My 2014-2015 School Year
The Year I...
This year, my life underwent many changes. I started middle school on a zero period schedule and began to play a lot more tennis than I used to. Before middle school, my life was relatively relaxed: I had minimal homework, lots of free time and rarely had tests. In middle school, all that changed. I began having tests every week, with large projects due every other week. Some days, my homework load was incredible; I don't think I finished any non-required reading in the first quarter! Also, the amount of sports I played increased rapidly. This year, I decided to do ISPE, and began practicing tennis at a much more rigorous level, with the hope of starting to play competitions. Lastly, I joined the Junior Optimist Club at CVMS, and started volunteering at shelters and putting on fundraisers.
Last year, I went to a small elementary school with only 100 kids in my grade. I knew practically all of the teachers and staff in the school. This year, I came to a huge school with more than 1000 kids and lots of teachers. After getting over the initial shock of how humongous CVMS is, I had to adjust to my new workload and schedule. Essays, tests, quizzes, worksheets, art projects were all thrown upon me at what seemed like a moment's notice. It really did seem like I couldn't keep up, and yet I was always up- at school by 7-15 in the morning and still working on homework at 10-15 at night. However, one of the highlights of this year was learning how to create websites, videos and an ePortfolio. Over time, I managed to get the hang of things and began to enjoy my fast-paced learning environment, as it makes me feel grown-up.
Tennis and ISPE
Over the summer, I began to play tennis more frequently than I ever had before. During elementary school, I only played about 1 hour a week. However, before middle school started, I decided that I wanted to become more serious about tennis, so I applied for ISPE. Playing tennis so often adds to my busy schedule and makes it harder to finish homework, but I enjoy it a lot, and wouldn't want it any other way. I have yet to start formally competing, but it feels good to be able to hit winners past my parents in our family tennis matches. One of the downsides of ISPE is that I don't get to hang out with my friends at lunch every day. But, now we all BYOD, we still manage to keep in touch.
Junior Optimist Club
I have always enjoyed volunteering in places and participating in fundraisers. In elementary school, my friends and I would throw fun fundraising events (with our families). We would also volunteer at the San Diego Food Bank. This year, my history teacher told me that she was becoming an advisor for the Junior Optimist Club. So, I thought it would be fun to join the club and help organize events. It has been tons of fun to be a part of the JOC. We did a beach clean up, bake sale, both single and family homeless shelter food serving, and much more. Whilst some of the events made getting my homework done more difficult, the experience of helping people was incredibly rewarding.
This is a video from the CCA club, which is the high school version of the club I am in now. We work together on some projects.
In conclusion, this school year has been a year of many changes for me. First of all, I started a new school with a huge workload. Then I had to learn to balance my school work with my tennis instruction and practice. Lastly, I also joined a club that allowed for me to start helping out in my community. However, one thing that I wish I'd done was stay more organized and be more efficient in doing homework. Perhaps, that way I could have seen more of my friends, or just read a few more books for relaxation. Looking ahead, I am very excited about 8th grade, mostly because the English books we'll read next year sound like fun, so I won't have to worry about leisure reading. So, whilst my first year at middle school may have been overwhelming, it was also very rewarding and packed full of new experiences.