7th grade: Haunted house

The admissions ticket had come in the mail five months before in the form of a big red folder with confetti. After what seemed like an eternity of excited sleepless nights of what life will be like on the other side of elementary school, we spent a week making friends at Fast Start and we were off. At first the Middle School was terrifying. Never knowing what we would find around the corner, our puny seventh grade bodies trembled with a mixture of excitement and fear in a world ruled by intimidating teachers and confident freshmen. But luckily we could explore this strange and scary new world together. We would eat lunch with Jake Schine, who purchased 100 lunch cards in one year and subsequently had his photo put up in the cafeteria in honor of his accomplishment. That’s not to say we all got out of our first year unscathed, though—when Jay Bhatia fell off a rock-climbing wall and broke his leg during retreat, we were reminded that we were playing in the big leagues now, and we didn’t have a safety net anymore to catch us when we fell. When Robert Kim electrocuted himself during a lab, we learned that we would have to suffer for our academics. But we soon found our footing among the school community: after the all-seventh grader dodgeball team “The Monstars” won the school wide tournament, we all learned that maybe Harvard-Westlake wasn’t so big and scary after all.