How are students preparing for high school?


Munch Lukachyk

SAYING GOODBYE: WMS 8th-graders prepare for their last semester at WMS.

Munch Lukachyk and Thomas Oatman

8th grade is the year of preparation going into high school. As 8th graders, we know things will be different like learning new material in class,  adjusting to a new schedule, making the sports team, and making friends. Conversely, this can also be viewed as a time of great opportunity.  It is an opportunity for students to achieve a clean slate.  Things you can look forward to in high school are sports and extracurricular activities. 

Samantha Malltell, an 8th-grade student,  if she took any class in high school she would want to take a journalism class. She also said, “I would take science, but only science where you cut stuff open.” That science class is also known as biology. The sports she wants to participate in are track and field, and cheerleading in the fall during the football season. She has been cheerleading for 6 years, but she has never done track. She’s doing track because she loves to run. After all, it clears the mind and its cardio. Malltell thinks that high school is not good college preparation. She stated, “College is going to be easier than high school.” She has an older sibling and friends in high school already so she already has help coming in. She hopes the teachers in the high school are nice and forgiving.  She said, “waking up earlier every day will make me grumpier in school.”

John Lande, an 8th-grade boy, said that he’s preparing for high school right now by looking at the schedule and the special classes he can take. That way he doesn’t have to worry, and will have everything set for when the time comes. He stated, “I’m going to lose friends and gain friends, but I’m prepared.” Lande would like to take accounting or theater arts as an elective in high school. He wants to take biology. He’s also going to take algebra because he’s in geometry right now. Lande looks forward to going to high school because he wants to see all his different friends from all different schools. He said he would join a choir or theater arts club and as a sport, he would want to play golf. He said that high school is a college preparation as long as you take the right classes. He said if you get into AP classes that are almost college level you will be well prepared for college. Lande thinks that waking up earlier can have some effects but nothing that you can’t get used to.

Nate Langon, an 8th-grader, is preparing for high school by talking with his friends, Dylan M, Billy M, Gavin S, and Mikey G about what he should do for the classes. He hopes to take biology so “he can dissect frogs.” He is also going to take honors math since he learns well in math. He wants to join art class because he thinks “it’s fun to paint and stuff.” Langon looks forward to being independent and wants to play football and baseball. His plan is to attend WHS in the upcoming fall semester. He knows that the workload is a lot and they prep you for college so the things that students do here won’t fly. The difference between middle and high school is the workload difficulty.

An 8th-grade teacher, Mr.Blackmore said he goes slow with teaching. And students need a vision board to help them prepare for high school so everything is planned out. He wants to make sure there are goals, pictures, and quotes to help students as well. He said, “I teach what students need to know. I never do anything that won’t benefit the students. I wish I could tell myself that all that crap like the drama and being nice to people will help you become the person you want to be.” Blackmore added, “The people who helped him when he was in middle school and transitioning into high school are his best friends today.” The biggest difference between high school and middle school is the level of maturity. One of the biggest problems students face is peer pressure. When I was in high school it was paper cigarettes, but now it’s flavored vapes with many bad chemicals.”

7th & 8th-grade teacher, Mr. Murphy, Said if you’re preparing for High school you should want to work on time management skills. This helps to get your assignments or school work done on time. He said, “Middle school is far easier than high school and when you get to high school you’ll have a lot more things going on. And if you don’t have time management you will fail your classes.” When he was in high school he was never troubled by anyone asking him if he had finished work. He understood that if he didn’t do his work there would be consequences, like losing his car or losing his phone. He said, “motivation needs to be found within yourself.” He said, “If I could go back and tell his 8th-grade self anything, he would say don’t spend all your money.”

He had a job at the Woodbridge Little League, umpiring. And when he turned 18 he didn’t have much money because he spent all that money and didn’t save any.  He said the biggest difference between middle school and high school is the pace of everything. And if you play a sport the ages are much different; if you’re on varsity as a freshman and you’re 14 you can be playing against 18-year-olds. He said “motivation is a driving key to success” in high school. When he was in high school he said he was motivated by getting good grades. He mentioned, “Kids now have no fear of getting in trouble and facing those consequences. So when they get to high school they’ll be in trouble.”

Mrs. Malmstrom , a 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade teacher, discussed what steps students need to take in order to prepare for high school. Malmstrom said, “I think they need to practice their organization skills.  So if you are organized you can handle it better, and I also think students should talk to high school students about clubs, sports, and classes.” If Mrs. Malmstrom could tell herself anything she would say “don’t sweat the drama, it will all work out in the end, and keep your attitude in check.”  Since covid, many students don’t take their work seriously. Mrs. Malmstrom commented on this saying, “I think the expectations for the work are less now than it was.” Malmstrom also thinks that students should start taking things more seriously or they are going to be in for a rude awakening.