Welcome Freshman: Senior Offers Advice to Fulfill the Year

Sophia Liporace, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to the big leagues. We often hear about how terrified new students are on the first day of school. Although entering high school may seem like a daunting task, we have been in the same shoes, and to be completely honest, freshman year is really not that bad once you learn the ins and outs of campus life. 

Of course, how could I write an article giving advice to freshmen without discussing the top three most obvious suggestions. First, go see your teachers whenever you can. They would all be happy to help with any qualms you may have during lunch, study halls or after school. I’m pretty sure I was in Mrs. Guzman’s classroom the day before every AP World History quiz. Next, don’t crowd the hallways. Nothing can end a social life faster than tripping an athlete on game day because you’re stretching out before Mrs. McCambridge’s marathon-length essay exam. Finally, be kind. You’ll find that the years go by much easier if you can do your best to avoid being unnecessarily mean to your peers.

As says senior Jane Boyland, “Getting along with as many of your classmates as possible will just make everything easier whether it’s group assignments or Chillin’ and Grillin’ volleyball games.”

Next, all of you might be revved up for high school and anxious to succeed, but you shouldn’t necessarily sign up for 30 different clubs and activities at the club fair. Although you may be seriously trying to fulfill your Rory Gilmore-inspired dreams of going to Yale, the most competitive colleges would rather see you find a few passions and get as involved as possible in those activities. Try to gain leadership in one or two clubs instead of minimal involvement in 15.

Finding out your passions can be as easy as joining one club that allows you to figure out what you like or have no interest in. Senior Danielle Lancaster found her interests after joining Yale Model United Nations (YMUN) her freshman year.

“I joined YMUN because it seemed like a cool club where I got to meet new people and eventually go on a trip to New Haven. I soon learned that I had a passion for social studies and writing and researching international relations. Because of this, I take more history electives and participate in similar activities,” she said.

Another aspect of school life to consider is getting as organized as possible. By organized, I don’t mean shoving all of your school papers into your backpack or locker. Find a system that works for you whether that means having individual notebooks and binders for each class (which I highly recommend) or dividing one big binder among the seven periods. Whatever you do, you’ll be glad you kept everything neat when it comes time to study for exams. Most importantly, do us all a favor and avoid getting a rolling backpack at all costs. 

Once you’re all settled in, it’s time for one of the best events of the year- Homecoming week. Usually, the freshmen are too intimidated to dress up for theme days or participate in events, but this inevitably results in the week being less fun for everyone. Get your friends together and plan a way for all of you to dress similarly so that you can enjoy the week free of embarrassment. Homecoming can be a great time for class bonding and just an overall reliever of stress during the first semester. 

Despite being at the bottom of the hierarchy, being a freshman can sometimes have its perks. Remember that there’s no need to worry when you hear upperclassmen discussing the Nov. 1 deadline for applying to colleges or how they scored on their standardized tests. Also, you have plenty of time to figure out what subjects you’re passionate about and how to craft your future schedule to adhere to those interests, so don’t try to grow up faster than you need to. 

Take advantage of this easy-going year to perfect your study habits, try different extracurricular activities, and find some solid friends (just don’t forget about your GPA in the process). 

Freshman year will seem overwhelming at times, but there is no reason to fear it. Stay organized, study hard, make great friends, and find a passion. Everything will come together by the time you start your Common App and upperclassmen, administration, and teachers are only here to help you and guide you towards success.