Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Transition to TJ

Posted 05/04/2018 by Amelia Carpenter

The smaller Spartan community allows students to enjoy high school without feeling lost in a big crowd. photo by Andrew Villescas

Thomas Jefferson creates a welcoming environment for all students.

The transition into high school can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it can be mitigated if a student attends a school he/she feels connected to with people he/she knows. Unfortunately, this was not my experience during my freshman year. For my first year of high school, I attended East High School. Most of my friends were attended TJ, but since my two older sisters had gone to East, my mom wanted me to follow in their footsteps. Shortly after starting the 2016-17 school year at East, I realized that it was not the school for me. I attended my classes but struggled to meet new people, given how big the school was. I continued going to school, but didn’t really enjoy my time there. After hearing my friends from other schools talk about how much they were loving high school, I decided to ask my mom if I could transfer to TJ. I told her that there was nothing wrong with East, but it was just too big of a school for me and that TJ would be a better fit. My mom agreed, but said I had to finish the rest of my freshman year before I transfered.

On my first day of sophomore year, I was excited to go TJ and start a new year at a smaller school. I was, however, a little worried about joining in sophomore year because everyone already had a year to get to know each other, and I didn’t want to feel like the “new girl.” This was definitely not the case. I immediately recognized people in my first period class and later noticed that I knew at least one person in almost all of my classes. Everyone was nice and never once did I feel excluded, or “new.” Within the first few weeks, I knew that TJ was the right  school for me. It was smaller, with around 300 students in my graduating class, as opposed to the nearly 800 students in my freshman class at East. Everyone I interacted with was welcoming and kind. At TJ, I found classes that I enjoyed, incredible friends, and supportive teachers.

Before coming to TJ, I was told that it was like a family, where everyone knew each other and had pride in their school. After being here for almost an entire school year, I can confirm that this is true. The Spartans at TJ work hard to make sure every student feels like a part of the school. Most classes have around 30 students, so teachers are able to build closer relationships with students. TJ’s traditions, events, students, and staff create an environment that allows students to have a fun and memorable high school experience.

With the school year coming to an end I have realized how important it is to make choices that will make me happy. I did not enjoy my freshmen year, so I decided to change schools because I knew it would be the best thing for me. My family is glad that I was able to transfer to TJ because it fits my needs and allows me to be happy. If I did not speak up and tell my mom that I did not enjoy East, then I would never have found a high school that I love. Throughout this year, I have learned that it is necessary to make changes in life if it makes me happy.