Students dispel high school myths

Central High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America students conducted a survey among eighth graders about their attitudes toward entering high school and then offered guidance to dispel myths about the change.

Freshmen Trinity Long, 15, of Fort Valley, and Shannon Nicely, 14, of Woodstock, prepared the survey and visited four health classes at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School. There they told students what high school is really like and why they shouldn’t be afraid.

Trinity said that movies often portray high school as a terrifying experience filled with bullies, cliques and dramatic musical numbers, which is not the norm for high schools.

“I was scared to death,” she said about heading into high school. “I wanted to tell the eighth graders that high school isn’t about bullying and it’s not scary and that there are a lot of people who are nice.”

The survey they created was given to students before and after the 35- to 45-minute presentation to gauge how their responses and level of anxiety about high school changed from before the presentation and after they dispelled the myths and stereotypes associated with high school.

The survey consisted of three questions:
• How do you feel about high school?
• Does high school have a lot of bullying in it?
• What do you think high school is going to be like for you?

Before the presentation survey results showed that many of the students were scared about the idea of entering high school, but after the presentation, Trinity said the students recorded feeling more at ease with becoming freshmen.

Both girls gave helpful tips for incoming freshmen to be prepared for high school and relieve first day of school jitters.

Trinity said they included information about lunch times and showed a video on the reality of high school versus the movie portrayal.

Shannon added that they also explained how the bell system worked and what students could do between classes. She also recommends that students attend open houses the high schools hold to become acquainted with the layout of the school and the teachers.

Trinity and Shannon will present their project at the FCCLA state conference in Virginia Beach in April.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com