Culture Shock: Transitioning from private to public school

Transferring to a new school is one thing, but transferring from a private Christian school to a public high school is a whole other story. That story is mine.

Going to Bryan High was sort of a scary thought at first, but I knew I had to get out of private school. I just felt trapped there. I know some people at that school enjoy it and think it’s the greatest, but to me, it was like a nightmare that I had to relive everyday.

As the year went by, I started slowly seeing my grades go down and noticed myself not laughing as much. I was even starting to get depressed.

Then, hope came my way. I became friends with Emily Nash. As we became closer throughout the year, we started talking about Bryan High and how fun it would be if I went there too. At first, it was just something fun to talk about, but it slowly became not only a discussion with Emily and I, but with my parents as well. I think my parents knew it was time for me to leave private school too, because after a few talks, I was set. I was going to Bryan High.

Coming from a small private school with only eight classrooms and twenty kids per grade, size was going to be a major difference. My first few steps into Bryan High were slow and hesitant. My jaw immediately dropped. I was completely blown away by the size; it was huge! How am I supposed to get to my classes on time? How do I not get lost? But, it turns out that I only got lost twice, which is better than I originally expected. Plus, the teachers were really nice and helped guide me to where I needed to be, which was awesome.

Something I was looking forward to was the variety of people. At my old school, it was as if everyone was exactly the same, which to me is terrible and boring. There were two main distinctions between all of us, though, the rich kids and the not-so-rich kids. I was under the second category, along with my two best friends. If having money is the main reason to hang out with someone something is just not right.

Then, I came to Bryan High and it was as if a whole new world of people I had never known suddenly came out of hiding. It’s great to look around and see so many different personalities, all accepting.

Something else I love about this place is that you don’t have to guess who your friends are. You know because kids here people tell you how it is and I like that. Since my other school was Christian and also so small, everyone felt obligated to like each other, or at least look like they did, even though they can be just as backstabbing as any other teen.

One thing I noticed immediately were the classes. My old school was college prep, which I guess is one positive thing, when you graduated you were ready for college. I’m sure, though, that I’ll be just as much ready for college when I graduate from Bryan High.

Although the students at my previous school are more academically prepared, the reality of life is a lesson they seem to be lacking. Private Christian schools tend to be more sheltered than public schools, which can be good and bad. They won’t be ready for the world when they leave their private school bubble, but public school kids will.

Transferring to Bryan High was probably the hardest and best decision I’ve ever made in my life. I don’t regret going to my old private school at all, it’s taught me a lot and I’m glad I went there. I’m glad I got out, though. I can already tell this is where I belong.

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