Essay by studioghiblitotoroJunior High, 9th gradeA+, October 2006

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Have you ever heard the phrase, "Hold your horses"? Because a short time ago, there was nothing I would want to do more than to, ' Hold my horse'. You see, if there was one thing in this entire world that I would be afraid of doing, it would definitely be experiencing the horrifying fears of going into high school.

Every time I hear conversations about high school - the world of drugs, sex, and dating - shivers vibrate through my entire body. It seems impossible, almost unreal, for me to enter this...this prison of bullies, cliques, gossip, and manipulation. To me, entering high school meant the immediate termination of childhood, and coming into the

ghastly universe of adulthood.

As children, we don't have to agonize over so-called adult issues; we don't have to worry about paying bills, washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, etc. But for me, high school might just as well be renamed, "The Adult World", and I wouldn't notice the difference.

The mere thought of being just one year away from that catastrophic event gives me a feeling of helplessness. It seems as if it is my irrevocable destiny to go into high school, the one huge event that my adolescence years center around. Fate is inexorable, as we all know, and fate is unavoidable. Sometimes I think about adults who look back on their high school years and smile; and I can't help but wonder if I'll ever be able to do that.

Yet, however scary high school seems, I recall back to when I was in fifth grade. Middle school appeared to give off the same impression of worries and fears as high school seems to now. Then again, when I began my first year as a vulnerable sixth-grader, it wasn't all that bad as I thought it would be. Sure, in my initial year, I had a sudden phobia of those menacing eight-graders, and kept well away from them. But as that year slowly came to an end, I realized that the eighth-graders were just mortal people in the higher levels of life.

Now as I contemplate the possibilities of high school being a nightmare, I've calculated that the chances of my 'imaginary' high school existing are very little. Of course, there will still definitely be the ups and downs of high school, and the dreadful experiences will probably always be my constant companions throughout high school. There will always be awful teachers waiting under the veil of darkness to pop out and give you a hard time, and there will also be the evil plots of friends waiting deep underneath the face of high school. But that isn't what high school is meant to be. It is meant to be a place where teenagers could experience some of the greatest wonders of youth, a place where emerging adults could discover their true ambitions, and a place where adolescents could understand the meaning of life. I am now no longer frightened of entering high school. Tests might be tough, and the projects might tend to be mind-busting, but in the depth of the flowering teenage mind, trying is really all that counts. Because deep within it all, motivation to strive for an excellent education is the core to a prosperous adult life.