Dear Class of 2019,
The Saber Slate Seniors have made a list of their top tips (in no particular order) for surviving Freshman year including the wise advice of Senior Class Valedictorian and NHS President Euvin Park. Enjoy!
Advice from Euvin Park:
- Don’t slack off. Deadlines are important, and your perception of time is fallible. Simple as that. When you do slack off, make sure it’s at a time when you can afford to. Giving in to human weakness and lack of drive is an inevitability for most individuals, so when the time comes at least control yourself to the extent that your choices have minimal negative impact.
- Don’t be afraid. At least not of school, and not of your future. Every moment of your life is simultaneously an opportunity and a choice. Since you don’t know what opportunity your choices will open up, however, it will often be difficult to discern which choices are the right ones. Sometimes, there may not even be a right choice; in that case, make the choice you won’t regret. In this world of cause and effect, it is easy to witness failure and criticize it once it has occurred, but all those who do so are merely perpetuating one of the oldest and most foolish habits of mankind. No human being can tell with perfect certainty the outcome of a choice. Make firm your resolve, and stride forward. Remember, in one way or another fear is the primary cause of misery in this world, and no two things prevent individuals from making good choices more than fear and misery.
- Know who your friends are. These are simple facts: you are at an age at which most of your perceptions of relationships and responsibility are almost disgustingly warped. Acknowledge the possibility of your own weakness, and not only will you be able to rid yourself of it, but also detect it in others and help them rid themselves of it as well. There are those among us, however, who actively choose to pursue their warped perceptions of the world, and will attempt to convince you to follow them. Don’t.
- Trust your family. All humans are human. Learn to see through your own clouded mind into the situations of others. Be more understanding towards your mother, father, and siblings at times when you are angry with one another. These are the last four years you will be in such close proximity to your family. Make amends where they must be made, help them and show your love for them whenever you can, and leave on good terms. If you don’t, the only thing you will achieve is misery, and only misery will be left behind you. If you can accept that, well, you either have my sympathy for having suffered through such a terrible childhood, or you have my empathy for being such a brat. Either way, your loss.
- Don’t be hasty, but acknowledge your mortality. Many people around you will seem to be in a rush to accomplish what they see as great feats during high school: getting into relationships, leading organizations, being popular, etc. At some level and in many situations, these things can, in fact, have great value. However, in many other situations, they do not. Don’t see your limited time here or your limited time on Earth as a limit to how thoughtful you can be. Discipline your mind. Know the right steps to take, and follow a good path. You have a lot of time to make decisions in high school, and even more time to make them during the remainder of your life. Be wise. Instead of trying to do what you want to do, do what must be done; instead of doing what’s best for you, do what’s best for those you love.
Advice from Chrissy Rama:
- Start Making a Resume Now. This will be very helpful when you’re applying to colleges senior year and trying to remember what volunteering you did Freshman year. Keep track of things now and save headaches for yourself later. You can easily find templates on Google.
- Make A Separate College Email. Soon you’ll be taking lots of testing and surveys from the Plan to the ACT, and you will have the ability to receive college information. This information is useful but there is a lot of it so be sure to make a separate email so your inbox isn’t constantly flooded with college spam.
- Get Involved! We know, you’re sick of hearing this but it’s true. Find a club that interests you and join. Don’t be afraid to try things you may not like, you may end up loving them! Push yourself.
- Volunteer. High School is a great time to start a part of your life where you give back to the community. Whether you find opportunities through Key Club, your Church, school opportunities etc. try and strive to make volunteering a key element in your life.
- Form Good Relationships with Your Teachers. FHS is filled with tons of talented, kindhearted and amazing teachers, many of which you’ll have multiple times throughout your four years. Take the time to get to know them or at least smile and say hi in the hallway when you walk past. It’s rewarding and can come in handy, especially when asking for recommendation letters!
Advice from Charlie Pond:
- Spend time with your friends. Although many students have busy schedules, it is important to make time for your friends. I’ve personally made some pretty great ones in my time at FHS and kinda wish I would’ve spent more time with them in the past. To be honest you’ll all probably remember the time you spent with them more than most things that happened in high-school
- Play a sport or exercise regularly. Exercise is fun! It keeps you healthy and strong (and probably more attractive 😉 and serves as a great way to get rid of stress. Sports in particular can also make you stand out more to colleges and potentially earn you scholarships to facilitate your future educational goals.
- Don’t procrastinate. I’m sure you’ve all heard this piece before.. just don’t do it, you
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Your attitude, opinions, and goals are probably going to fluctuate wildly throughout your high school experience and you’ll definitely be a different person going out than you are coming in. Unless you’re Euvin Park. But if you’re Euvin Park you probably don’t need tips anyway.
- Read books you want to read. This one is more targeted at people (like me) who really like reading but are so busy with life and school that they don’t have time to read what they actually enjoy. But you can learn a lot about yourself and the world around you from what you read if you genuinely want to read it.
- Be spontaneous and take risks. Don’t leave any “what-ifs?” in your life. You should ask that girl to homecoming. You should be honest even when it’s hard to be. You should actually take that scary-looking AP course because you might do better than you think.
- Have fun. Seriously, this is it. Soon you’ll have to start doing taxes, paying for your own food and housing, and working for a living. Enjoy your teenage years while you can.
Advice from Annalies Kleyheeg:
- Don’t lose sight of yourself. Lots of people are going to give you lots of different suggestions about how you should live your life over the next few years – in fact, for about forever. Sometimes the input of others can be beneficial and sometimes it can be destructive, and it’s up to you to figure out what you should listen to and what you shouldn’t. That sounds terrifying, and it is. But as long as you keep a strong sense of what your values are and are confident in your ability to uphold them (trust me: you can!) you’ll be able to grow in a positive way over the next four years.
- Don’t be rude to people, even if they’re rude to you. You’re going to encounter lots of terribly rude people in your life, and that’s something you don’t have any control over. What you do have control over is how you handle it. Everyone has bad days, and you have no idea what kind of thoughts are going on behind someone else’s words. Who knows, your choice to be kind could turn someone’s mood around.
- BE FABULOUS!!!!! Or awesome, or totally rad, or whatever adjective you choose to describe yourself. Whatever you do, do it without fear and without shame. One of my favorite sayings is “If you are not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you.” Some people will see what you are doing and think that it’s stupid or wrong or weird, and they might try to make you feel bad for doing the things you love. Don’t listen to the haters, show ‘em who’s boss.