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  • I sit in my French class and can’t help but overhear a girl interviewing someone for the year book. Her question was “How is high school different from middle school?” I immediately started to form an essay in my brain. High school is better than middle school because you feel like you are free from all the things that were stopping you from learning and doing all you wanted to do in middle school. I call Kennedy an island because in The Odyssey, whenever Odysseus and his crew stop on an island, major events happen to them. On Odysseus’ last island stop before his final return home, he stays on Calypso’s island for 20 years because he enjoys it so much; this is Kennedy for me. I might not stay for twenty years, but it’s a place cut off from other things where I can go to just learn so many great new things and I have so many new experiences as I inch towards adulthood.
    Middle school was like a curse for me; it was almost like I could hear Poseidon's booming voice ringing in my ears “YOU WILL BE MISERABLE FOR THE NEXT 3 YEARS!”. And of course, the gods are never wrong. Sixth grade was an adventure of adjusting to a totally new school format and at least I had some great teachers and friends along the way. I feel like something happens in sixth grade where you start to change into who you’re going to be for the rest of your life. As a freshman in high school, you really seem to notice a change in knowing good and bad relationships and learning valuable lessons. Each year that you start a new stage, you feel a presence preparing you for your never-ending journey. So by the time you graduate high school, you’ll be like the older and bearded Odysseus that nobody even recognizes, though you are wiser and stronger.
    In sixth grade, I realized and developed my love for the finer things theatre and culture. In seventh grade, I felt like I was really ready to shine. Because I was learning to worry about myself and not do something just because of what other people thought, good and bad things happened to me. In eighth grade, I was barely hanging on, ready for a place totally different from my everyday life filled with only what others thought I should do, barely knowing the true me. I established my ship and crew, with leaks but at least I got to the shore without drowning.
    I was a happier person in seventh grade. I wore the clothes that I liked best, not what everyone else was wearing. I made new friends relentlessly, not concerned about my status. I said what was on my mind and showed how I felt, I was censored by none. Because of these things, I was different from my peers, giving them an opportunity to make fun of me. I remember the comments that seemed like they were every hour of the day, but I would just get angry for a little while then forget about it. I did things that weren't the stupid things my “popular” peers would do and I would mistake courtesy for friendship and made an example for people to poke fun at. I was loud and didn't care; the only things that mattered were clothes, friends, and grades. In seventh grade, I was on the bus home and was sitting by a boy who thought he was so much cooler than me because he knew about the latest saggy jean trend and I preferred Lady Gaga. He wanted to take a picture of me and I don’t know why, maybe because he weighed eighty pounds and I was the biggest thing he had seen in his life and he didn't know how to deal with that in any other way than to think it was a joke. He ended up taking the picture like he wanted and then he sent it to the whole entire seventh and eighth grade class encouraging everyone to think small-minded like him. When I reported it to the office, I got called down to talk about it in a class that I shared with a kid who was the one who got it first and told me. He thought it was stupid to report it. I ended up not being able to stand up for myself and he didn't get punished as much he should have. The only reason was because for a kid like me, the fear of being a “snitch” was like being picked on times a thousand.
    Eighth grade was the worst year of my middle school voyage. I left myself vulnerable to my peers, causing my inevitable downfall. Every day I walked through the halls with at least some part of me just totally broken. I let my grades slip, I did things that made me stick out, and I just barely had enough courage to stick up for my old self to find a place to keep me stable. What kept me in place was my LA class and writing. My teacher was wonderful and we really created a bond. I joined a creative writing class there to escape every Thursday after school where my favorite things and best friends were. It was there that I created the thing that kept me going, a story all my own. One core belief of mine that I defend to the death is equality for all; that was what my story was about. Even though it still amazes me, there are still people who don’t think that way. So a piece of writing like that is a flaming scarlet letter. When two boys found what they thought they were entitled to: a draft of my own writing in the recycling bin, they took the opportunity to torture me with it. And torture is no short-coming way to describe It; I remember walking out of school bawling, which was only more comic entertainment for them.
    Now I’ve finished my first year of high school and it really has been nothing but smooth sailing. There is a thousand different ways I could say it and I could talk myself in circles, but high school is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Any obstacles in my way just feel like a small change in direction to my final destination. I am my best me for where I want to go in life and nobody is going to stop me.
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