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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

Tiger Times

The School Newspaper of Texas High School

Tiger Times

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Forever a freshman

Forever+a+freshman
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Everyone has seen it before.
The girl that looks too young to be here, wide-eyed, biting her lip, clutching her binder a little bit too tight, looking around as if she is lost.
She probably is lost.
One word comes to mind.
Freshman.Upperclassmen see it and laugh.
Poor freshman.
They’ll learn.It’s the first day.
I don’t even know where the cafeteria is. My first class was at the Tiger Center.
Whatever that is.I sat nervously twiddling my thumbs in my dad’s car as he pulled up to the awning. “Have a great first day sweetie.” I’m thrown out of the car. Zoom. It speeds off. My sanctuary.
I breathe shaky breaths.  I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be here. I bite my lip and try to not throw up.I unfold my schedule and study it, although I’ve already looked at it a billion times.
Tiger Center.
Where is that?
I see someone I know who used to go to school with me back at Red Lick.  A familiar face even though they are the grade above me.Good ole’ Red Lick, a school where the entire middle school is about a quarter the size of my incoming freshmen class. Twenty-six of us had been in the eighth grade to be exact.

I jog over to the old friend I hadn’t seen or heard from in a year.
“Hey, where’s the tiger center?”
He points to the gym and snickers. He doesn’t say anything, but I can tell what he’s thinking;
Freshman.
“Oh, thanks!”  I guess, one year of high school makes you feel all high and mighty now.

The bell rings. Cross country. I don’t know what to expect. From what I had heard, we ran until we throw up on the first day. I’m prepared.
Nope.
It’s just roll call today. No working out. I came in workout clothes.
Oops.
I guess I’ll change now.
Stupid freshman.

Second period rolls around.
Even worse.
I sit glued to my seat. Do I dare look around? My head does a 360 taking in the whole classroom.
Oh goodie, I don’t know anyone in here.
This is great.
Faces I’ve never seen glance over me to their middle school friends and chat happily to one another.

The day passes as so. Too many faces, too many names, too many people.  How I was going to remember them all, I didn’t know. I could feel the claustrophobia set in as I waded through the crowded main hallway.
It was all too big.
All of it.
The upperclassmen.
The campus.
The amount of people.
Oh, and let’s not forget walking down the wrong hallway multiple times, and asking “which way is room 23?” to eye-rolling veterans. Obviously they know everything there is to know, and have seen this before.
Dumb freshman.

Ah, those were the days. Coming home nearly every day telling mom I wanted to transfer or at least go back to Red Lick where everyone knew each other’s first, middle, and last names, siblings and favorite color.

But now, I’m a senior. Where’d those three years go? It’s about to be the last first day of school for the class of 2012. I’m far from nervous.
I know the school like the back of my hand.
The strangers I’ve met freshmen, sophomore, and junior year are now my closest friends.
It’s my turn to be the big man on campus, and I can hardly wait. What I used to hate, is now what I love. What’s there to be afraid of?

When I was a freshman, I looked up to the seniors whether they considered me insignificant, or a friend.
The nice ones and the mean ones.
Even the ones that shouldn’t have even been looked up to.

This year, I want to be the senior the incoming freshmen remember. I want to be looked up to and given the kind of respect that I gave to all the seniors before me. I want them to say “Hey, remember Madison Sewell? She was pretty cool. I want to be like her when I get older.”
I’m sure many wish for this, but it’s hard to attain.

With all the hype senior year is made out to be, all the experiences high school has given to me and the whole “seniority” card, I’ll do my best to remember my roots and freshman me; scared and just wanting to fit in. When I see her walking down the halls, I’ll giggle and help her out. Not because she’s a dumb freshman, but because that was me.

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  • B

    Bob H.Sep 13, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Great story. I still remember being a freshman. All it takes is one upperclassman to make a difference in their lives.

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Forever a freshman