By Jim Carignan - 9/19/02
It's that time of year again when the summer is ending and kids have to go back to school. As you might expect, this can be a difficult time for many of them. For the last two months, they have been able to do basically whatever they wanted to do, things like camping, swimming, going to fairs, or just hanging out with their friends. Now they must get back into a routine and doing a lot of homework and studying.
It can be especially tough on those kids who are going into new schools. "I am scared, there are too many big people up there," says Shauna Paro, 14, who was going to start ninth grade, her first year in high school. She also thought that she would get lost in the new school but was going to go there the day before the school year started with her schedule to try to find everything. After visiting the high school, she didn't feel any better about her chances of finding her way. Yet it wasn't so bad once she went there a few days. When asked how she was doing in school, she replied, "Good, I like it ... the third day I was fine."
Another girl, Kate, who was going to begin her first year at the same high school said, "I don't want to go, high school will be scary" in part because of new people. "I think all freshmen are (scared) ... we're the babies now." Once the school year started, she also said that it wasn't so scary.
Danny Myers, 12, was about to start seventh grade, yet it would be the first year in high school for him. Even though he has done well in school in the past, he still wasn't looking forward to going back. "I don't want this day to end," he repeated several times because it meant that school would be one day closer. After school began, his feelings had changed like the others had done. "I guess school is going pretty good, a lot better than I thought it would be."
Even though these kids were not thrilled about going back to school, there were still some kids that were looking forward to going back. A girl who goes to school with Shauna and the Kate was excited, saying that she couldn't wait for school to start. Samantha Burdick, 10, was about to go into sixth grade, her first year of middle school, but she told me that she wasn't scared at all and she was also excited to go back. She was once unsure if she'd be able to work the lockers but there was no problem when school began. She liked every class that she was in but one and that was because it was too easy.
The new school year can bring a lot of emotion to kids. They are often scared about new experiences such as a new school, new classes, teachers, meeting new people, or getting their locker to work. Most kids weren't too happy about going back to school but once they got there, there weren't many problems. There will always be differences from one year to the next but nothing so unusual that they haven't been through before or couldn't handle. It has turned out to be just like any other school year so far.