I have done 8 weeks of High School and I can’t believe how quick it’s gone. I remember last year when I was deciding which subjects I wanted to do and stressing out about how much homework I was going to get. But grade 9 has been a lovely surprise, and I have actually enjoyed the changes from middle school to high school. I have enjoyed high school so far for many reasons, for example, I really enjoy how all my classes have different people in it because it helps to have a bit of a change in routine and therefore it helps me to not become as bored. Something else I have enjoyed is the information we are learning in class. I feel that when I am in class, I feel more engaged to what we are learning. Also, I like how we have a syllabus because it feels like the lessons are more structured and therefore we are always doing stuff that is actually useful. Although I enjoy Grade 9 there have been some challenges. Mainly the amount of homework I get for the weekend. I feel like throughout the week I am able to keep up with the amount of homework and it’s only a bit more compared to Grade 8. However whilst on the weekend, I have to spend a whole day dedicated to homework. It is still manageable but sometimes feels like I only have a one day weekend. I’m really looking forward to my Himalayas trip in the Easter break. Something I have learnt about myself is that I am able to adapt to different situations and even if under stress I am able to get through it. Something I have learnt about UWC is that in High School teachers treat you with a lot more respect compared to middle school which is a really nice feeling. I would tell future grade 9’s to choose what they enjoy for subjects instead of thinking of the future. I chose what I enjoyed and am loving my subjects so far. Also, don’t stress out about grade 9, it’s really not all that different from grade 8 and you might even like it better. I would suggest to figure out what organisational skills help you in grade 8 as this will help you stay on top of everything when in Grade 9. I am ready for the rest of grade 9 and so far am not nervous about anything.
Last year in Grade 8, I had a choice to go on an exchange trip to an amazing country like Switzerland, Sweden, China and many others. And part of me really wanted to go, however my reservations held me back from what I feel would have been a great experience. When I looked at what would be taking place I thought “Wow! That sounds amazing!” I would be able to actually experience a different weather climate. In some countries even snow! I thought and thought about all the positives, I could make life long friends or maybe I would really connect with the host family. Maybe I would fall in love with the country or learn a new language. I thought about how many people would dream of this experience but I let my shyness hold me back. I was scared of not knowing the language, or maybe the host family and child were real mean. What if I had no friends and would have to sit alone at lunch. Or even as simple as what if I didn’t like the food. And looking back at it, those excuses sound silly and I wish I had been confident enough to put myself out there when I had the chance.