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The Beat

The Beat

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Dear 8th Graders, 

Dear 8th Graders, 

The transition from Junior High to the Upper School might seem overwhelming, making you think that your high school experience will be detrimental to your mental health and your grades. Although the change is stressful, the realities in the long run are not as bad as you think. 

I’ve learned so much during my first year in the Upper School and the most important thing is – it’s not as bad as I thought. When I was in 8th grade – just a year ago, my teachers, while encouraging and motivational, said some things that made high school seem petrifying. Toward the end of the year we’d get daily talks ranging from the typical, “this won’t slide in the Upper School,” or “your grades will determine/impact your future success,” which we took to heart. August 2021 was probably one of the most stressful months of my life. I was changing campuses, environments, and was back at the bottom of the food chain –a freshman

The main thing I have learned this year is that although grades matter, they shouldn’t define your self worth. In Junior High, I took my grades too seriously, which damaged me mentally and physically. Whenever I scored lower than a 95% on an assignment, my self esteem would be destroyed to the point where I would spend hours studying for the next assignment because I was obsessed with the validation I would receive seeing that “100% Good job!” on my worksheets.

I came into the Upper School with that mentality, only worse, because ingrained in my mind was the “your grades determine your future” speech our 8th grade class had received 2 months prior. Now, a rising sophomore, I’ve realized that despite the fact that grades still, of course, matter, I need to take time for myself, my family, sports, and my friends. School should always be a priority, but should NEVER come before yourself. Don’t feel bad for not scoring 100% on that quiz, don’t beat yourself up for not having a 99% average in that class, because in the end, there are always opportunities to make it up that’ll outweigh the bad. 

After spending two years on the fun and easy going Duschene campus, I thought that I wouldn’t have fun in the Upper School. I thought the teachers were incredibly serious people who wouldn’t tolerate laughter or fun. I was wrong. Everyday is a new adventure at the Upper School filled with laughter. I feel like I never went through the stereotypical high school transition experience. There’s always a special activity, making each day different and enjoyable. Even though the Upper School has many exciting activities, it’s a lot harder than Junior High, meaning time management is one of the most important skills to have. 

We can all agree that being overwhelmed with the difficult balance of schoolwork, social life, and sports is one of the worst feelings in the world. Maintaining an organized schedule can be tough. Although it may seem like a small act, keeping an organized schedule is imperative to your success and maintaining a proper balance.

I recommend Google Keep, as it’s easy to navigate, and keeps all your upcoming events organized. I’ve had weeks where I have been unorganized and all over the place, resulting in my days becoming more stressful and harder to get through. Yes, the Upper School has a larger workload, but if you maintain an organized schedule, you will get through your freshman year easier than expected. 

If you feel in any way similar to how I felt during the transition to the Upper School, I am letting you know that you will be okay. It may seem nothing is going your way at times, but it’s how you deal with it that matters. Always prioritize yourself, and reach out to someone when you need it. 

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About the Contributor
Miranda de Legorburu, Social Media Manager
Miranda de Legorburu is the Social Media Manager for The Beat! She is a junior and this is her third year writing for the newspaper. She is a graduate from Culver Military Academy’s Summer program, where she was also a writer for their newspaper, The Vedette. Alongside writing, Miranda is a Student Ambassador, plays the piano, and is a competitive equestrian show jumper.