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Mira Schreffler - 10th Grade
Springfield Township High School; Erdenheim, PA

I open my eyes, and the strong, clean aroma of latex and hand sanitizer fills my lungs. I feel the heavy weight of my cold, wrinkled gown and the IV in my arm. I'm fully aware of where I am, but I don't quite believe it. I thought I might have been dreaming, but it was just too real. It was late, maybe 9 or 10 PM. Besides the bed sat my mom— clearly, just as petrified and overwhelmed with emotions as I was, even though nothing had really happened. The pressure of online school was starting to get to me. I needed a way out, and I needed it soon. 

Despite this being a very dreadful experience at the moment, looking back, it was truly the best option for me. Opening up a new chapter and leaving the old behind. While my mom spoke to the nurse, the idea of a partial came up. But what was a partial? The nurse explained that it was a school or program that could help other kids who struggle. She told me that it was a program where other kids would be in the same situation as I was. She said I would have a ton of support for my school work and mental health. They discussed a few options, and we decided to think about it. Over the next week or so, we considered it more and more until I finally decided I wanted to try it. In the week or so before starting my new school, I was nervous out of my mind. 

Before this, I had never moved schools or anything. I've been in the same district my whole life. This was a completely new and scary situation for me. Despite my anxiousness and apprehension, it was all worth it. I'm now so glad I got to experience my partial school. It was great, and I was so happy to be there. I made all new friends, and I loved my teachers, but all good things eventually ended. 

Before I knew it, the school year was over. The year at my partial is over. I'd miss my new acquaintances and friends as any teenager would, but it was alright because I would see them next school year anyway. Or so I thought I would. Sadly, the news arrived that I had to go back to my district. I cried and cried about not wanting to go back, but I didn't really have much of an option. Once again, as the school year approached, my brain became overwhelmed with the thought of having to go somewhere that wasn't my partial. I was devastated. 

September approached rapidly, and all the feelings I had about moving to my first school found their way back to me, but they were significantly worse this time. I dreaded the day that school started because I would no longer be at The Anderson School. The time until I had to return to school ticked down. The day had finally arrived. Worried and scared out of my mind, I went to school. To my surprise, the day came, and it went. No biggie. To my surprise, it was not nearly as bad as I had dreaded for the weeks to come. 

Transitioning to a new school, and nonetheless, during a pandemic, can feel very overwhelming. Although with time, I have realized that it's all in my head. Things aren't nearly as unpleasant as I imagine them to be. Looking back, I see that some things never change. Some things will always be scary, no matter how often you do them. I guess this is one of those moments. Since then, I've had many conversations about switching schools, but thinking about how the week leading up to the switch makes me nauseous. Some things never get easier to do, and they'll always be just as overwhelming as the first time, but everything happens for a reason. And, in my situation, everything did happen for a reason. A good reason too.