Welcome to the big leagues, kid. As you walk the halls of the jungle that is high school, know that nap time’s over. You’ve got calculus to master! Proms to attend! Clubs to join and sports to play. With these landmarks come moments of crippling embarrassment, eye-opening lessons, and rare but incredible victories along the way. Oh, the places you’ll go.
Four years down the road, you’ll look back and laugh at how monumental such insignificant moments seemed. But you’re living in a present reality that includes heckling in hallways and unjamming rusty lockers. You need help. Usually, we’re just here as tutors on your smartphone app helping you through math and science problems. But for the freshmen, we have an even higher calling.
We can help you foresee and maybe even cushion the blow some of the inevitable “freshman mistakes” that have earned you the most vulnerable spot on the high school totem pole.
All those who wander are probably lost
Whether it’s figuring out the temperature on a new shower faucet or navigating the hallways, one must always have a game plan when venturing into unchartered territory. If your strategy is to simply “wing it” between classes, think again.
If you’re late to class, you risk getting off on the wrong foot with your math teacher. Worse yet, think of the one type of student most likely to be purposefully late on the first week of school: seniors. You’re lucky if you walk by a benevolent one; but just remember that they know the ins and outs of the building, so there’s no hiding.
Everybody love everybody
Herd mentality is a grim reality of life, which becomes pretty apparent when hordes of students shuffle to class at the sound of a bell. Therefore, you will realize that cliques do exist, and that people don’t always believe in embracing differences in others.
Don’t automatically assume that social cliques are as cliché as in the movies – if you assume that everyone fits into a category of jock, nerd, or freak, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential connections. The most interesting kids I knew in high school didn’t care about what group you were in or project some stereotype onto others.
Respect the bus hierarchy
Unless you have the luxury of riding to school with a pal or older sibling, you must endure the plight of unlicensed minors across the nation: the school bus.
Navigating the artificially-constructed seating chart of the bus can be confusing, but in a nutshell: seniority rules, from front to back. That means sitting on top of an overheating rear engine and cramping your awkward legs over the back wheel hump underneath.
You have four whole years!
We’re not here to sugar coat anything; freshman year really can suck at times. General education courses have the tendency to cause premature gray hairs. However, you should still try to cherish the freedom of being the new guy/girl. It’s important to learn what you can, while you can – before college applications and challenging courses take over your schedule.
Not making many friends? You have plenty of time to reach out. Your crush chose another someone? Freshmen go through relationships like juniors go through college apps: lots of crying, then on to the next one. You have time, so trust the process more and your hormones less! But on the other hand…
…You only have four years…
Before you know it, you’ll walk across a stage, shake your principal’s clammy hand, and walk off into the unknown sunset with a diploma. You’ll think back on these times now and wonder what could have been.
So don’t waste time. If you’re suffering in class, get help now. Scared to talk to the cutie in calculus? You’ll be scared tomorrow too, so might as well pony up today. So often, college freshmen talk about how miserable they were in high school compared to college. If you bring some of the same open-mindedness that college kids do now, your experience will be much more enjoyable.
Good luck, class of 2020!