Tips from a Senior: Surviving Freshman Year

A group of freshman endure their first lunch in high school. Remember, don't dump your trays at the same time!

So you’re finally in high school starting out your freshman year. Half of your grade is probably more scared than they’ve ever been, and the other half thinks they’re the coolest things to walk the planet. High school will be a different experience for everyone. Some will fly through these four years, and some will dread every day that they have to come to school. What I’m about to share with you is seven simple rules that will not only get you through the dreaded freshman year, but help you to love high school. Read up, fresh meat, you’re going to need it.

Rule #1: Keep your friends close; keep your enemies away from you. Who cares if people don’t like you? You don’t need to win everyone over…with six billion people in the world that would be impossible. Focus on the people that make you happy, and forget the people that bring you down.  I guarantee you if you start to surround yourself with great friends, you will have a much better high school experience than if you tried to make every person like you. You don’t need popularity because when these four years are over, it doesn’t matter who you sat with at the lunch table anymore. The truth? Mean people suck, so don’t even worry about making friends with them.

Rule #2: You don’t need to dump your tray at the same time everyone else at your lunch table does. Seriously, nothing makes an upperclassmen laugh at you more than when you choose to do everything in a pack. As a freshman, it’s natural for you to stick together because everything is new to you. You go to the bathroom together, walk to class together, wear the same brand of clothing, and you dump your tray together. I remember doing the same thing and thinking that I looked cooler because it looked like I had a ton of friends. Looking back, it only looked like I was too wimpy to do anything on my own. I don’t want you to make that same mistake, because believe me it’s a BIG mistake. Step up and be your own person; you won’t ever regret that.

Rule #3: Girls put down the eyeliner, guys pick up deodorant. This one sounds mean, but it’s only fair that I tell you this because it’s a growing epidemic among your grade. So many girls have come into high school covered in makeup, and it really isn’t necessary. You’re only 15 and you don’t have to wear pounds of makeup in an attempt to look 25. You’re going to school, not trying to get into a night club. Believe me, you will look back and wish you realized that you didn’t even need it. Boys, boys, boys, do us all a favor and use deodorant. Now not all of you smell terrible, but one rotten-smelling apple spoils the bunch. If you want to be a ladies’ man, all you have to do is smell good. It isn’t attractive to have someone with B.O. put their arm around you, so take three seconds out of your day and put on some deodorant.

Rule #4: Don’t be dramatic; it isn’t the end of the world. Now that you’re in high school, you’re likely to lose a few friends. I can guarantee you that it will be for reasons that don’t matter in the long run. The key to having a great four years is not sweating the small stuff. Don’t blow things out of proportion, put words in people’s mouth, or gossip 24/7 because there are so many other things for you to do that are way more important. Don’t try to pick a fight; try to get along. Think about it: it’s way easier to come to school knowing you have nothing to worry about than to think of the next insult you’re going to give someone. Instead of trying to make a production out of your everyday life, try to live a life that makes you and others happy. Drama is not necessary, not in anyone’s book, so don’t worry about getting yourself involved in it…it’s better for everyone!

Rule #5: Get involved. All you need in order to enjoy your high school years is something that makes you look forward to coming to school. The best way to find that is to get involved. Join a club, do a sport, it doesn’t matter what but you should do SOMETHING. It’s really sad to talk to graduated students that feel as though they never really found a place where they belonged in high school. The best way to fit in here is to find a group that you can relate to, whether it be art team, student senate, FCCLA, DECA, basketball, football, golf, or one of the other organizations we have in our school. If you want to be known, if you want to make friends, all you have to do is get involved.

Rule #6: Some days you’re the bug, some days you’re the windshield. As you start your high school career, you’re the bug. High school is all about moving up, and someday you’ll be the windshield. But for right now, you’re the bug and will be for a while. The point of this rule is to make your realize that you should never take your good days for granted, and you should never feel unsympathetic to someone’s bad day. Unfortunately, there will come a day when your whole grade will be that bug. Sometimes it takes something terrible to make you put your priorities in perspective. Sometimes it takes the worst situation you can think of to bring everyone together, and when that happens, then you’re the windshield. Some days you’re the bug, some days you’re the windshield. It’s going to change everyday, so I hope you’re ready for it.

Rule #7: Don’t take these days for granted. When you’re done with high school, things only start to get harder. The beauty of this age is that we get treated like adults without having the same responsibility. Don’t think of school as a chore, think of it as a blessing because someday you’ll want it back. Don’t take these days for granted because you never get them back. Instead, make the best of them, and never be afraid to have fun. 

So there you have it. Seven rules that will allow you to come out of this place alive. Happy high school years, freshmen, the best is yet to come.