Sheri Samson
A group of local students gathered to discuss their feelings on the new school year prior to their first day.

The jump from elementary school to the bigger league of junior high can bring anxious nerves and confusion as students are ushered into moving schedules in mixed classrooms and timeframes of changing out books in lockers as bells are ringing throughout the hallways.

Some students recently gathered together, prior to their school’s opening day, to discuss some of their feelings with the Independent-News.

seventh-grade student, Faylynn Wedekind, admitted looking forward to her new school without fear of the unknown. “I think it should be fun and I have asked a lot of questions about it, so I feel ready to go.”

Fellow seventh grader, Brian Duncan-Byer shared, “I am coming from being home-schooled so I am nervous. It’s gonna be totally different for me this year.”

As 11th grade student-mentor, Malina Davis listened, then encouraged the junior high group to remain positive and to take ownership in their decisions. “Hey, we were all in your shoes once and we can’t forget where you are now – so just ask and be nice. Everyone will help you out if you let us know what you need.”

Faith Davis and Jimmy Pittman were both looking at trying harder in their upcoming eighth grade year. Both admitted that they needed to set a few goals and be better this year.

“I think I have a better outlook now than last year. I don’t want to be a “schmuck””, Pittman shared while laughing about his new word.

The students enjoyed the chance of being a focus group while sharing their opinions about the school. Wedekind was glad that there were adults listening to some of the ideas they had. She shared, “It’s nice to know that our thoughts count too and that there are adults wanting to listen to what we think.”

This year’s junior high students would be receiving free planning books, with a calendar and special information to assist with organizing and assignments. Davis explained that the scheduling would get easier as they walked through it for a week.

“You will remember it all after a week, then you will start to get busy as sports starts and your classes have homework. It is just a routine,” Davis stated with a smile.