I distinctly remember many times as an adolescent being told that these were the best years of my life. I also remember thinking that this could not possibly be true. As I’ve grown older, I have learned that everyone has favourite years and years that were more of a struggle, and that it can be different for everyone. For instance, my most difficult year would have been 2001 or 2002, whereas my best would have been either 2010 or 2014. I’ve also had the experience that life grows better with age. That being said, students of Grade 8, there is much to love and look forward to as you enter into your year.
You can still do anything that you want with your life. There is so much out there that you can be and do, and at (roughly) thirteen years old, all options are available to you. If you want to go out and see the world, you have time. If you want a certain job, you can take the steps to achieve it. If you want kids and a family, you have all of the time in the world. Grade 8 is a time to dream and to grow. There is nothing that you can’t do, there is nowhere you can’t go.
You get to see your friends every day. This may seem to be a blessing and a curse, but in all likelihood, these are the last years that this will be the case. Most of my friends I am lucky to see once a month at this point, and many I have not seen in years. Interacting with people on a daily basis will help you build the skills to succeed in further relationships when you are older.
You may have more time to pursue your interests. School, while to some may seem rather long, is not. You are there for roughly seven hours per day, 180 days per year, minus absences and half-days. Most kids spend 1150-1200 hours per year in school at the most. Very few Grade 8 students have jobs. In fact, there aren’t even very many employers who would want to hire you. Sure, you may babysit or mow some lawns, but really, most of your time is yours to pursue your own personal passions. That means that you can develop your skills at sports, take care of animals, volunteer, learn craftsmanship, go to camps or do any of the other wonderful things that this world allows for. Enjoy your life and do what you love.
You get to be in class with Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Berrigan. Both of your teachers love what they do, take an interest in who you are and work hard to ensure that lessons are interesting and engaging and that you grow both as learners and as people while you are entrusted to our care. We will help guide you to having a fun and impactful year filled with positive memories!