Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Anxiety and Expectations

Serena's picture

I'm feeling very anxious to visit the high school. Not only have I always been pretty socially unsure, but despite coming from an economically disadvantaged background, I've been separated from "city kids" for a long time and don't know what to expect when it comes to their behaviour, attitude, and language (eg, will they be laid-back? Use a lot of slang? Be open to our visit?). I think that a lot of this anxiety comes from our use of the term "inner-city," which has a mostly negative connotation, to describe the school. I've worked at an "inner-city" charter school before, albeit one which was kindergarten-8th graders, and what I saw there was a little disheartening.

While I consciously recognise the potential of the economically disadvantaged and those from the city, I hope that this trip can change my subconscious feelings, showing me that there is hope for more of us than I had previously imagined. Their policies seem fairly strict, so I'd imagine that the majority of the kids will be well-behaved, and I'm interested to learn about their "school selves" as opposed to their "home selves." I also think this will be an interesting place to observe how the educational system enforces "middle-class values" onto the other classes.

I'm not sure what I can bring to the school. Surely I'll share my stories of being from a lower-class background and going to an upper-class school, but I don't know what they'll get from that. Hopefully I'll be able to give them some information on the college application process which is not always as advertised (tips on financial aid, SAT costs, application fees, etc) because I was never given that information at school and had to figure it out on my own.