Timothy is a writer and artist who enjoys writing poetry, stories and articles. Timothy earned his BS in psychology from Albright College
The first day of high school was here. A day I’d been dreading since the end of my middle school years. One of my biggest complaints about school is the lack of instruction on how to get through. No not what you learn sitting in a classroom but what you learn walking the halls or sitting in a classroom. The ins and outs of why bullies bully. About why so much is placed on a certain look. You know the important stuff.
I stumbled off the bus with as many thoughts rambled through my head. I headed off for the wide chasm of the open doors. Teachers greeted me and pointed me towards the auditorium. I ambled down the hall and into the auditorium. Off on one side I saw some of my friends from middle school. They had the same dazed look on their faces as I probably had on mine.
“Take a seat!” Ordered a bearded teacher. “We need to get started.”
I looked at him and walked over to where my friends were.
“Hey guys.” I said.
“Hey.” They replied in unison.
I sat in a chair and watched as the rest of the freshman ambled in.
“Ah, high school,” I thought. The time when boys were whipped into men by the upperclassmen and girls became well, I guess women. I didn’t really know the higher archly of the female species. I just figured it worked the same for girls as it did boys. Oh well, it was something I’d have to ask my friend Jeannie sometime
I sat there and pondered about the next four years in high school. Were they going to be the turning point in my school life? The time when us nerds would finally step up and show everyone we have a lot to offer our classmates. Nah, who was I kidding. I learned long ago there are three rules which govern all of school life.
The first rule is the understanding that school never works out the way your pubescent brain thinks it will. Some of us come to school expecting to move up a rung on the social ladder...wrong. Others seek out the love of their life only to be disappointed because the person they pine after is way out of their league or faction.
Which brings me to the second rule, which is that you have to worm your way through all the factions which exist in a school's hallowed halls in order to survive. There are us nerds who kind of hang back and hope we don’t get picked on by the jocks or the so called cool kids. Then there are the brainiacs who move through their school life spouting facts and figures. Boring! Then there are the cheerleaders. Don’t get me started on them. A lot of school mates see the cheerleaders as brainless and bubbly but they are smarter and more conniving than people think. Then there are other factions like the tech school group and the list goes on and on.
Finally, there is the third rule, which is the most important. In the great scheme of making your way through high school you are your most important ally. Sure you have friends and social groups. You soon realize there is safety in numbers but you still have to learn to survive on your own. This involves thinking quickly on your feet, like in gym class when you’re surrounded by jocks. Sometimes surviving means complying with their rules.
I took time from my deep thought and looked around the packed auditorium wondering how my freshman year was going to go. Sitting around me were 600 or more lost souls from two middle schools who were about to embark on a four year long journey. For some there would be years of joy. For others crushed dreams and the realization high school was going to be a series of hard lessons to learn.
The principal got up and in his softest voice told us to “Be quiet, I'm ready to get started.” I knew high school can be a lot of pressure. Luckily there are about 600 or more freshmen from two middle schools who are put in the same desperate situation as me. Well as they say misery loves company. I listened as speaker after speaker talked to us. I must have zone out for a few moments because I was started back to reality by the voice of a friend.
“Hey Whitaker, are you going to class or what?”
I looked up to see my friend Gator looking down at me.
“The assembly is over. We need to get to first period.”
“Yeah,” I stood up. “Those speeches took less time than I thought.”
Gator looked at me. “What are you talking about...man. That blowhard principal took an hour and half out of our day.”
“You’re saying that like it’s a bad thing. Anytime you get out of schoolwork it is not bad.”
Gator looked at me, “Sue me, I like to learn.”
“Where are you two headed?” Said a voice of authority behind us.
We turned to see a burnout looking teacher with a fluffy mustache standing there.
“Um,” I looked at the schedule in my hand. “Room 206, Social Studies.” I answered.
“Me too.” Gator chimed in.
“You are lucky the That is my class. Which means if I’m not there you’re not late. This way boys the room is just up ahead. Oh yeah, by the way I’m Mr. B.”
We followed the teacher up the hallway and into the classroom. I saw my friend Jeannie sitting in the third row a few seats back. I kinda half waved at her. She smiled then pointed.
I looked to my left to where she pointed. There sat my arch nemesis,Nelter. What was he doing in here. I thought he’d have been in the techies. He had never struck me as the academic type. He waved at me and smiled. Great my first day was starting out worse than I had expected.
I spent the rest of the day hanging with my friends. I looked over my shoulder a few times expecting to see Nelter smiling and waving. He never showed but I knew he was there waiting, calculating his next move. I new then and there this was going to be an interesting year.
© 2020 Timothy Whitt