WARRENSBURG - Whether it's lugging around heavy books, changing classes many times per day or following new rules, about 20 local sixth graders experienced a preview of high school life Monday.
The students delved into the daily details of the next phase of their educational pursuits during Warrensburg High School's annual visitation days which began Monday for three days for the 65 or so local sixth graders.
The elementary school students headed into high school life were treated to busy hallways, greetings from looming upperclass students, teachers with high expectations, and several orientation sessions, the youngsters said.
"I feel nervous and excited," one sixth grader said as she headed down the hallway toward Rex Reynolds' Social Studies class.
Donny Stone said the high expectations of high school were an issue with him. "It's kinda scary, it's weird," he said.
Each sixth grader was paired up with a seventh-grade student guide for the day.
Erin Langworthy's guide was Emily Baker, who demonstrated how to stuff a full array of essentials - including books, a backpack, flute, and music sheets - into her narrow locker.
"Always try to keep your stuff organized," Baker advised Erin Langworthy.
Morgyn Morey said everything in the high school seemed more intense.
"There's a lot more activity in the hallways," he said. "It will be fun here."
Watching the sixth graders move through the hallways, High School social worker John Friauf said the youngsters were likely to be in awe of the bustle of the cafeteria, the complexity of changing teachers and rooms every period, the physical size of the upperclass students, and the pace of many of the classes - including the math courses taught by of Chris Blakely, he said.
"Ms. Blakely gets things going at the sound of the first bell," he said with a smile.
Principal Doug Duell said that the rookies were bound to experience a little anxiety with the changes.
"They'll be a little nervous about being in a different place, out of their routine, and experiencing all that social stuff that goes on in high school," he said.
The host 7th graders also took on a new role, Duell said.
"The 7th graders get to step outside of what they're accustomed to and be mentors for a day," he said.
Visitor Baylee Smith of Warrensburg said the crowded hallways were impressive.
"There's a lot of people here," she said. "It seems hard to get from one class to another."
High school may have its rewards, she added.
"The food here is a lot better than in elementary school," she said. "I liked their tacos."
Will Wulfken said he was impressed with the computer equipment and software.
"They've got Windows 7," he said with wide eyes.
Kayla Sweet, 12, of Warrensburg said the new expectations were high.
"There's more responsibility because you have to know where you're going, bring your books and get to classes on time," she said.