Each year, the students of Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School respond to writing prompts as they reflect on the year. Their words are assembled into a poem that closes the Eighth Grade Moving Up ceremony. This year, the poem was entitled:
This Beautiful Year
Last fall, I was
excited about the new year,
young and overwhelmed.
I didn’t know who I really was.
Now, I am
thoughtful and ready to take on a challenge.
I am a confident girl who knows where she is supposed to be.
Last fall, I was a student who was going to spend her first year away from home. Now, I am a student who doesn’t want to go back home.
Last fall, my English was really bad. Now, my English improved a lot and I got many good friends.
I was shy and worried about making new friends in a class that has already been bonded the year before. Now, I am confident and I have made some close friendships throughout all grades that I know will last forever.
I was worried I wouldn’t fit in. Now, I am happy. I learned anyone can fit in.
Last fall, I was different. I was scared to show my true self. I didn’t realize that people here would accept who I am. Now, I am brave. I have learned so many things here, especially friendship. I know the people who will be there for me and I know the people I will be there for.
Last fall, I was quiet, small, afraid. Now, I am proud and confident.
Last fall, I was a child who didn’t want to grow up. Now, I am ready to grow up and take the privileges and responsibilities that come with getting older.
My favorite part of the day was:
The part I spent at school.
Walking up the stairs to Jesser and seeing all my friends,
any class where I knew I had done the best I could and was satisfied with the outcome,
classes where we laughed together or all talked and thought about topics that are perhaps hard to wrap our heads around,
seeing Roger’s face,
when we all got to make the long line down to lunch,
lunch with my friends – particularly when they served tacos,
French class with Miriam,
music – I can feel my soul fly with music,
drawing the little things that mean so much to me,
when I got to go back to my room or change for sports and be able to yell and laugh with my friends across the hall about the day,
going to the gym with my friend,
being with my teammates,
going riding with my friends,
hanging out and laughing with my friends,
being with my family,
Next year, I am looking forward to
Seeing how everyone changed,
Meeting new friends but keeping old;
Being with friends.
Making new memories.
Seeing the world in new ways.
New excitements, challenges, and friends.
Working hard on academics;
Developing my English.
Sports and remaking myself,
Being older and guiding and helping the people around me,
being a good role model for the new seventh graders.
Moving up to ninth grade.
I am looking forward to being an upper schooler,
Being able to fully explore and become involved in the community that I have been a part of for two years.
There are more responsibilities which I am looking forward to taking on.
I am looking forward to growing more, gaining confidence, and trying new things.
Maybe also letting confidence grow in myself.
Next year, I’m looking forward to an advanced me,
A me who can face to the challenges without fear,
A me who likes to try new things.
I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with all of the girls and teachers.
I will always remember,
The strong bonds built with friends and touching memories made this year;
My first day. I didn’t know anyone and figuring out the lunch line was the hardest thing I’ve ever done;
Registration and having people greet me with smiling faces welcoming me to the school;
Everyone in the class, all of my best friends;
The challenges I have overcome and what I have learned from them;
Riding for the first time;
That feeling you get during a game, or performance where you are just about ready to burst;
Going to the mall and laughing with my friends.
Secret roommate conversations.
My advisor, my advisees, the middle school, and my lifelong friends.
Bill reading to me.
Most importantly, I will remember my friends because they’re like family.
I will always remember the warmth this community has brought me,
the tears of our teachers at the end of the year,
the smiles on our faces,
the smell of the grass,
the taste of the food in the dining hall.
I will always remember that we will meet in the middle again.
I will always remember to enjoy my life and call my friends.
I will always remember this beautiful year.