My advice to freshmen

Class+of+2023+socialize+in+front+of+buses+on+their+orientation+day+in+2019.

Photos courtesy of Student Council

Class of 2023 socialize in front of buses on their orientation day in 2019.

When you were younger, you probably pictured high school as this cool, exciting thing that teenagers did everyday. Maybe you daydreamed about having your very own locker or walking down the halls, being able to call yourself a “highschooler”.

Or maybe it felt like high school would never actually come, and since it was so far in the future, there was no sense in worrying about it in the present moment. 

But, regardless of how you have viewed high school, it is here. You are officially in the last four years of your K-12 experience. 

You’re in a completely new school, you’re at the bottom of the food chain, and, oh, there’s still a global pandemic going on.

Feel overwhelmed yet?

Seriously, though, don’t stress yourself out too much. Everyone has to go through the ninth grade experience, and the good, bad, and ugly that comes with it. Eventually, the hallways won’t be so intimidating, you will have new friends, and everything will feel okay again. 

However, I know how it feels to be a freshman at the very beginning of the year. As a senior, when I look back on my freshmen year, there are definitely some things I wish I had known going into it. So, I’ll tell you those things in hopes it makes your freshman year just a little bit more tolerable.

The first thing I want to make abundantly clear is an obvious one: you are going to get lost. Probably a lot at first. And that is okay. 

In a huge school with hundreds of rooms and many hallways, getting to different classes might be a challenge at first. This will of course make you late a few times, and eventually you’ll have to do the classic awkward walking-in-late-in-front-of-everyone move. However, the good news about getting lost is that it happens to everyone. I am a senior and still occasionally end up going on a quest to find a room number, so don’t beat yourself up about it. 

With that being said, I wish I could tell you getting lost in the halls was the only struggle you’ll endure in high school. 

You probably walked through the LHS doors with a few close friends. Maybe they were your friends since elementary school, or maybe you guys hit it off at the very end of eighth. 

Either way, I hate to break it to you that you might lose a friendship or two along your way through high school, no matter how close you are with them. People grow out of each other. There is so much growing to do throughout high school and sometimes in order to grow you have to shed some old friends to make new ones.

However, that doesn’t mean you will have a huge falling out with every single person you are acquainted with sometime in the future, nor does it mean you should cut off everyone you know in order to grow. I am simply saying that over time you may grow apart from your friends (or vice versa), which is okay.

 It is a hard realization to come to, but some people aren’t meant to be heavily involved with your life forever.

As you go through the year learning where the different rooms are and feel the stress of being between friendships, it’s easy to let school slip through the cracks. Although that is understandable, treat your classes with as much care as you possibly can. 

Throughout your schooling, whether you tried in school or completely bailed, every year you get to restart.  For instance, even if you did poorly in sixth grade and got all D’s, there’s always seventh grade to start a clean slate. You have had the luxury of being able to keep “bad” academic years in the past. Now, not so much.

If you plan on going to college, or doing anything after high school that will require the viewing of your grades, let me give you one piece of advice: Try. 

Put effort into every class that you take. Study as much as you can, ask questions, and engage in your learning.

I know, I know, I probably sound like your mother right now. But, trust me, you will thank me later. 

Chances are, all four of your high school years will be looked at. The last thing you want is a glaring bad year on your transcript all because you were too lazy to try to do well.

Of course, you are going to get some grades that aren’t to your liking through the years, that happens to everyone. Though, there’s a difference between doing poorly in a class because you are having a difficult time understanding and doing poorly because you don’t care. 

Part of me wishes I could sit here and write every single tidbit of advice I could possibly give to you that I learned from my own freshman year, but there are just some things that you have to learn for yourself. My only hope is that you will be able to realize everyone else in your grade is having the same worries, and that you aren’t alone. 

There will be ups and down of your time at LHS, but try to remember to relax and enjoy yourself throughout your years. Enjoy your time as a highschooler and don’t blink. Before you know it, you will be sitting at graduation.

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