I started high school in New Zealand and finished in Utah

OVER the time period of my high school life, I have been to three different high schools. I first attended a high school in New Zealand, where I was born and raised until I was fifteen. This high school was called Marcellin College. In New Zealand, instead of calling it high school we call it college, and instead of calling it college we call it university.

The high school here and the school system was very difficult for me to adapt to. This was because I had to take in a lot of critical information for me to pass my classes and get decent grades. The fact that the whole school system was very different to the school system in New Zealand made it very overwhelming for me.

As a sophomore in 2015, my life changed forever after I moved here to America and to Salt Lake City, Utah. Unfamiliar with my new surroundings, I had the chance to choose which high school I should go to. Without any knowledge of what schools were like over here, I chose to go to the closest high school to my house which was Taylorsville High School.

Going in as a sophomore into this school made me feel small, because most of the people who were showing me around were seniors and juniors. The high school system was more difficult than the systems I was used to at my old school.

There were a number of things I could list with the differences between these two high schools I’ve experienced in two different countries. Instead of getting A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s and F’s the grading over there was either achieve, merit, or excellence.

Instead of 27 credits received from passing your classes required to graduate, you needed 60-80 credits all depending from whichever test are taken at the time.This all adds up to 3 big tests of your high school life.

I thought that earning credits over here was really easy because even with a D- you’re still eligible to get the credit. In New Zealand, every school started the big exams once you were a junior all the way up to a when you’re a senior. For example the big tests here are ACT’s and SAT’s for juniors only.

This meant that the majority of freshmen and sophomores didn’t require any credits accountable to graduate at this time. As months and years passed by, I got used to the whole routine and I felt relieved at the fact that my credits from my other school were counted over here.

I noticed that a lot of schools here have something a lot of schools in New Zealand had, and that was school uniforms. Despite this wonderful experience with everything and everyone over here, one thing I really missed while going school over there was wearing a school uniform.

Now most of you might think I’m insane, but I liked the idea of not having to spend time finding clothes to wear for the next day and not worrying about being judged for the clothes I wear. The colors for uniforms varied among different schools, and one thing I learned was the importance of knowing which school you came from by the appearance of your school uniform and how well you represented it.

I thought it seemed cool to wear anything appropriate to school, but now that I’ve experienced this change, I feel like I always have to have a new outfit every week.

After 2 years spent at Taylorsville for sophomore and junior years, I moved to West Valley City. I then had to transfer to Granger High School. Starting as a new student was easier the second time, because I now knew how things worked. As a senior starting fresh, I wanted to make sure that I focused on my school work because everything I do will count when I graduate.

Overall, I think that experiencing the differences between the three schools I’ve been to has been a great experience. Although I’ve had some ups and downs adapting to the new rules and system, I still was able to accomplish and learn new things over the past two years.