Graduation through the years: how students in different grades feel about graduating

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Erica Schindler

With graduation just around the corner, students are preparing for the next stage of their life and looking back on their favorite memories. Students in fourth, eighth and 12th grade are getting ready to move on to a new school. Here’s what students in each grade had to say about their upcoming graduations.
The fourth grade perspective: Sam Herman
Q: What school are you going to attend next year and what are you looking forward to about it?
A: I’m going to Park Middle School next year and I’m looking forward to more independence.
Q: What was your favorite thing so far about 4th grade?
A: My favorite thing about 4th grade was band because I like music.
Q: What will you miss about elementary school?
A: I will miss my teachers.
Q: What did you learn this year?
A: I learned about isopods (small crustaceans including pill bugs) and multiplying fractions.
The eight grade perspective: Anderson Pollack
Q: How do you feel about graduating?
A: I’m excited to be in a bigger school with my friends that go to Terrill Middle School and my friends that go to Park.
Q: What school are you going to attend next year and what are looking forward to about it?
A: I’m going to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and I’m excited for my electives next year.
Q: What was the hardest part of 8th grade?
A: Doing work and tests.
Q: Do you have any advice for students going into 8th grade next year?
A: I would say have fun but pay attention if you don’t want to do extra work.
The 12th grade perspective: Carly Spellman
Q: How do you feel about graduating?
A: Graduation has been something that I have been looking forward to since I was standing on the Evergreen playground watching the high schoolers in the walkway. I would see pictures of the upperclassmen in their caps and gowns and envision myself with my parents and friends feeling nothing but pride.
Q: What school are you going to attend next year and what are looking forward to about it?
A: I’m going to Colgate University in upstate New York to study English with a focus in Creative Writing. I am looking forward to being enveloped in a tight-knit community with a common passion for the arts and education. Colgate beholds so many opportunities both in New York and abroad in Europe for literature and Africa for linguistics, and I cannot wait to explore them.
Q: Do you have any advice for students going into 12th grade next year?
A: My advice to the class of 2021 would be to make as many memories as you can and to share as many experiences as possible. You want to reflect on your high school years and not just recall textbooks and formulas, but also adventures with your peers. You want to feel pride in both your academic accomplishments and stepping out of your comfort zone to make the most of your teenage years.