Hello, Freshman

Incoming students at freshman orientation this summer. Photo courtesy of Jeff McGee, http://mlwgs.com/freshman-orientation-2016/.

Incoming students at freshman orientation this summer. Photo courtesy of Jeff McGee, http://mlwgs.com/freshman-orientation-2016/.

Cole Mier, Opinions Editor

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Hello, freshman. So, you made it into Maggie Walker. Probably feeling pretty proud of yourselves, aren’t you? Got straight A’s in middle school, a perfect score on your entrance exam, and got all of your syllabi signed so those PowerSchool grades say “100%.” Does any of that ring a bell for you? I remember being like you- young, naïve, and still barely into puberty. Well, things change. In the upcoming weeks, as teachers begin to add more and more to your workload, you will start to get lectures from the faculty, administration, and even guest speakers on how to study efficiently and not become stressed. Let me save you some time and sum up all of these long lectures in two key points: flash cards and deep breathing. As PE teacher Mike Brown said to me on the first day of freshman year, “If the school really wanted to lessen stress in kids, they’d give less homework.” Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. But do not fret, young children, for there is still hope! I have compiled five key tips to make survival at this school as a ninth grade student bearable.

  1. Do not stress about homecoming. Let’s get the easiest one out of the way first. So, homecoming is coming up in about a month. While middle school dances were about as fun and as sanitary as the indoor playground at a McDonald’s, homecoming will be different. It will be a magical evening with a very special girl or boy that you might even slow dance with. Except it won’t be. None of you know each other because there has only been one month of school, so bring those expectations down! Here is what you should do: ask a nice and pretty girl or boy that you have a lot of classes with to the dance, use a pun, candy, or possibly both along with an Instagram worthy poster while asking, and then just go and try to have as much fun as possible. Go in with mindset that it is not a big deal, and you will end up having a good time.
  2. Do homework the night it is assigned. Wait, wait, wait! Before you stop reading and think, “look at this try-hard with no life,” hear me out. First of all, I know only about 20 percent of you will actually follow this advice, but it is a real lifesaver. While I am all for procrastinating via food and Netflix, doing homework immediately rather than the day before it is due will remove the impending dread that will follow you around until 11 o’clock at night, when I am in bed asleep and you are still up doing your vocab. This is especially true of Thursday nights, where all of the work assigned and various quizzes the next day pile up to create a monster of stress, tears, and notebook paper. Do your homework kids, and just get it over with.
  3. Embrace the weird. As you have probably already noticed, a lot of strange clubs, classes, and people inhabit this school. This school is essentially San Diego Comic Con, but all year long. And it is amazing. Let me give you an example of the peculiar nature of this fine educational establishment. On the first day of school last year, Ms. Surat gave each one of her freshman students a marble to hold onto along with the phrase, “Don’t lose your marbles.” There are two ways of responding to something like this. You either cautiously take the marble, place it in your pocket, and immediately forget it was even there, or, you think “Oh my goodness, that is the coolest pun ever!!!!” If you walk through this school judging the silly and strange instead of partaking in it, your experience will be significantly less enjoyable.
  4. Expand your friend group. Eventually, cliques will be formed. It is inevitable. In every school in America, probably the whole world, the kids will eventually separate into smaller groups. Even the earliest homo sapiens partook in this activity. Please do not stress about this. By the time the Lock-in ends, I promise all of you will have found a close-knit group of friends. My recommendation on this front is to not be too close-knit. If you end up with four or five really great friends, that is awesome. But always be on the look out for the sixth addition to your group, and then the seventh, and the eighth. If you never expand the horizons of your friendships, your opportunities for legendary experiences and new perspectives will diminish.
  5. Maggie Walker freshman year is not actually that bad. This is probably the most important piece of advice to remember. Sure, Biology will be difficult for most and some Global Studies tests will cover a lot of material, but as long as you have the right frame of mind, it is all manageable. You should never have to pull an all-nighter for any class this year. While your future workload will be intense, especially in comparison to your middle school years, keep in mind that all of you deserve to be here. You are capable, intelligent, and strong willed. Go into every assignment with a mindset of “I will succeed,” and you most likely will.
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Hello, Freshman