COMMENTARY: High School Freshman Reflects on What’s to Come

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For many freshmen, including myself this summer felt like a final goodbye to our childhood. Of course, we are all children still, but the responsibility and weight high school holds make it seem almost as if we’re about to take our first big step into grown up land, through the doors that have the ability to alter the course of our adult lives. This is the age where kids start doing adult things, such as getting a job, driving, and experiencing new opportunities for sports, internships, and college. High school is  where your friends change and your classes get harder. You have to budget time and figure things out for yourself, but it also appears to be the place where you make new friends and you have some of the best experiences.

I spent my summer volunteering at the Westford Community Access TV because I knew it would help me have a good summer experience, prepare myself forWestford Academy, and use my summertime usefully. I got to write, appear on camera, do interviews, and be a counselor at a summer camp here — all while earning volunteer hours for my high school resume. This summer so many incoming high schoolers like me tried their hand at a first job, volunteer opportunity, internship, as a counselor, or even a lifeguard. For so many of us, this is a big but rewarding step into adulthood.

The thought of high school after a long summer feels stressful, pressurized and so final. Though with all the anxiety that comes with starting a new school, a lot of excitement carries over, too. Many freshmen are awaiting the freedom, new opportunities and people high school will bring together. Throughout it all, we keep hoping that this summer will somehow never end.

When I was younger I couldn’t picture myself at this point. I couldn’t imagine being this old and what my life at 14 would be like. I’ve always been scared for the days of high school to come, but now that I can picture it, now that I can see myself doing it and graduating, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s bittersweet but I can feel myself, my classmates, and everyone around me growing up.

It all seems so quick, but maybe I am ready for it. I guess I have to be. Despite all the looming clouds at the end of the summer, I think I can honestly say that this summer is my favorite one, yet. I made new friends, worked somewhere I cared about, and did what I wanted for my last hurrah before the next four years on the roller coaster we call high school. Things are coming together and change feels not as hard as it used to seem.

Unnati Bhat is a Westford Academy freshman who interned at WestfordCAT this summer.