Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Nervous About Starting High School
In a few weeks I will graduate middle school and next year I will start a new school. It’s a big deal in my life. My middle school was the first real opportunity I had to learn in school. I know 6th grade was like an experiment. They watched to see how I could cope in middle school. I went in to math and science only, and did regular work in the other subjects though I wasn’t mainstreamed in them then. It was a very big adjustment to sit so long in self-control and quiet. The schoolwork was simple compared to sitting in a classroom all day. I was determined to get a decent education, so I tried. It was not always easy for me or my aide, but I got more capable each year. This year I am doing better. I am mainstreamed practically from eight to three. I go to P.E. with autistic kids, but otherwise I am staying in a regular class all day. My school is big. I switch rooms.
Next year my high school will be bigger still. It has thousands of students, so many clubs I couldn’t believe it, and a track and football field. It is a real big school experience. It’s scary for new freshmen, I know. I’m really nervous. I worry that my sensory system will be overloaded. I worry that students will be mean to me. Then I tell myself, “OK, it’s just worries and I am going to be fine.” I will be with some kids I know. I can walk in the halls five minutes early to avoid the mob- but I can’t stop my worries.
My aide is the best. It’s wonderful to work with her. She is kind, smart, and good at working with me. I don’t know her plans next year. I hope she can stay to start me off, or even longer. Now I worry that getting a new aide and a new school will be too much. Some days I get overwhelmed by worry. I wish I didn’t, but I do.
I worry about the teachers. Will they accept me or think I am an odd nuisance to them? I worry about the students. Now I am in class with kids who are used to me. Next year there will be new kids. I always visit school before the year starts to meet all the teachers and tour the campus. That helps a lot. I also wrote a short speech that is read to the class on the first day of school to explain my behavior and communication style to the class. That helps put them at ease, but I am still so nervous inside.
I realize I am lucky. It’s a great high school. It’s a dream of mine to graduate and go to college. I will need to overcome my fears about high school. It’s a big shift in my life. It’s the third big change I’ve had in school. I went from remedial class in elementary school to a “high functioning” autism class in 5th grade. Then in 6th grade I went to my middle school. This time I really don’t need to prove I’m smart to a school of skeptics. I think I’ve done that, so that is one big relief to me. It’s wonderful that they believe in the need to educate me, so I no longer need to worry about that.
I feel next year could be good. Unfortunately it’s unknown, so I worry too much. I feel relieved to write this. If you have tips, once again, to help me relax about this- I’ll take them.