Courtesy of Kaitlyn Huang
Kaitlyn Huang, second from left, celebrates her graduation from Egan Junior High School in June. Pictured with her are, from left, Melina Murai, Amanda Der and Ella Yuen. Huang is entering her freshman year at Los Altos High this fall.

High school. It is quite an interesting place, or so I have heard. As an incoming freshman at Los Altos High School, my thoughts run wild as I imagine what high school will really be like.

Will it be like “Mean Girls,” with the school’s most popular girls dominating the hallway as if it were their own runway? Will it be like most high school movies, with cafeteria food that looks rather unappetizing?

Sometimes, I laugh at the absurdity of my thoughts when I imagine students suddenly breaking into song and dance like in “High School Musical” or “Grease.” However much I want to see that, I am pretty sure it is not what high school is like.

I feel like someone who has never had a milkshake wondering what it will taste like. Is it creamy and delicious, or will it give me brain freeze?

I am very uncertain about what is going to happen to me in these upcoming four years at Los Altos High. Yet I am positive that after the milkshake, whether I get a pleasant feeling in my stomach or the most horrible brain freeze, it won’t be the end of the world – it’s just an experience, after all.

Some of my friends, who are the same age as me, have already taken their SATs. Some people I know are already volunteering in foreign countries. Some are starting their own foundations to demonstrate leadership, which is apparently a personality trait useful for getting into college.

I have much respect for all who dedicate so much to their vision, to their goals in life. Yet upon realizing that the pressure will only intensify when high school begins, I get somewhat apprehensive.

I initially thought high school was going to be like middle school, only a little harder. Now I worry that it is most likely going to be a jungle, every person out for themselves, merciless, desperately grasping for any opportunity that could get them a few more credits, a few more outstanding things to write on their college applications.

I used to think that getting good grades and behaving myself in school was enough to get into Harvard University. Sadly, it is not going to be that simple. High school, for all I know, could be a war zone.

I really hope, however, that it is not always going to be a war zone. I had a friend who just graduated from high school tell me that it was the best four years of her life.

I choose to believe her, and I intend to have an amazing experience at Los Altos High. I know there will be the discouraging moments, but I believe that with every discouraging moment, there will be an encouraging one.

To get the real experience in high school, I need the rich, creamy taste of the milkshake, but I also need to feel the brain freeze. Whether it will be a war zone or filled with dancing students, I am ready. Bring it on, high school.

Kaitlyn Huang, a 2019 graduate of Egan Junior High School and incoming freshman at Los Altos High School, is a Town Crier intern.