Dear Freshmen,

Modern high school entrance

Dear Freshmen,

Welcome to Edison. It’s gonna be a great four years. Here’s my advice as a senior who made it through, along with input from about 40 other people who survived freshman year. You can do this.

Academics

High school academics are likely harder than what you’re be used to. You may be taking your first honors class(es) this year or other challenging courses. Don’t drop a class now just because it seems intimidating! Classes like MUN or CIBACs that can require additional efforts outside of class are very rewarding, both in the skills you learn and how colleges view them, but most importantly the great friends you make. I know some of my greatest friends because of MUN. Take as hard of a course load you can balance with everything else going on in your life. Develop some solid time management skills and study habits. DON’T procrastinate!!! But if you do and must stay up late, upbeat music and healthy food can help you stay awake. Find a source of caffeine you like for the morning(s) after. Social media and Netflix are the most common means of avoidance I’ve encountered, so just delete them if you can. Don’t compare your academic performance to others’, be YOUR best. There have been times where i was proud of a D grade test, because i worked my butt off to prepare for that test and it was the best i could do. I did get a tutor after that though, something i would highly recommend you do now for any particularly challenging classes. You can ask your teacher or a counselor for references. The English and math departments also offer free tutoring a couple hours a week. Use tutorial to your advantage as well, to work on homework, get help, and talk with teachers. Building solid relationships with your teachers is immensely beneficial as well. Aside from the obvious reason that they grade your work, their view of you is also important in that they may be someone you go to for a college recommendation letter someday.

 College

Don’t worry too much about the specifics of college just yet. If someone asks about your college or career plans and you have no idea yet, that’s totally okay.  A lot of seniors still don’t even know. Get the best grades you can, get involved in school, sports, andextracurriculars like clubs and volunteering. Your performance freshman year matters to colleges. You don’t want to be waiting for college acceptance letters March of your senior year, regretting that D in freshman English, knowing you could have gotten a B with a bit more effort.  It’s cliche,  but really, try your hardest. Just because you can get away with a grade without being grounded doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for better. You don’t know your full potential till you try. Do more than just get by this year.

Sports

Join sports! Multiple if you can, and see what works for you. Don’t worry too much about making the team, or being out of your league at tryouts or playing. I tried out for the swim team my freshman year and did not make it, because I was probly the slowest person in the pool. But no one really cared, and probly no one remembers! Go for whatever sport you want, even if you’ve never played it before. Edison even has some “no cut” teams, including track, football, and cross country. Be the best athlete you canbe, and don’t let losing lessen your enjoyment of your sport. Be sure to communicate with your coach about balancing your sport with the rest of your life. Prioritize academics over sports: they are what will make the difference in what colleges you can get into and play for. Sports are a great way to meet new people and gain new experiences. The skills you learn in sports will help you off the field too, in dealing with other instances of teamwork (group projects, ugh), practicing perseverance, and learning time management skills.

Extracurriculars

These are really fun and totally worth doing for reasons other than how good they look on college apps, but it’s also really important to do them because they look good on college apps. Join clubs! Pick a few you really like and stick with them. Volunteer too! There are some really fun local volunteer opportunities you can seek out yourself or you can join a club that touts volunteering as a primary activity. Academic pursuits like the Speech and Debate team or writing for the Bolt newspaper are excellent options as well. If student government is your thing joining ASB is prime. If you like the arts, Edison puts on a few plays a year and the APA program at HBHS is excellent as well. One extracurricular I would suggest avoiding your freshman year is a job. If you don’t have to get one, don’t. Focus on school stuff right now, and don’t worry about making money till you’ve gottapay for gas(*sobs spending $70 to fill my tank*). Enjoy your freedom.

School Events

Go to every school event you can!!! I know it doesn’t seem like it right now but high school goes by reeeeally fast and before you know it your time at Edison will be over. Dances are super fun whether you go with friends or a date. Go to them, and do fun homecoming/winter formal “proposals” if you ask a date. Football games are awesome. Have fun cheering (our team tends to win a lot) and hanging out with friends. Go to the Bell Game!!! Basketball, soccer, and volleyball games are also quite popular, and fun. Don’t forget: #BEATLOSAL (Los Alamitos HS, a rival of ours). Attend a few of your friend’s games too; showing support for your friends and school is always nice. And any time we have dress up days at school, do them; they help everyone get in the spirit of whatever we are supposed to be getting in the spirit for. WOOOO CHARGER SPIRIT!!

Partying

Don’t be dumb. You know what’s legal and not, and you know what happens if you get caught. Decisions you make freshman year can carry with you through the rest of high school, even your life. Alcoholism and cigarette addiction can start now. Also the Internet is written in ink, not pencil: a picture of you with a beer or a tweet about engaging in illegal activity will still be out there when colleges look you up, and when any employers look you up. Current school administration and coaches may also look into your activity, and random drug testing occurs among athletes as well as the general student population if your parents consented to it. Put your accounts on private, and don’t post things that could get you into trouble. Be smart and be safe.

Relationships

You will meet a lot of new people in high school. Definitely some great friends, problysome you will keep for the rest of your life, and even like a .00001% chance of meeting the person you’re gonna marry. How exciting. Keep your old friends from middle school and make new ones too. The more the merrier! For romantic relationships, especially if it’s your first serious relationship, finding balance between them, school, sports, friends, and family is necessary. Don’t let your grades, friendships, etc suffer, because they will likely impact the rest of your life in big ways (like what college you get into) but your high school sweetheart probly won’t. If you can balance bringing another person into your life, go for it. Relationships are really fun and falling in love is awesome. Be your relationships romantic or platonic, appreciate them and make some good memories. And write long notes in eachothers‘ yearbooks cause they’re really sweet to look back on.

 Misc

You do not need to run in the halls to make it to class. Walk on the right side of the hall and follow traffic. Hallways have double doors for a reason-if one door is less busy, use the other. “Popularity” really doesn’t matter that much. Don’t worry too much what people are thinking about you; they’re probly too busy worrying about what people thinkabout them. Countless people have told me they felt the effort they spent on trying to get into certain social circles, social media presence, their appearance, generally trying to look cool their freshman year was unnecessary and never made that much of a difference. No one seemed to care when I stopped straightening my hair every day, except me. The extra twenty minutes of sleep each night sure is nice. Basically, if something makes you happy, do it. Just don’t think you need to do it because other people expect you to. Learn to trust yourself. You’re growing up.


Freshman year can be super fun. It’s one of your easiest years of high school academically, but only relatively, so you still need to take it seriously. You’ve got a ways till college so dont worry much- just try your hardest. Do sports andextracurriculars to have fun, make friends, and develop skills you can use throughout life. Learn time management!! Participate in school functions because they’re fun as heck, and who doesn’t love wearing green face paint? Make smart decisions about your online, and general life reputation. Appreciate the amazing relationships you’ll have throughout high school. Have fun, and do what makes you happy. Good luck charger.

Sincerely,

Julia Stevens

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