On September 1st as many other children and teens were heading off to start yet another school year, I was moving on to start my high school career, an exciting and daunting event that I had put off thinking about until the last minute. From 1st grade on up I had been going to the very small private Catholic school, Sacred Heart, that had dwindled in number down to about 30 by the time I reached seventh grade. Every year they consider closing it, but the power of Catholic education pulls through for another year every time.
When I was younger, I got so sick of hearing the eighth graders complain about how Sacred Heart was so boring, and they couldn’t wait to get to high school. I swore I would never be like them, and would savor every moment of that school. Boy, did I not keep that promise. When eighth grade came ’round, I was just like them, whining my head off about how I couldn’t wait to leave. And yet, when the final day at Sacred Heart came, I did feel sad. I had spent all my school days there, experienced so much there, gotten into so much trouble there. But I was so excited for high school. There was going to be new classes, new teachers, a hot lunch program, which had been taken out of Sacred Heart my last year for who knows what reason. And of course, new friends. My best friend had left Sacred Heart after fifth grade, and many of my friends had graduated before I. By the time I was in eighth grade, I had only one of my friends left with me, who is also my cousin. Of course, she wasn’t the only person I talked to. I’ve always been one who has no problem talking with boys and messing around with them. This is probably the result of having five brothers and all their friends around the house. And since Sacred Heart is grades Pre-K through 8, and I love little kids, I always made time to play with the younger students. That was one of the great thngs about Sacred Heart, the grade difference. The little kids look up to the older kids like they’re these amazing people. I remember being a first grader and thinking how big and tall and mature the seventh and eighth graders were. But when you get older, you realize they’re really not that mature at all. Not at all. But I loved having all the younger students asking to play games with you, or giving you hugs in the hallway. Especially from this little guy.
Bronson was my little buddy. He made my days with his hugs. And that’s what I loved the most about Sacred Heart. The closeness. There were so few people it was impossible not to know everyone’s name, and ,well, pretty much everything else about them too. That’s what I miss the most. The people.
I was happy to graduate.
I just didn’t know that the books people write on high schools aren’t completely made up (except for the parts where the dorky girls take off their glasses and turn gorgeous and get the popular guys to fall in love with them, that’s never realistic). It’s quite different out in the big world…