Eighth-Graders Feel Anxiety, Excitement with High School Near


Chief Advocate archives

Most eighth-graders at Woodbury Middle School will walk through Nonnewaug High School’s doors as freshmen in just a few months.

Addison Bushka '27, Junior Chief Advocate

WOODBURY – It’s almost that time of year again – high school seniors will be graduating and eighth-grade students will be moving up to take their place. While some eighth-graders are anticipating starting this new chapter, others are nervously counting down the days until they walk on their graduating stage. 

“It’s like the first step of the end,” said Woodbury Middle School eighth-grader Morgan Willis. 

Willis feels a mix of emotions on this transition, and many others can agree with her. High school is one of the final steps before becoming an adult, and it can be nerve wracking, yet exciting, to see what growing up has to offer. 

Woodbury Middle School social worker Joy Geraci agrees: “There’s actually a variety of responses; it’s sort of like a range. I think most of the students are actually excited but also nervous about the changes.”

Some students feel that certain factors change the way they feel about going to high school. For instance, some soon-to-be freshmen have friends who won’t be going to Nonnewaug. Not only is not having your friends with you scary in general, but your comfort zone that was once there is gone.

For a lot of people, having that part of the old with the new helps, but when you don’t have that with you, it can be tough — particularly when going through a big change.

“They’re my best friends! We’re scared of losing each other,” Willis said. “That’s my biggest issue I have with moving onto high school. If they weren’t leaving, I feel like I would be fine. I grew up with them and now they’re leaving.”

In addition, not having your friends with you could possibly make you more nervous, even when you originally might have felt excited. It will be a burden some students will have to deal with, which can make everything more stressful.

Nonnewaug High School freshman Anna Crocker was anxious at first and believed that high school was a daunting place, but she later found out that high school really wasn’t all what it’s said to be when she actually got there. If anything, it’s such a different experience, that was pleasantly unexpected.

“It’s also not as scary as I thought it would be. It was nerve-racking at first and really frightening since it’s a big school,” Crocker said. “There is always someone at the high school that can help you though, which is nice.”

Like Crocker felt before moving up, other students think that the unknown is what they are fearing the most.

“I have no idea of what to expect,” stated eighth-grader Audrey Doran. “I feel like it came upon us all the sudden, and now it’s this big thing I’ve been stressing over constantly.” 

The stereotypical thoughts are immediately drawn to the idea that high school is a huge, nerve-racking adjustment. That may be true for some, but that’s not always the case with everyone. 

On the other hand, eighth-grader Max Nichols is a student who is more excited about moving up rather than being nervous.

“I’m feeling excited to meet all the new kids from the other schools,” Nichols said. “All the kids applying for ag [are] from out of town, and I’m also excited to be with the older kids as well.”

Even though change can sound like it can be a bad thing, it might actually be for the better. High school can seem intimidating at first, but it could also be the best years of your life. Everyone is going to feel something different when it comes to a big change like this, whether it be scary, stressful, or exciting.

“If I could go back to my eighth-grade self, I would tell myself that even though at first it may seem scary, it all works out in the end,” Crocker said. “Just trust the process.”