By Elizabeth Bernardin

Five months ago, high school was merely a thought, an idea, of what was in the future. In the hazy and heavy heat of August, I though I knew what was coming. Brand new school supplies were stacked neatly in a corner and, after a few agonizing hours, my outfit was selected for the first day. I had all my binders color-coded and my schedules printed neatly and paper-clipped together in my academic planner. However, no amount of color-coding or organizing could have prepared me, because the truth of the matter is that in high school, color-coding isn’t that impressive. Getting A’s is.

Now, five months later, my binders are stuffed with what seems like reams of loose leaf paper with notes scrawled and messy. My pencil case, originally equipped with chevron print Jonathan Adler pencils, highlighters, and pens that matched my rugby striped planner, is now a jumbled mess of yellow #2s I found around my house and one yellow highlighter. My backpack, which began as a clean powder blue, is scuffed, scratched, and stretched out from my monstrous books and binders.

In accordance with my messy appearance and lost chevron pencils, high school hasn’t been at all what I expected. It’s been better. The rigorous academics are much more challenging than middle school and the high expectations set by my teachers are exciting and provide an opportunity to really grow and develop my talents and interests.

The activities are abundant and exciting. The clubs I have joined, including newspaper and Student Government, have been very interesting as they have given me an inside look at some of the inner workings of the high school.

The school spirit at the high school makes it seem united despite its intimidating size. The hallways, which once wound like a maze for me, are now just rectangular and manageable. All of a sudden, five months in, everything is starting to seem more manageable.

High school is no longer a mere idea; it’s reality. It’s challenging yet fun. Now, despite my lost pencils and the fact that my careful color-coding has been overridden by messy black ink scrawls, I’m keeping afloat just fine.