8th Grade-itis

Starting in late April and early June, the students of GFS often see seniors lounging around. There is senior day, where the senior girls walk around in bikinis and the boys walk around in swim trunks. They have slip and slides and sometimes attempt to play beach volleyball (even though there is no beach). Around June, the 8th graders experience similar feelings to what the seniors are going through. 8th grade-itis.

Just like seniors are done with high school, 8th graders are done with middle school. Still, this experience is much different for 8th graders. We have to take finals, and have our parents, our teachers, and the current 9th graders stress us out about high school. We are also four years away from graduating. SO while around this time, the seniors have a couple of weeks left, we have over four years left.

Towards the end of the year, students in the middle and upper school often get a lecture about not slacking. We are told to remember that the school year is not over yet, and we must still work hard. Everyone is constantly reminded that finals are looming the week after Memorial Day Weekend (which ruins the time we are supposed to have for relaxing). Seniors on the other hand, are exempt from the requirements that the rest of the school has to adhere to, while 8th graders are dealing with similar emotions. Why is this so?

Each grade always feels as if they have so much work to do and they complaint about the exorbitant amount of pressure they are under. The older grades and even adults quickly dismiss these ideas. In reality though, when these older people were in 8th grade, they probably felt the same way. Some students also have quite a bit riding on the beginning of eighth grade as they are leaving the school so they must maintain certain grades and a reputation in order to be accepted at another school, and if they score too low on the final, they run the risk of the acceptance offer to this new school being retracted. Those who are staying also want to succeed, and things like your score on your math final may affect your high school experience (in this particular situation, it affects your placement in math next year).

Though these are all minor things in the grand scheme of life, in the moment, these things all feel incredibly important, and part of what makes life so exciting, is that as we grow up, we get to experience life from a variety of different perspectives. So in the end 8th grade-itis is a genuine feeling that most eighth graders are experiencing in the last month of school. So if you see a grouchy eighth grader walking around, you may want to cut them a little bit of slack.

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