It’s that time of year again: eighth graders stay up at night wondering what their high school years will bring. It’s scary, unknown and a little nerve wracking thinking that you’re going to be in a completely new place. It seems really foreign to be going into high school.
If I can tell incoming freshmen anything, it’s not as bad as you would think. Most likely, nobody is going to push you into a locker on your first day of school. Your teachers will not hit you with rulers. Students aren’t going to be smoking in the hallways on the first day.
But, with that said, I have a few pieces of advice for all of you.
First, invest in a backpack that doesn’t ride up so far that it touches you neck. This is both for your neck (it will hurt over time) and for your reputation. I’m totally for being yourself, but if you will get a lot less unwanted attention from upperclassmen if you don’t fit that freshman stereotype.
Second, don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Honestly, if you’re with somebody who makes you feel weird, or does (or doesn’t do) things that you do or don’t want to do: don’t be friends with them. The group that you think will stick together all of high school is most likely going to be completely disbanded after freshman year, or at least different than you thought it would be.
Third, don’t try to stick it to the upperclassmen. If an upperclassmen is genuinely hurting you, then it’s time to try to stand up. But if an upperclassmen moves your lunch over so they can sit there, don’t move it back. Don’t try to yell and scream on campus, don’t show up at upperclassmen parties that you are not invited to. The upperclassmen are not going to push you into lockers and take your lunch money, but they also will most likely be a little hard on the freshmen.
Upper school is significantly harder than middle school for most people. It’s not unbearable, but definitely a change. It’s the time that grades start to matter and college starts to become real, so keeping organized is necessary. Part of what colleges look for is extra curricular activities, so it’s also a good time to pick up a few that you enjoy. You don’t have to walk in and join everything all at once, Max Fisher, but it’s always good to try something different.
High school will not be the highlight of your life. It will not be your golden, most wonderful time where you are always happy and excited. Sometimes, it won’t be great and sometimes you won’t like your teachers or your friends. But, it’s worth it. High school is a transition point in your life, and just like anything- it’s all in what you make it.