(Sakshi Sharma, IB Year 2)
The 6th grade. We’ve all been there at some point, that hazy blur of strange corridors and stranger faces. Nonetheless, it plays an integral part in our secondary school years, acting as a gateway of sorts to newer and more significant experiences. Some of us may not have cared much for it; however, I definitely took it as something to look forward to, and I’m sure some of you might even agree with me. I always find myself trying to remember what it was like when I was in the 6th grade or how I felt right before I got to it. Because after all, it was a big step!
This got me thinking. As much as I’d love to go on talking about myself and my own experiences, what do other kids feel about the matter? I went and spoke to a handful of 5th graders, and the following are a few responses I got when I asked them the question, what do you think is different about secondary? If you are one of those students, nervous about stepping into this bizarre new world, think of this as a little clarification session. If you’re like me and you’ve already passed that stage, you’re welcome to read on and laugh along at the funny anecdotes I’m going to share with you!
“We’ll use pens instead of pencils.”
I quite liked this answer actually. It reminded me of how excited I was to start using a pen instead of a pencil, to the point that I found myself on many a shopping spree, eagerly searching for the brightest and most outrageously coloured pen I could find. Unfortunately, I quickly realised we were only allowed to write in black or blue ink. Over the course of the year, the allure of the pen slowly faded, I ended up losing some of the colours I didn’t use, and by the 8th grade, I don’t think I even had a pencil case; instead, I found myself always borrowing a pen from a friend. Whoops.
“There will be new teachers, and they will be strict.”
When we change from primary to secondary students, our teachers change with us. And yes, they’re all going to have new and unfamiliar faces, but it’ll only be like that at first. You’ll get to know them pretty quickly, and you’ll forget all about how you were scared to start with them. Teachers can be strict, but that’s a given sometimes. I’ve come to find that even the sternest of them are real softies on the inside and that they only act all tough so that we can bring the best of ourselves out. *Bonus tip*, if they’re teachers who give you a lot of work, don’t skimp on it! Let’s not give our teachers reasons to yell at us.
“We’ll have a really cool Chemistry lab!”
Visiting the Chemistry lab was definitely the highlight of my early secondary years, until I ended up breaking a couple test tubes and never going back. I can now say with confidence, though, that I’ve encountered better experiences in the Biology and Physics lab and that our resident skeleton model really makes a good friend when Biology classes started to make little to no sense.
Now I know this isn’t even half of it and I could cover so much more if I had the time, but that’s all I’ve got for now. You won’t find anyone who’ll admit it now, but I’m sure these are the years you’re going to look back at a decade down the line and think that was nice, because I know my time in secondary really was (minus the bad haircuts and braces maybe).