The voice of the outsider: Moving-up day

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by Jessica Pahutski – Staff Editor

It’s everyone’s least favorite time of the year. The time when kids from all walks of life head back to the place called “high school”. The few out there who like it have a lot of friends, are into popular media, or just have that outgoing “social butterfly” personality. Those who are not quite at the top of the food chain are mostly okay with returning to academia and those who couldn’t care less about the “popular” trends let things play out for a bit before deciding whether or not the year will go well for them. I am one of the latter.
There might be a few reasons for this. I didn’t really have any friends until 8th grade and I follow most of the school rules to the letter. In one instance, I got into a friendly argument with a teacher about whether the shoulder strap-width requirement was three fingers (as it was in middle school and I use anyway as a precaution) or two. It could be because I have Asperger’s Syndrome (now ASD), so rules and expectations are really important and socialization is really hard. I’ve never been into the trends in any way, shape, or form and just recently started lightening up on some of them. Though those in charge of Moving Up Day didn’t seem to take that into consideration.
High school started out about as well as can be expected for an anxiety-ridden asocial Aspie teen suddenly being taken out of their favorite class and thrust through a line of cheering, screaming strangers into a gym-shaped box of madness. That is, not very. Though finding what few friends I had quickly was fortunate, the commotion was ultimately too much to handle. A counselor from my school took note of this and showed me the way to “Student Services”. This unfamiliar room would serve as a place of solace for at least an hour before the designated lunch time began. It would not be the last time the location would be used for this purpose.
I can’t remember if I was with people I knew, but I refused to eat out of stress. After a very long half-hour, the school tours started. By “tours”, I mean that the guides showed us where each hallway started, laughed to themselves and moved on without giving any details whatsoever. Fun. The line of people at the beginning told me more about the school than the tour people did. That wasn’t the end of the experience, though.
Sometime after that, the students were led into the “PAC” for a presentation. Not unlike the assembly in the gym, I found either a counselor or a teacher, explained the situation and stayed out in the commons for the remainder of the day. The most hellish day of my school life up to that point was finally over. Though I gave a vague recap at first, I didn’t let my parents know just how bad it was until partway into freshman year. When school actually began, I would find out that not every last-minute change is for the worse…

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