A New Beginning Alexandra Rogers

"You're so lucky", was something people would say to me after I told them, I was homeschooled. Homeschool opened a whole new window of opportunities to travel and do more. Although I loved homeschool, I felt that I would be limiting myself to education in a physical school. After four years since I had crossed the threshold of school it was time to go back.

I awoke on September 1, to hear the 'peep' of my alarm clock. Today was the first day of school and I had no real idea of what would happen. Once dressed, I went downstairs for breakfast. My little blue sneakers muffled the creaks as I walked across the aged wood floor. My denim backpack sat on a dining room chair. It contained a few notebooks, a packed pencil case, and Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. At 7:15 I walked to the bus stop, the gravel crunched underfoot, the air smelled like summer and the birds chirped. At 7:20 the large yellow bus rolled down the street. I stepped up the mini stairs not knowing where to sit. I sat down in a random place and the bus drove on, the familiar trees and neighborhood houses passed by. I was leaving home.

Over time, North Cumberland Middle School came into view. The bus parked along the wooded forest and waited until it was time to let the students out. I could hear my mom’s voice “The eighth-grade science labs are downstairs to the left”. Knowing exactly where I needed to go for homeroom, I waited patiently. At around 7:40 everyone piled out of the bus and walked to the front entrance. Friends in groups gathered together. Not knowing where to stand I stood between a cluster of students and new people. Never in my life had I ever felt so trapped. I desperately wanted to go home. The loud talking echoed in my head. Inside the seventies style school, the air smelled of cleaning product and fresh paint. I descended the wide staircase and walked to the right through the door of my new homeroom. A weird feeling came over me as I had entered the middle school classroom. The bright lights and the color of the walls blurred my vision. I sat down next to a friendly looking girl who asked,

“Are you new here?"

“Not exactly.”

The bell rang too quickly and my palms began to sweat, everything felt hot. Stepping out into the hallway I had no idea where to go. All my direction knowledge and keeping my cool froze. I pulled out my Chromebook and looked at its case which had a printout of my schedule on it. These little words and numbers meant nothing to me.

“Do you know where you're going”? A voice asked

“No”. I said relieved

It was my homeroom teacher. She took me to most of my classes.

“Are you coming to school tomorrow”? She asked at the end of the day.

“We’ll see”.

After a week or so a math test came up and I felt scared.My original vision of going back to school was to acclimate and succeed right away. That did not happen. My dad’s voice echoed through my head “Don’t worry, you can always retake it”. I began the test thinking that at first but, I couldn’t solve certain problems. My hand shook and pencil moved frequently from the sweat on my hands. I ended up with a two on this test which was “fine”.

Later on in September lockers were distributed. They were new to me so, I did not know how to open them. Because of this, I was late to every class which made school even more difficult.

With time, when I took tests I was able to relax. I could find my way to class easier but, to this day I still have trouble opening my locker. (It does open more regularly now). Throughout my school year I look back and think I can’t believe that I was ever homeschooled because it feels like so long ago. I now know that it was a good and necessary decision to take the stand and go to school.

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