Columbia Heights, Minnesota
By Brenda Sanchez, iLander Staff Reporter
Entering high school could be a jar of emotions. Perhaps there are going to be bullies, kids shoved in lockers, terrible lunches or students will have to take pop quizzes in every period?
Although it’s not entirely like that, high school is a brand new, thrilling experience.
Two Columbia Academy teens shared their thoughts on going to high school. Blake Kuether and Oliver Bay talked about a mix of excitement and nervousness. Some teens already in high school also offered their advice to Kuether, Bay and everyone else entering high school this year.
Kuether said he feels as if he’s ready to start high school because he’s involved in tennis, theatre, drumline and will be taking challenging classes. He said he is nervous for the beginning of the year, though. His friends could possibly start being distant because they will be in different classes, he said. He’s also nervous about balancing homework and extracurriculars. However, he said he knows that it will get better.
“After the first couple months or the first year, I will get used to managing all the different things,” he said. “I’m excited for all the new opportunities.”
Bay has been told that he’s “mature enough” to be a high school student and blends right in, so he said he thinks he is prepared. He’s involved in golf and theatre. Bay was even cast in the recent CHHS musical production of Guys and Dolls.
He said he hopes to start planning out his life, and for college as well. Along with Kuether, he doesn't think it’ll be as frightening once he gets used to it. But what scares him is the difficult curriculum and teachers not being so easy.
“The adventure of being in a new school with new people is pretty rad, but thinking about the teachers and curriculum kind of freaks me out,” he said. “It’s higher-level stuff and I’m not sure how fast-pace(d) they will take everything.”
Still both boys are thinking positively. Soon-to-be CHHS Sophomore Yutpa Vang said she remembers being scared of being the baby of the school again, and how overwhelming it is to go to school with older kids.
With the help of the welcoming Link Crew leaders, Vang’s fears calmed down a bit, she said. It also helped that she became involved in sports and clubs. She said she also noticed that the teachers were much more serious with schoolwork, and were willing to help you if you needed it. Her friends are still the same, but she did meet new faces.
She advises freshmen to stay organized, and be involved, so they can make great memories and never get “too bored.”
For 2011 CHHS Alumnus Irving Rodriguez, he said he sees his high school years much more deeply and meaningfully. Since college is more fast-paced, he missed how high school was easier. He wishes he could have been more involved and had used all the resources offered. Throughout these programs, he probably could have learned to be more open and easygoing with people, he said, which is something he still has trouble with today.
He also didn’t care about going to college until the end of his junior year, he said. He regrets not being too involved and not starting on preparations for college.
He advises kids to be not be dependent on things. He said to make friends and be academically active.
“Whatever you look like or do in high school, as long as it’s not a big life change, (it) probably won’t matter once you’re out,” he said. “You’re only in there for four years of your entire life, so make the best of it and be yourself.”
(Photo: Columbia Heights High School will soon have an influx of new students. Photo by CJ Abad.)