Advice for Incoming Freshman


Diana Lanza, Editor

It’s that time of the year – the few months full of summer heat and relaxation have come to a close. For some students, the beginning of the school year may bring about more changes than for others. New parents may just be sending their little one off to kindergarten, and other ones may be helping their first-born pack their bags for college.


However, I personally believe that one of the most anticipated rights of passages for a child is their freshman year of high school. From personal experience, I know that my childhood was full of depictions of these highly anticipated four years that painted the experience in a questionable light, filling my head with many questions and anxieties. Will the classes be too hard? Will I be able to meet new friends? 


As someone who is about to enter her junior year, I want to take some time to give my own advice to nervous freshmen who may share some of the same fears that I had. I hope you all enjoy and feel like you’ve gained some perspective to help you navigate your way through this new environment.


1. Take it One Day at a Time

I know – it seems like the most cliché line in the world, right? I definitely thought so too. However, one thing that I’m learning as I get older is that life really goes by in the blink of an eye. High school will definitely add more to your plate, and it’s highly tempting to just wish the day, month or even entire year away. Just know that it’s not worth it. Live in the moment! The next four years of your life are going to be over in a flash, and if you’re spending your days being miserable and stressed out, you’ll miss out on some of the best opportunities to discover the person you really want to be in the future.


2. Most Worries Won’t Be Significant in 10 Years

We’ve all been there — those long nights where you are sitting at your desk, trying to cram in some last minute studying for your exam after procrastinating longer than you should have. It’s so easy to get swept up into the competitiveness of academics, and it’s not uncommon for teenagers to base their self-worth on their grades. However, this is not a healthy mindset. Your intelligence, and, more importantly, your importance is not defined by what you score on one test. In 10 years from now, when you are a successful adult trying to accomplish all of your dreams and goals, a bad grade will be the last thing on your mind.


3. Everyone Goes at Their Own Pace

This is advice that holds true in every aspect of life. You may be feeling as if, now that you’re in high school, there are certain milestones that you have to accomplish. This is definitely not the case! High school isn’t a race. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the speed you’re going. There is no set right way to live life, especially not as a teenager.


4. Be Yourself

One of the most common fears that I’ve seen from freshmen, including myself, is not being able to meet new people. It may seem very tempting to create almost an entirely new personality to impress others or as a defense mechanism. It’s not worth it! People will come to you for you. Keeping up a front all the time will become exhausting, and you’ll be introducing people to someone else – not the amazing person you really are. Let them get a chance to fall in love with the true you!


5. Take Time for Yourself

While high school is definitely a time to learn academically oriented topics, it’s also time to learn about yourself. You always come first. There is nothing wrong with taking a mini study break to walk around the block, call your friends, play with your dog, or find other healthy escapes. Mental and physical health go hand-in-hand. Being at your best academically will be close to impossible if you don’t take care of your mind and your body. Be your own best friend!


I hope you enjoyed these tips that I provided for you. I know that this is a very scary and overwhelming time, but there are so many positives that come along with it. It may be intimidating to walk around the halls right now, but, in four years, when you’re standing with your graduation cap and gown on, you’ll realize just how valuable this time was in helping you become the person you want to be.