Amazing Kids! Magazine

Memoir

By Matt Restifo, age 18

 

I did not like my freshman year of high school whatsoever. My mom had the idea of sending me to private school for my first year of high school.  There I was at a school at which I felt I didn’t belong. I knew a handful of kids but I felt alone, lacking confidence and intimidated by the people around me. Dressed in a button down shirt, khakis and a tie. This added a lot of pressure. Saint Johns High School had a variety of kids. The wealthy kids whose dads were the CEOs of companies and the kids who didn’t have much at all, who lived in the suburbs of Worcester. Saint John’s was very competitive both academically and athletically.  To play a sport there was no joke. The cream of the crop were the only kids to actually make it on any team. Academics were competitive too and, for the first time in my life, I got a taste of cut throat competition among the students there. I felt as though I didn’t fit at this school. If you attended Saint John’s you were almost expected to play a sport and if you didn’t you were there because you were smart. I wasn’t very athletic nor was I very good at school. These two things were how you gained respect from your peers there. There were different levels of classes there. If you were in the lowest level you were labeled “dumb” or “stupid”. However, if you played a sport and you were in the lowest level class you were still respected. I didn’t.

After a year at Saint John’s I felt like I missed out on so much. I never got involved in any after school activities nor did I play sports there. I now regret not trying clubs or groups. I wish I got more involved in something – actually, anything! Instead, I decided that the school wasn’t right for me and witched back to Hopkinton High School the following year.

Returning to Hopkinton High was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Coming back, I felt much more relaxed and not as pressured, as I did when I attended Saint John’s. I was so glad to be back at Hopkinton that I came back a different kid. More comfortable with my surroundings, more comfortable with the kids with which I had grown up. Yet, part of me wonders if leaving and coming back inspired me to bust out of my old ways. Try new things in a more comfortable atmosphere. I got in shape, tried new things and socialized more. Ultimately, that freshman year might have been an important turning point for me. Life lessons are hard sometimes.

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