Students share advice for new school year: Freshman


You’ve finally reached the great, daunting realm of high school. I’m sure you’ve heard lots about it: cliques, college applications, homecoming, prom and stress. For starters, high school will be all of that and more. It’ll be a shortage of class parties and field trips and an abundance of new friends and interests. However, its reputation far precedes it.

High school is neither a horror story nor a romantic musical. You’ll probably be lost at first, searching for the bathrooms and water fountains (help, Room of Requirement) and figuring out each teachers’ late work and food policies. It can be overwhelming. Regardless, you’ll figure it out, and the weeks will march by, bringing new quarters and semesters.

Undoubtedly, Gunn will be a bigger pond with plenty of strange fish. Don’t be apprehensive about the big kids; we’re all just students. You’ll have English with sophomores and possibly electives with upperclassmen. This may seem strange, but it’s not uncommon. Be open to befriending older students! If you want to expand your social network, try out sports or clubs. I’d advise against overbooking with clubs, though, as you may want free lunches to meet with teachers. Other than that, have fun! Treat yourself to the student-staff musical or the latest play.

Between the activities and academics, time management is paramount. In some cases, you’ll need to be selective with your pastimes. Unfortunately, teachers can’t strategically coordinate test dates anymore. There may come a time when all of your tests land in one overloaded week. When that time comes, take advantage of your resources! Feel free to form study groups, attend Flex and commiserate with your friends.

Last but not least, you’ll have to take finals. Yes, they’re typically a substantial portion of your grade. And yes, you’ll make it through. Finals last for just one week, and everyone is in the same boat. Make sure to study, create that super cramped, handwritten note card and get a good night’s sleep. At the end of the day, finals are just like an extended unit test. Plus, some classes might have projects or presentations instead!

Being a freshman in high school is a truly unique experience. You’re the youngest on the totem pole, generalized as that wide-eyed newbie half-heartedly cheering during homecoming and trying to reinvent yourself. At the same time, you’re the shiny new penny that everyone wants in their club or sport. You’re the next generation. That said, welcome to Gunn.