9th Grade Reflection: “This is Not Middle School”

Martha Aboagye, ’18

The end of the year is approaching and to say that this year went by quickly would be an understatement. It seems like only two days ago that we all showed up in our personal best on the first day of school ready to take the world by storm. Some of us approached the first weeks of school a bit naively. We had all heard rumors that at BHSEC you got 8 hours worth of homework every night, and so we all felt extremely proud at being able to handle the workload.

From there, the workload increased progressively, but time still went by quickly. This was in part due to the fact that there were still many new things about BHSEC we had yet to uncover. We were still in the process of figuring out which route we wanted to take. That is one thing that I am going to miss very much about 9th grade: the novelty of it all. In that respect, I have my suspicions that 10th grade will be even harder because we will be used to BHSEC and have our daily routines.

Although I am ready to move on from 9th grade I can’t help but feel that I am not ready to  move on to the next grade. 9th grade has the lowest stakes in all of high school career, and there is this knowledge that from here it is only going to get harder. Your behavior and grades, if they were not as good as you wanted them to be, can be assigned a default excuse — that this was your first year of high school and you will improve.

I did come to love the fact that the BHSEC curriculum is not built around taking and passing various tests. The work no doubt was hard but it was nice to know that teachers had faith in my abilities. I feel like I’m actually learning something beyond the temporary tasks of taking exams. The constant challenges have forced me to take satisfaction not in  leisure but in my work.

With that being said, BHSEC has also made me a very challenge-hungry person. If I spend 2 weeks without any sort of big project or task to do, I feel anxious and complacent. Something about 9th grade that I am looking forward to leaving behind is being in the lower class of the BHSEC hierarchy. I also want to move on from the constant phrase I have heard from almost every teacher, informing and re­informing us that “This [BHSEC] is not middle school.”

I still feel very apprehensive about setting conclusions about my 9th grade experience. I think it will be inevitable for me to think about “the good old days” and want to be back in that time not as it was but as how I choose to remember it. And so if my 9th grade experiences will be reduced to selective memory based on fallible senses, I think that the distinctive mark of my 9th grade experience has been a period of rapid education.

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