When I first arrived at my school in August, I was prepared for another super easy year. I was used to the laid back attitude of 6th grade, and expected nothing more from 7th. However, I soon realized that my picture of a perfect school year was inaccurate. One word, my friends, one word that sent my social life to the bottom of the pond. Homework. Everyday, I would come home with at least two hours worth of homework. English, science, Spanish, math, Texas History. I even had to practice for band. All of my time was spent on homework, and by the time mid-winter came my life was miserable. While my family was worried about what to get each other for Christmas, I was worried about getting my narrative essay, review packet, Spanish translations, thirty algebra problems and DBQ essay done by the end of the week. Eventually, I woke up on Monday mornings dreading school, wishing that I could just stay home until summer. But by Febuary, I learned that I had to just suck it up and deal with it, and that I had to work hard to get were I want to be. If I had any advice to give to incoming seventh graders, I would tell them to expect the worst, but be prepared for it and push through. It will really pay off in the end.
Back in elementary school, I was pretty shy around people who weren’t my friends. If someone tried to talk to me, I would just sit there awkwardly and stare at my feet, nodding and muttering the occasional “Uh-huh”. Being the leader of anything had terrified me, so I never tried to take charge, or make suggestions. I just did whatever I was told. It was probably one of my biggest flaws, and thinking back, I realize that if I had had the courage to step up, my life would have been a whole lot easier. It never dawned on me how bad my problem was until the end of fifth grade.
It was the last few weeks of school, and we were starting our end-of-the-year project. Our assignment was to make a skit, video, or song about where to use commas. It was a group project, and my heart sank when my teacher called out my name with the names of two people I barely knew.
Right from the first day, I knew that our project wouldn’t turn out as my group hoped it would. Our concept was confusing and hard to follow, and we were biting off way more than we could chew. My partners wanted to have huge props and costumes that were impossible to make in the amount of time we had. But no matter how bad their ideas were, I never stepped in to fix them. I was worried that the ideas were only bad in my eyes and everyone else liked them. I was afraid of being wrong and making a total fool of myself. So I stayed quiet.
By the day of our presentation, I was prepared to receive a low grade, and a low grade was exactly what I got. I felt awful knowing that I could have done so much more to help, and by not saying anything, I had let myself and my group down. I learned to stop holding back, and to share my thoughts and ideas. Ever since I started getting more involved, I’ve been feeling better about being the leader. I hope I never go back to being the person I used to be.