Ridge Report Writing and Photography Contest

This year, you can submit a short story, poetry piece, and/or photography connecting to one of three possible themes. Your options are "Hush", "Bang", and "Click". Be as creative as you want!

Entries will be accepted starting Monday May 1st 2017

The deadline for entering is Friday May 20th 2017

First place winners in each category (short story, photography, and poetry) will have their entry published on the Ridge Report website and will be awarded a prize.

Click on each category to submit and know about the rules and requirements.

Short Story

Monday, November 20, 2017

How to take advantage of your grade 9 year- and make it the BEST EVER

Let me get straight to the point: grade 9 is an awkward time all around. What with all the new people, the big idea of highschool and the older kids (who are basically adults) staring you down from their lawn chairs. It can be hard at times,but you can make it awesome (or more bearable) by following these 4 simple steps.

1. Get involved
The Ridge has loads of great events that are loads of fun, but are very different from the events your elementary school held.  (Heads up- dances are a prime example. They are no longer what they used to be. AVERT YOUR EYES, CHILDREN.) There are lots of sports games like football and basketball to watch, as well as events held throughout the school year, including game night, fall fest, scary movie night, and many more. The year goes by way faster than you think it will and before you know it you’ve done all 5 of your exams, all 8 summatives, countless tests, pulled an insane amount of all nighters for presentations you definitely did not remember you had- and you may realize that you haven’t been to a single event. Being involved is way more fun, so make sure to get involved!

2. Make new friends
For most people this probably sounds like a given, but as a extremely socially awkward girl I can tell you that this was something I really wasn’t feeling in grade 9. But people aren’t all horrible and even if you’re like me (well,I know your pain, and I truly feel for you- being shy sucks,) you will learn that there are people who can withstand the awkwardness radiating off you in waves. In fact, some people- mostly the really, really, outgoing people- will even flourish in your awkwardness. It’s quite an interesting sight to watch. But my point is, there are so many people who are probably feeling the same things you’re feeling, so bond over it! Make new friends. And be prepared for the possibility that even if you and your friends from grade 8 say you’ll be friends all through highschool and that nothing will change, there is a big chance that is BS. I’ve gone through a year of highschool and I am only still best friends with one of my friends from grade 8. I mean, sure, you’ll smile when you see each other in the halls, but that's it really. Still, that’s 100% ok. You’re just making room for the new friends you’ll have with you for 4 of the most memorable years of your life.

3. Keep on top of your studies
Fair warning (although I’m sure most of you already know this from the first couple months of school): honey, this ain't elementary school anymore. Your teachers don’t coordinate their assignments and tests to be convenient to you. In fact, at times it seems as though they get together to make everything due on the same day, so you’ll be super stressed. But you’ll get through it. (And if you don’t, well, good luck to you, cause it only gets worse from here.) But in all seriousness, you’ll be fine, though if you’re having trouble managing it all, there are lots of resources available to you for extra help, so use them!

4. Keep an open mindset
I can safely assure you that movies, books and tv shows depict high school in a completely different way from reality. I mean, yeah, at times it can suck- but that’s mostly because of homework and stress. There are loads of pros to it that outweigh the cons. Maybe it’s because I don’t really pay attention to my surroundings, but I don’t really feel as though people are grouped into the popular kids, the jocks, the nerds, and so on. I’ve noticed that most people tend to fit under multiple stereotypical titles. Another thing about high school in movies is that the teenagers always seem to absolutely hate everything about what they are doing and where they are. My experience so far has been completely different. Based off of the media I didn’t think I would ever say this, but grade 9 was hands down the best school year of my life. I made so many new friends. (I mean me, the quiet, awkward girl made friends!?) I made memories I will remember for a long time and had a great year academically. Just remember to keep an open mindset- don’t let yourself be scared off by what you’ve heard about high school.

Okay, so that’s it. Just remember to get involved, make new friends, (that’s right, talk to the guy who sits next to you in french class,) stay on top of your studies and keep an open mindset about this place. You’re gonna be here for another 3 years so you might as well try to have fun. You only get to do high school once, so ask yourself now: how do you want to do it?

Preeya Bhartt and Dana Rocca

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