Teen Corner: High school began with dread but turned into a wonderful experience

Published 2:59 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

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By Jason Elridge


When I became a freshman at Harlan County High School, the COVID-19 pandemic was finally ending, but it was not eradicated. I was terrified of entering high school because I didn’t know what to expect. All of these thoughts were living rent-free in my mind during all of my summer break. I had not necessarily enjoyed middle school but was still afraid of change.

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The end of summer came in a flash; before I knew it I was preparing to start the next chapter of my life. I had heard awful stories about high schools from my parents and grandparents, so I went in expecting the worst. On the first day of my freshman year, I was lost and had no idea what to do or where to go. Honestly, my first year of high school was overwhelming and a new type of challenge that I had not prepared for. It does give students much more freedom, but at the cost of forcing us to be more responsible.

By the third day of high school, I had found myself already getting adjusted to my schedule. I was fairly quiet in middle school, but at Harlan County High School, I had already interacted more with students than I ever had before. My family had started to notice a change in my personality for the better. I started becoming more open with people, and I began to make lifelong friends that I would have never met otherwise.

Now, I’m a junior, and I have had opportunities that I never thought I would get to experience. I have taken many honors and dual-credit courses that will be useful when I begin college. I’ve made many friends in teachers, bus drivers, and students. I will remember the people I’ve met for the rest of my life.

Harlan County High School has been great for making new connections. In high school, you can take classes based on your interests and meet people who share your interests within those classes. You can be a part of friend groups that make high school easy to go through.

High school can be stressful at times, but being a high school student marks a new chapter in your life that you will never want to end. I am glad I chose to attend Harlan County High School.

Jason R. Eldrige is a student at Harlan County High School.