When I think of TL for the past 4 years I think of many things, but the thing I think about the most is the board game Monopoly. This board game has ups and downs and phases like my 4 years a TL.
5th grade is like the beginning of the game when you are going around buying properties and hoping you get the good ones. That's kind of like going to registration day and hoping you get the teachers all the older kids say you should get. Then in the game you have to go around paying small rent like small amount of homework. Sometimes you land in the expensive rents and pay a lot of money. But compared to later in the game, it isn't very much. Every so often you get a vacation, like landing on chance and getting something good, but that doesn't happen very much.
6th grade is when every body is getting use to the game and is doing things to move them forward. Those things are like trading properties or deciding to buy things or not if you land in them. Now every once in a while you get sent to jail, or get a detention. You have to stay in jail for a while to learn your lessen. And as soon as you get out, you go back in jail later for another reason. The rents get a little higher and other players are starting to get monopolies. This is like the teachers giving you big projects and you have to suffer your way through them.
Next is 7th grade is here and you're about halfway through the game. Players are starting to build houses, bigger projects and more homework. Also players are trading properties and making deals that don't help you. This is like if a teacher forgets about a test, another student reminds them, and you have to do the test. You have to take your chances going around the board and wondering if your project is good enough. The end of 7th grade ends and you're happy for summer like if you just got a monopoly and started to build houses. All is going well, but the money you make off the houses isn't enough. Neither is the summer vacation.
Finally, it's 8th grade. The hardest part of the game. The part every one says is so stressful. But you can only think that it will be over soon but it isn't. It's the longest part of the game. People are building hotels and the only thing people can think about in paying that rent. And if that isn't enough, people are harder to trade with or the teachers grade assignments harder. It becomes hard to find the money to pay the rent because it's so high and you have a lot of money coming either for you or from you and it all disappears fast, even if you try to save it. You are still hoping to land on chance and get something good, but sometimes it's not always good. You could get sick for the vacation and it's miserable. Finally all the players land on your most expensive properties and you win. It took a long time, but the summer before high school is finally here.
As you clean up the board you discuss if you should play again. The answer is yes. You deal out all the money and set up all the cards. You are about to start the whole process again in high school.