Senior Column: Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshman

Picture of author Kristine Adams.

Written by Kristine Adams

As a second semester senior, I can’t help but think about what I have learned since I was a freshman. As a freshman, I was too shy to confront any upperclassmen to ask them for advice on how to survive high school, But, boy, do I wish I did. Being a senior is in some way scary. Everything is coming to an end, and a new beginning is on the horizon. There are many things I wish I could redo (like my whole junior year), but that isn’t how life works so I embrace my mistakes and learn. Here I am, now a senior, giving my advice on how to survive high school.

I will never forget my first day in the Step program and how everyone was talking about the importance of getting good grades and doing homework. Well, sadly, they were right. You know those days when you just want to slack off and daydream all during class? Those days catch up to you in the end, trust me. Doing your homework and paying attention in class is actually important, not just for high school but for life in general. Doing your homework when it is the last thing in the world you want to be doing shows that you have good motivation, which I wish I had. We all know the lecture teachers and parents give us all the time about getting good grades, and we all know it can get a little aggravating, but now I realize it is because they have been in our place before and are trying to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. In the end, when you see good grades on your report card, it is all worth it. It is also good to start off your freshmen year with a good work ethic because if you slack freshman year, there is a good chance you will do the same for the other three years.

I remember trying to get ready for school every morning as a freshman and worrying about what I wore because I was paranoid that the upperclassmen girls would judge me. To tell you the truth upperclassmen rarely notice underclassmen, and we especially don’t notice what they wear. So don’t worry about people judging you for what you are wearing or what you look like; do what makes you happy. If there are upperclassmen who judge you, then you should probably pity them. They just have low self esteem. As you grow older, you learn to not care what people think. For example, in my junior year, I dyed my hair bright pink. I knew some people thought it was weird or dumb, but I didn’t care. I loved my pink hair.

Everybody thinks that high school is all about fitting in; well, I am here to tell you that this is a lie. One important lesson I have learned at Morgan is that the “cool crowd” isn’t that cool. Throughout these years, I have had many different friends, all from different groups, . Be friends with everybody; expand your horizon. I have been friends with the “cool crowd” before, and honestly it is nothing special. I prefer being out than being in. Be who you want to be and true friends will stick with you. Losing a friend is painful, stressful and a downright terrible experience, but losing a friend is a part of life, and something everyone will experience some time or another. You could be best friends with someone one day and enemies the next. No one prepared me for this; I expected that my best friends who entered high school with me would be my best friends that graduate with me .I do not regret losing the friends I’ve lost. Losing certain friends opened me to other friendships that were ten times better. Also I have met some different kinds of people through those experiences. Embrace the change of friendship. It is okay to be upset about the loss of a good friend, but if they were a true friend, wouldn’t you still be friends?

One of the few bad things about high school is peer pressure. This topic I believe is very important. I would be lying to you if I said that you will never experience some sort of peer pressure from your friends and other classmates. But there is something you can do about it; you can listen to your heart. If your heart truly says no, then trust it. Listening to your heart is almost as important as getting good grades in high school.

During my freshman year, I was told about a club called Amnesty International. After learning what Amnesty was, I fell in love. But as mentioned before, I was a shy freshman so I didn’t join Amnesty until my sophomore year. The whole point of high school is to try new things you have interest in but were never presented the opportunity to try. Don’t be scared to try something new. Say you saw a lacrosse game, and you always wanted to learn-join the team; you might be a lacrosse champ. I regret not joining Amnesty my freshmen year; I was too nervous about the upperclassmen in that group. Don’t let the upperclassmen scare you away from trying a new activity.

Most of you have probably heard rumors about the dreadful junior year; well, I hate to break the news to you but those rumors are most likely true. Junior year is by far the hardest year in high school. It isn’t that the workload is heavy (which it is), it is the pressure that comes with junior year which makes it tough. Colleges do look at your freshmen and sophomore year grades, but they pay close attention to the junior year grades as well. The third year of high school is a test to see if you are prepared for college. Junior year you will have to push yourself to new limits and a whole new level of motivation. Be prepared for that huge chemistry test, a term paper and a ton of math homework all due on the same day. On the bright side, once you make it through junior year, senior year is like a special treat for all your hard work.

Sometimes it literally feels like yesterday when I was a freshman . Upperclassmen warned me this was going to happen, and once again they were right; time goes by too fast when you are in high school. My advice is that since your time is limited in this historic school, use it wisely and embrace it. Take the classes that are known to be life changing; try to have some of Morgan’s legendary teachers such as Mr. Serenbetz. Try to make it to every sporting game to watch our school win (or lose). Take everything that Morgan has to offer. I know that this is a small school and that we don’t have many resources, but I have had some amazing classes and met some teachers that have changed my life for the better. Embrace Morgan and your four years here won’t be a waste.

High school can be a challenge, but with some good advice, you can survive. Just remember to get good grades especially in junior year; don’t worry about what people think of you; don’t follow the crowd; don’t be scared to branch out and meet new friends when you lose some; try new things even when you’re nervous; trust your heart and lastly, embrace your time here at the Morgan School.