Emily Little

Little fish in a big pond

On my last day of middle school, I was hit with the realization that my life would soon be completely different. At the end of the summer, I was going to be one insignificant student in a school of 1,500; a little fish in an extremely big pond, if you will. Needless to say, I was beyond nervous about my soon-to-be high school status. My fears about my journey into high school were fueled by horror stories passed down from current Sebring High School students. For years, I heard tales of upperclassmen treating freshman badly - even going as far as hazing events such as "Freshman Fridays." With no personal experience to go on, all I could do was believe the fables and attempt to prepare myself. The night before I began my freshman year, I was a wreck. I tried to be calm, cool and collected, but on the inside I was teeming with anxiety. After a nearly sleepless night, I woke up to the grating sound of my alarm clock blaring. I forced the covers off and threw my feet onto the ground. I went about my usual morning routine, including dancing around my room to Taylor Swift as I put my makeup on. I tried to make everything run as smoothly and as normally as possible.
Finally, the time I both eagerly anticipated and dreaded arrived. I arranged to ride to school with a friend, so I would not feel completely alone as I began this new experience. As we pulled up to the school, I knew this was a smart decision. The two of us stepped out of the car, waved goodbye to her mom, and gulped. We looked at each other, half-heartedly smiled, and I knew this was the beginning of a great, four-year adventure. I then faced my first obstacle as a high school student - where to go next. I already ate breakfast, so the cafeteria was not an option. The library seemed to be filled with upperclassmen, so I did my best to avoid it. My friend and I began walking aimlessly, hoping to see a familiar face. Soon enough, I spotted a few classmates from middle school. After chatting for a while, I was forced to leap over my next hurdle - finding my first class. Although I had walked through my schedule at least 10 times with my dad at orientation, I still feared getting lost. I even went as far as writing step-by-step directions on notecards for how to get to each of my classes. As I stared at my notecard trying to find my way to first period, I realized I was the quintessential picture of a freshman. I had to laugh at how obvious I had made myself, which allowed me to calm down a bit. I put a smile on my face, and trudged up the stairs to my first class. At the end of the day, I again laugh at myself for how nervous I had been. Everyone I met had been friendly, and even most of the upperclassmen greeted me with a smile. As my freshman year is now coming to an end, I am realizing that all of my expectations were wrong. Freshman hazing was just a ridiculous myth, and I have not gotten lost once this year! The picture in my head could not have been more different from reality, and I could not have asked for a better freshman year. As it turns out, this little fish had no problem adjusting to her new huge pond.