Dear Freshmen…

Sidney Rothkin, Layout Editor

Welcome to high school! 


Any new beginning is tough, but starting high school can be especially daunting. It’s a new environment with harder classes, stricter teachers, more freedom, and higher stakes. It’s exciting but scary. 

Even though it was almost three years ago, I still vividly remember my first few weeks of freshman year. I had no idea where my classes were, could not remember my teachers’ names, and was terrified of not having anyone to sit with in Commons. I had never experienced anything like it before. However, everyone kept telling me it takes a month or two to adjust, and while I didn’t believe them at first, I kept their words in mind as I nervously continued with freshman year. After a few months, the nerves wore off, I made friends, and high school didn’t seem so daunting anymore. Obviously, I did not know that a global pandemic was around the corner, but that’s another story. 

Although I eventually adjusted to high school, there are still some things I wish someone had told me. I don’t have any older siblings, so I lacked an older mentor who could have provided me with some essential guidance. 

I wish someone had told me to get involved as soon as possible. Although some clubs or groups may feel a bit exclusive to freshmen, you shouldn’t be afraid to go after what you want. It’s likely that you are imagining exclusivity, and the clubs are actually very inviting. When I was a freshman, I felt intimidated  by the seniors leading certain clubs, which discouraged me from joining. Now, as a senior, I realize the value of being part of clubs and how they have opened doors for me creatively and socially. If I had gotten over my hesitation to join clubs sooner, who knows how many more open doors there would be for me today?

Most of all, I wish someone had told me that everything is going to be ok in the end, but that you need to work for that reality. There have been multiple times in my high school experience, as my dean can attest, when I felt like school was spinning out of control. The work was piling up, I had practice every day, and clubs were consuming all my time. It was just too much. The stress felt unbearable. However, you have the ability to work through these problems.. You just have to adjust your ways of dealing with them. Perhaps that means buying a planner to get yourself more organized, talking to a teacher about your workload, or thinking of practice as an escape from your work instead of something you have to do. Whatever it is that works for you, go do it. The more you complain about the stress, the more you prolong it. 

There is so much more advice I wish I had received as a freshman, like not to sit in the back of the bus unless you’re an upperclassman or to avoid the student center until you’re a junior. But the most important piece of information I wish I had internalized is to enjoy every moment. Whenever someone told me that, I thought they were being so cliché, but now I truly see what they meant. I can still remember my first class of freshman year like it was yesterday. I look back at these last three years and struggle to comprehend how it all went by so fast. So, if there is anything you take away from this letter, I hope it is this: Don’t close your eyes too much because you might miss this one of a kind experience. 



Your friendly neighborhood senior, Sid