When I first received the prompt for this piece, mainly about the ways I have grown or changed throughout the school year, I wasn’t sure what to write about. I knew that I had changed since September, but I didn’t know how. Nothing stood out to me. Then, I started to think about my fears from the beginning of the year.
The high school was this huge, intimidating building that was built like a maze. As I got comfortable with my surroundings, I not only figured out how to navigate the halls but I also learned how to ask people for directions. This might not seem like a major change or achievement to some, but I see it as one. At the beginning of the year, I was so stressed out about getting lost, I had nightmares for an entire month leading up to school about not being able to find my classes in time. My dilemma was symbolic of how I felt when I started school: unsure and afraid.
I get to my classes with ease now. I can look back and see the stress at the beginning of the year that I felt was completely unnecessary. That’s growth. The changes in my life were quiet this school year. I can’t say that I had a large achievement like A’s in all my classes or that I learned how to build a computer. I did learn to talk to people, though. During the first half of my year in math, I spoke about two sentences a day, and usually because my teacher called on me for the answer. The genuine fear I had of talking in a class full of sophomores and juniors was overwhelming at times. I’m still afraid of saying the wrong answer when my teacher calls on me, but I’m able to ask the kid sitting next to me what they got for the homework problems. This was probably the only time my English class has helped me in math class.
After reading a novel or a passage, sometimes my class will have a Socratic Seminar. This is where every student comes up with questions and we sit in a circle and discuss the book. It is rare for everyone to agree on one opinion and even then, there are shades of disagreement based on how you came to that conclusion. Whenever you speak during the discussion, you almost expect someone to counter your ideas with their own. This prepared me for the many future times of answering a math question incorrectly. I’d be embarrassed, but I wouldn’t be planning how I’d run away and never come back.
Overall, I’d say I changed for the better. Through changing my thought processes and becoming more confident, I’m sure that the start of next school year will be much less of a stressor. I can truthfully say that I’m excited for tenth grade. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to cherish every moment of summer, but I won’t absolutely dread going back to school. Next year is going to be full of new opportunities, people, and learning experiences that I want to be a part of.