Getting by with a little help from my upperclassmen friends

High school is simply the next step up after middle school that everyone has to take, but the attitude, atmosphere and relationships are radically different. Beginning this new chapter of life can be really intimidating, but for me things went a little different.

It seemed that my high school career started the summer leading up to it, when I got involved in several school activities, one of them being the marching band. Between preparation camps and practices I was able to meet a lot of upperclassmen and make friendships with other high school students before I even stepped into my first hour class. Entering this new chapter of my life I was told that age mattered less in high school, and it wasn’t necessarily taboo for a freshman to be friends with someone one, two or three years older than them. People would even date across grades! After just escaping the valley of the shadow of death (also referred to as middle school), even the idea of these potential friendships was shocking, but once they actually started to form, I welcomed the change.

At first the upperclassmen in band seemed so old and mature; I felt like it would take me way more than three years to be at their level – but after one week I felt as if I was a junior or senior myself. Yes, I was initially intimidated by the returning band members but the interaction required in band and relationships that they had had originally, easily welcomed new and all students.

Thanks to them, I started my first day of high school already able to wave to my new friends and get help from them when I needed. They informed me on the teachers I would have ahead of time and really helped me to feel comfortable in my new chapter of my life from day one.

Now that I am a senior, I wonder if these current freshmen view me the same way. With the example that was first set before me I always tried to make the new band students feel welcomed and part of the group, as band is a simple way to make friends and find a place in high school.

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Erika Ryan

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