This post is a letter I wrote addressed to my 8th grade and middle school year(s). I hope you enjoy.
Dear 8th Grade,
This year has been an interesting one…
It has been full of trials and tears, as well as joy and accomplishment.
A lot of change occured too. Change, as we all know it, is scary… But it is also where growth takes place.
I experienced many changes. Changes in friends groups, my state of mind, the amount of pressure to preform a certain way, and what my values and priorities were. I, personally, changed too.
One huge change that took place was I left school at the end of Christmas break till March 29th. I left school to go to treatment for my eating disorder that had made my life miserable. I was not living a “normal” quality life… I’ll leave it at that. Something had to happen, or I was going to keep getting sicker and sicker. This change happened also during my 6th and 7th grade years, but all for different reasons. I got treatment and then returned to school. This change- going back to school, was very anxiety-provoking and I did experience some bumps in the road, but I survived.
Another change was simply (but maybe not so much) going from 7th grade to 8th grade. I became the senior in my school; I now represented my school and was expected to be a positive role-model to my underclassmen. And going on to 8th grade meant that now I was just one year (!!!) away from HIGHSCHOOL! You can imagine how exciting yet terrifying that was.
There were many more changes, for example, I made new friends and I tried new things. But I don’t feel like those are as significant and important to mention…
Now, just days away from actually finishing middle school, I have many feelings. I feel sadness, joy, relief, success, freedom, apprehension to start a new chapter of life, and so much more.
I feel sad to depart from people who have been with me since 6th grade and people who I just met and/or became closer to this year.
I feel joy yet relief that this year is over and I finally get to breathe a little more. I feel joyous that summer is here and that I get to start a new chapter of my life. I feel relief, like I do every summer, that I get to be released of most of the social pressures and stressors.
I feel successful too. Success in the fact that I have achieved all A’s despite not being in school for about 3 months, and that I have become more mature, and overall better person. I feel successful for surviving.
I feel a sense of freedom. Freedom to be who I really am and simply to breath.
I feel many happy feelings, yet at the same time I am apprehensive. I feel apprehensive to leave the building that has been my home the last three years and the building that has taught me so much about myself, my relationships, and the world.
I feel all of these things and more. More than I can describe.
Now, I want to thank all of my teachers over the past three years. You have all shaped me into the person I am today.
Specifically I would like to thank the following teachers:
Mrs.Bloomfield (6th grade math) for not only teaching me math skills, but also teaching me that anything is possible if I set my mind on it.
Mrs.Lee (7th grade science) who taught me more than I can express in a few sentences. Mrs. Lee, you have taught me so much about both science and myself. You taught me to believe in myself and conquer my demons. You taught me that I can accomplish whatever I want. You taught me through example that it is possible and I am capable of making a difference. You taught me that I can conquer and demons that I may come across. You showed me that my faith must be bigger than my fears by living your life by that truth. You were there for me whenever I needed you, and you still are and always will be. In moments of panic and fear along with sadness and stress, you were there. One of the most meaningful things anyone has done for me, especially a teacher, was when you wrote me a letter when I was in the hospital for a suicide attempt. you were the only teacher who did that.You were one of 4 people who wrote me, two of which were family members. You care about everyone, and you made it your life mission to make sure we all know it! I am grateful for you beyond words. I love you infinity x 100, Mrs.Lee.
p.s. you also most definitely taught me to love science and value learning.
Mrs.McGoldrick (8th grade ELA), you have taught me to do what I love no matter what it costs me and to stand up for what i believe in. You taught me that I have to work for what I want. You showed me what it looks like to be openly passionate about the lives of others. You also made sure I knew you cared. I am forever grateful for you.
Mrs.Collett (8th grade math) and Mrs.Renfroe (8th grade Writing), You have both taught me that doing what you love is so worth it in the end. You love your students and care about our future. You are also so strong for putting up with all the crap you have dealt with this year. Thank you for what you have done for me.
All of these teachers have had a tremendous impact on my life and have shaped me as a person. I love you all eternally and I hope I never forget you.
So 8th Grade,
Thank you for all you’ve put me through- good and bad. Thank you for helping me cherish learning more and more while becoming a better person along the way. Thanks for preparing me as much as possible for the next chapter of my life. I hope I forever remember you.
Enjoy some highlights from this year💜