To the Freshmen

imgres“Hi, I didn’t know this thing even existed until, like, yesterday, but could you write some general advice for the freshmen this year?”                                -fresh_fish/2018

Well, that’s a pretty tall order there. You’re asking me to give you advice on issues that you’re going to experience over nine whole months.  That’s a pretty long time.  It may not seem that way sometimes, but it really is.  I mean, that’s how long it takes to physically grow a human child and give it life.  On the other hand, it may also seem like an almost frighteningly short time, which only adds to the complication of the matter.  The best advice I can give you is simply to bask in the glory of apathy…not.  This is your first year in high school.  As such, the choices you make this year, as well as the people you meet and the relationships you form, will stay with you for the next four years, or perhaps much longer.  Honestly, you should probably focus on making sure that those choices and people are good ones.

Now, to be clear, this is ADVICE: an OPINION.  If you disagree with any points that I make here, that’s your choice.  And hey, all the more power to you if you go out there, do your own thing, and make it all work out anyways.  I’m just here to lend a hand if you so choose to take it.

Let’s start with choices, shall we?  Now, I’m not even going to get into drugs, smoking, drinking, etc.  I’m just going to assume that you’re smart enough (or at least not dumb enough) to get into any of that.  My main point here is time management.  Obviously, the way you use your time, and how much of it you use for any of your activities, will depend on who you are.  For starters, though, you should always push yourself productively.  There are many people out there who push themselves to their limits and beyond, but in the end have no fruit to bear for their efforts, because they either spent too much time doing unproductive things, or trying to do too many productive things to actually find success.  There’s a limit to everything, and more doesn’t necessarily mean better.  Think of time management as a density curve (ask a math teacher if you don’t know what this is) with effort on the x-axis, and end-productivity on the y-axis.  Up to a certain point, all your efforts will bring you greater and greater success – so long as your efforts are put into productive things. After that greatest success point, though, you are merely over-exhausting yourself, and it just goes downhill from there.  Watch yourself.

As for the people you meet…well, that’s not exactly something you can control, now, is it. After class and lunch schedules are drawn out, there really isn’t a wide margin of choice when it comes to choosing who you spend time with. The truth is, though, it’s not too bad, even if you find yourself surrounded by strangers at first. When I was a Freshman, I literally knew no one in any of my classes. Yet, throughout the course of the year, I found that all the upperclassmen and fellow freshmen surrounding me were very pleasant and interesting people, despite any negative first impressions of them I may have had. How was this possible? Kindness. I’m not saying you have to be the greatest person on Earth, but if you treat everyone around you with a bit of kindness here, some understanding there, and a whole lot of patience – things should be alright.

So, remember: make smart choices, but don’t be afraid to take chances.  Have fun, be safe, and try to make this year an adventure.

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