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Eighth grade open house: a change of scenery

posted Apr 3, 2016, 1:19 PM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Kate Wallschlaeger, Opinions Editor

Posted February 5th, 2016

In ordinary regards, the word scenery evokes a sense of peace and appreciation. However, the addition of two small words, change of, morphs this word. Depending on the individual, excitement, anxiety, or paralysis may ensue at the prospect of a change of scenery. We all undergo change, though, for we all are, indeed, destined to go places in our lives. And so, how are we to overcome this fear of change?

The administrators of Slinger’s high school and middle school implemented a prospective solution to overcome the fear of perhaps the most intimidating and, in some cases, the most dreadful change of scenery in young adults’ lives: the transition from middle school to high school.

On January 27th, the high school hosted an eighth grade open house. After a welcoming presentation in the cafeteria, the students were unleashed to explore the high school, their future scenery. Throughout the hallways, student organizations, athletics, and past projects served to encourage and perhaps even inspire the touring eighth graders. With teachers and current students kindly guiding them, next year’s students visibly became more at peace with their future transition.

Their aim, beyond fulfilling the scavenger hunt for signatures from various groups and departments, stood to become familiar with their new surroundings. With familiarity, comes ease; with ease, comes confidence. And with confidence in themselves, those students hold great promise to carry on the legacy of respect and accomplishment known to Slinger High School and our community.

As a builder of this legacy myself, it was incredibly humbling to witness their exploration that night. I was reminded of my own days as a restless freshman, wholeheartedly prepared to leave middle school yet doubting my ability to thrive in such a dynamic environment. But I grew. Through countless experiences and conversations, whether they seemed vital or trivial, I grew within these walls. And now, I have outgrown these walls, just as every young adult I witnessed that night will.

We are all students, learning how to adapt to our change of scenery. This scenery may be a place, a perspective, or a way of life, but one constant remains. We grow, and the scenery changes yet again. Eventually, though, we realize how to overcome this fear of change. The answer lies in immersing ourselves in that which we fear the most, the unknown. Only then do we discover the powerful potential lying within our latest scenery.