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  • Lexi Schwartz

A Seventh Grader’s First Day of School: From the Perspective of an Older Sister

Ah, the first day of seventh grade, where upperclassmen realize how ridiculous it is to be roaming the halls with twelve-year-olds. As an older sibling, there are certain responsibilities, however, that you must take on, like making sure your sibling is taken care of and safe.

Sometimes it feels tempting to pretend that you’re an only child. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the times I spend with my brother, but the first day of school was a handful not only for him, but for me, too, to say the least.

There are routines we students inherit: opening the same doors every day, finding our paths to classes, and turning our VPN on the moment we arrive at the campus. I thought the billion times the seventh graders have walked around the school and looked at every individual room in its entirety would be enough for them to know where to go when the first day of school rolled around, but I guess that just isn’t the case.

Walking into the D-building on the first day of school makes you not only sweatier than after P.E., but also more exhausted than after a full day of tests and classes. Now that draining sensation of the lower D-building does not simply constitute your ambling down a stuffy hallway trying to get to class. It is the crowd of seventh graders trying to open their locks and writing their codes down in every place they could find: phone case, notes app, the front of a folder (maybe every folder). What I don’t understand is how, when I tried to teach my brother and the other ten kids that surrounded me, as if I was god-like, how to use their combination to open a lock, they looked at me as if it wasn’t programmed in their systems.

I know it was important for me to be patient and wait until my brother had completed the task of opening his lock so he could actually open his locker to get his four bags of school supplies out of the hallway and make it just a little easier to breathe…but I was still hung up on the fact that on top of trying to unlock his lock, he would have to lock it once his stuff was in his locker and would then have to call me for help maybe three times in the span of the day. Anything to seem like the best big sister, I guess?

Now that the D-building stench has worn off my clothing just a little bit, and I seem to gain my energy back, I decide to walk my brother to his first class. While I explain to him that his I.D. card is very important and that he cannot lose it or else he will be standing outside buildings like a crazy person waiting for people to let him in, he rummages through his backpack to find his. When he finally found it—after maybe 10 minutes —I instructed him to put it in his phone case, so that he could just place his phone on the sensor to open the door. But seventh graders have a tendency not to listen—surprising, huh?

Lunch time rolls around and I see my brother in the halls, thinking he will be happy to see me now that we are in the same school and can see each other in the halls, but I was just very incorrect this day.

“Can you buy me snacks?!?!”—like I didn’t help him enough this morning. Nice to see you too!

So when my parents asked my brother how the first day of school was, of course, he didn’t mention my aid throughout the entire day. I guess sisterly duties should just occur spontaneously, right?

I and the other older siblings of seventh graders should receive medals for our hard work. These kids feel the need to rely on our help and delay figuring things out themselves. And that was only the first day. You’ll probably wonder for all of September if these kids have short-term memory loss.

I just hope that they get the hang of it one day, maybe by May.


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