what I want you to know: an 8th grader’s account of transitioning from private to public school

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. (If you are new to this blog, regularly schedule programming will resume after the holidays, but you can check out the “Best Of” section in the meantime). If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. This guest post is by Merci..

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I know this isn't the normal age to be posting on this blog, but I'm a teenager.  Yes, I do read this blog, and I love it.  :)

So anyway, back to what I want you to know.

I am a Christian, and my parents have raised me that way.  All through elementary school I went to a Christian school, with very few people in the grades with a very "family like" atmosphere.  I loved it there and I met friends.  The teachers were also like family to me and to my friends. 
In fifth grade, my friends Bailey, Libby, and I were considering changing schools to a public school.  That was unheard of in my school because staying in the school until you graduate.  At least, that's what the "plan" was for me until fifth grade.  God had a different plan for me and my friends. At the public school we were going to they had a program where you could visit the school and have an older student show you around and where to go in the day.  Bailey and I decided to go, but we didn't tell anyone where we were going because we were kind of afraid to tell everyone.  Visiting there was overwhelming at first and I felt like an ant about to be crushed by giants.  There were so many people in the hallways and it was literally five times the size of my old school.  Bailey had no problem fitting in being the social butterfly she is. 

After a lot of thoughts and prayers all three of us decided to switch to a public school even though we weren't sure how we were going to tell our classmates because they were like family to us. Turns out we didn't even have to.  Our teacher had found out about me and Bailey going to the school and she had told our class about it.  Although that made us mad at the time, I now realize what a blessing that was. 

On the last day of school we cried so hard we thought our eyes would come out.  It really made us sad leaving the school and environment that we had grown up in.  The people that I met there will always be in my heart, and I will never, ever, ever forget them.

Finally the day had come: my first day of a public school had begun!  I rode the bus for the first time in my life.  That was so scary for me because I didn't know anyone.  People on my bus actually thought that I didn't speak English because I was so quiet and I am half Japanese, which now makes me laugh.  Once we got to the school, my heart was doing flip flops, forward rolls, fulls, layouts...everything you could think of.  I walked to my locker, and I couldn't find Bailey or Libby.  I walked into my homeroom, scared out of my brains.  There was no one that I knew and I sat by myself.  I felt like I was gong to puke.

The rest of the day I felt alone and scared.  When the bus dropped me off at my stop, I fell apart.  My dad greeted me and I couldn't hold the tears back.  There was no way I was going back to that place.  You would think I would want to go back to my old school, but instead I just told my mom "I want you to home school me!"

My mom convinced me that I should give public school another chance.  So the next day, I went with a slightly different attitude, a more positive one.  I found my first friend, and from then on, school became so much easier.  I found myself loving it and there's so many people that you can reach out to and relate to. 

Because of my mom and dad, and many other people encouraging me, I now love public school.  I am so glad that God gave me the opportunity to go to a public school.  I am so glad I switched over and I am involved with the music program and am a Cheerleader for the second year now. 
Next year, I will be an eighth grader and I can't wait to be the oldest one in the school.  I am ready to take on what the future holds.




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