It’s the first day of high school. Students pour through the double doors. Tension and excitement run high, as classmates rejoice at the sight of one another after the long summer break. However, these may not be the only emotions high school students will feel through the next year. Studies show that entering high school can be one of the hardest experiences for teenagers, especially girls.
And it’s not just freshmen. All girls, freshmen and juniors alike, are nervous about their first day. The big difference is that one knows the ropes. “…[I] come across more shy girls [in high school]. Obviously, there are really confident, popular ones, but they all have insecurities,” said Julie Taylor, a junior at EHS.
“Thinking about what others might be thinking [is a big part of it]. They start noticing things that are wrong with them,” said Taylor.
Although she is quick to remind girls that trying to fit into others’ social boxes will only bring them down in the end. Taylor’s thoughts aren’t far from other students’ opinions. When asked what girls have the most trouble with, it seems to be consistently related to other girls’ opinions.
Ginger Eisenhower, the school guidance counselor, recounts seeing many different girls come through the high school doors. “It’s when they start learning who they are and learning not to be like everyone else that they begin to appreciate themselves,” she said.
Other staff members agreed. “Many [girls] become more confident when… [they] know their strengths and how to deal with [their] weaknesses,” Robin Hooper, foods teacher at EHS, said. She also commented that peer pressure may be partially to blame. “[Many girls] haven’t had an opportunity to fit in,” said Hooper.
Even though the first years of high school can be difficult, most girls find their confidence and their voice, and soon come to realize high school is an eye-opener. It turns out the key to success is being comfortable with one’s self and his or her own unique talents.
Abbey Dumas, Jasmine Guitterez, Hannah Oliver, and Harper Lee Libbert are members of the Elkin High School Honors English I class.