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.
Ido

3 comments:

  1. I'm sure you'll do great! I remember way back when I was about to be a freshman, I was pretty anxious too.

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  2. I am breathing deeply for you! Hoping your wonderful aide stays for at least one more year :) High school is a big transition for everyone, and you already have so many valuable strategies in place for this new adventure. It is normal to worry (some of us are experts). I find getting into the fresh air and finding other ways to occupy my mind helpful when the worries take over. I am actually heading out for a walk right now for that very reason (my worries are about middle school...we are on your heels!). Glad that the writing is a good outlet for you...it certainly helps us too!

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  3. Ido,
    My name is Ryan Johnston and my mother, Adrienne Johnston, is a teacher at your school. I first wanted to tell you that I have been truly inspired by your blogs and stories of struggle, pain, and life. I am 22 years old and graduated from both Hale Middle School and El Camino Real High. I want to offer some reassurance that anxiety for going to a new school is absolutely normal. It's something that even the most confident kids go through and can't escape. I have the upmost confidence that you will meet friends that are open-minded and receptive to who you are as a person. Reading just one of your blogs was enough for me to want to get to know you and what you have to go through on a daily basis. If you have any questions about high school or life or you just want somebody to chat with, feel free to email me at "ryan.johnston.2@my.csun.edu". Life is full of challenges; but it is through these challenges that we build character and grow as human beings. Hope this finds you well.
    -Ryan

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