I went to St. Michael School from Kindergarten through Eighth grade, so when it came time to leave for high school, I was not excited for the change. St. Michael was especially small in regards to student population. We had just under three hundred students split between all nine grades. That left roughly twenty to thirty kids per class. I was extremely used too this small environment and not exactly looking forward to the terrors of high school towering over me nor the thought of being lost in the sea of students.
Over the years I was extremely imbedded in my academics. I had straight A’s for my entire time at St. Michael. I received the academic achievement award at Eighth grade promotion for having the highest GPA in my class. Despite this, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to live up these expectations I had developed for myself during High School. I thought that people might be disappointed if I didn’t keep the “Perfect Student” image people had seen in me. Overall, I was nervous about the whole transition into High School in general.
I knew that High School was inevitable, so I wanted to go to Livermore High because many of my friends were going there. I wanted to make the transition as easy as I could make it. I believed that some familiar faces would help me. However, this was not what my mother had in mind. She found out about a charter High School that sounded like a better fit for me. When she first told me about this I was angry. Not a single person from my class was planning on going to LVCP. My mom dragged me to the Open House. At first, I really just did not want to be there.
Slowly, as we traversed through the different classrooms, the school started to grow on me. By the end, I liked the school, but I was still concerned about the transitions. Eventually, I accepted that I would be attending LCVP. When my Eighth grade year started to come to a close, I found out that three of my classmates would be attending school with me in the fall. This gave me something to look forward to: some familiar faces. Then, it came time to choose my classes. I didn’t know how hard I wanted to push myself, because I knew High School would be challenging.
I decided that I would try to challenge myself, and if it didn’t work out as a Freshman, I would challenge myself a little less as I progressed through High School. Next, it came time for Freshman Orientation. I was extremely nervous about making new friends. I knew that the majority of the students would already have strong friend groups because of the large population coming from LVCS. When I first got there, I stood against the wall until one of my friends from St. Michael showed up. While I was waiting, I was approached by a small group of LVCS kids.
They were super friendly and inclusive. They asked my name and tried to include me into some small talk. It turned out I didn’t need to worry about not making any new friends. The most nerve racking part of this whole experience was the first day of school. I dreaded the alarm that woke me up at 6:30 in the morning. It was as loud as a screaming toddler that could be heard for miles. I groggily got out of bed and got ready for my first day of school. It was a weird feeling not putting on a uniform like I had been for the past nine years, but I also enjoyed that freedom.
The nervousness became more and more intense as I could closer and closer to campus. When we arrived, I got out of the car, and watched my dad drive off to go take my younger sister to school. There was no going back now; I had no other choice than to walk through those doors. I felt like my throat was in my stomach. I noticed some familiar faces, and I walked towards them. While I was approaching my friends, a senior, facing toward me, walked passed. He must have been at least six feet tall, which was incredibly intimidating for me at just over five feet.
I was not used to the fact that I’d potentially have classes with these giants. Additionally, the array of new teachers, and having to learn all of their teaching styles and things they did or did not tolerate was hard in itself. Then, I realized that LVCP wasn’t so bad. Not only did I recognize some people I already knew, but I made a bunch of great, new friends. Everyone, including the teachers, were generally very welcoming and accepting. I realized that their were people who had my back, such as my Freshman Mentors and Mr. Coy, my advisor, as well as all of my other teachers.
I also realized that the grade levels were not as segregated as they are at other schools. Those scary seniors aren’t so scary anymore; they are actually quite friendly. Before I started going to LVCP, I was told that this school was full of weird people, and the school itself was weird; and I realized that they were right, this school and its people are weird. However, I think that this weirdness is what brings us together. Everyone can be themselves without being cruelly judged or made fun of. We are all extremely accepting and caring, and we don’t care what other people think of us.
Now, I consider LVCP to be my “new family. ” I accept them for who they are and they accept me for who I am. I got more involved with what goes on around school by taking Leadership. This allowed me to make a wide variety of new friends from all of the grades. This whole experience has made me way more outgoing and confident in myself. I am more easy-going and a little less of a perfectionist. I do not care as much as to how people see me. I can credit all of this to LVCP. Now, I hang out with both my new friends as well as my old friends. The whole transition from St. Michael to LVCP was way easier than I made it appear.