years at BHSEC.  Walking down a hallway and recognizing every face is new for me, being able to talk to everyone, no matter what group or clique they’re part of, is new for me.  Because of this, I find that I’ve become more confident in general.  With such a diverse student body, I’ve been exposed to so many different cultures, ideas, and people, each with something new to teach me.  At some point, BHSEC became more than school for me.  It’s a place where I feel accepted, where I can express my ideas and thinking.

I hope that this year is an indicator of my future in BHSEC.  If years like this keep coming, I know I’ll come out of them fully prepared for college, and will have gotten everything I could have out of BHSEC.  Never have I met more interesting people, and I feel that a challenging workload is a small price to pay to be apart of this community.  Physics class isn’t just a textbook, it brings an understanding of how the world works. Art class isn’t just a relaxing way to end the day; I’ve learned more about emotion and sentiment in Intro to Art than any literature course I’ve taken before.  Maybe I’m being naive, but I honestly believe that coming to BHSEC has been one of the best decisions that I’ve made, and look forward to next year.

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