Things I wish I knew as a freshman

Laney Hoggatt, Co Editor-in-Chief

As a senior, I have gone through four years of high school and have learned a few things that I wish I knew as a freshman.  

First and foremost, I wish I knew to get the required classes done first. For the most part, that is what I did but I know of several seniors who did not do that. The advantage of getting your required classes done first is you will have more room for elective spaces for your upperclassmen years. As an upperclassman, you will have a larger variety of classes you can take, so you will definitely want to have open elective space.

Another thing that has taken me a long time to learn, is that your GPA does not define you but it is important. Of course, grades are important for scholarships and getting into college, but do not let it control you. High school is about more than just learning; it is about meeting people and being involved. Do not spend all of your time studying and doing homework. Go to school dances, concerts, games and so on. Learn to balance a social life and your GPA. This will make high school educational but also fun and joyful.

Additionally, I wish I knew that it is okay to not know what you want in your future. In high school, there is a push to go to college after you graduate. It is common to hear administrators and teachers talk about preparing for your future, but how do you prepare for your future if you do not know what you want in the future? For me, I have always had an idea of what I want in the future because I am a very type A person, but I know several people that do not. Not having an idea is completely fine. You have four years of high school and honestly plenty of time after to find what you want to do. The most important thing is that you have a plan. That plan can change, but by having a plan, you remain focused and driven.

I think I also wished that I knew that college is not my only option. Like many high schools, my school strongly encourages students to attend college. However, some people do not need to go to college. Different professions have different requirements for an employee. Sure go to college if you are planning to be a doctor or teacher but if you want to be a mechanic, baker, or electrician, a trade school is more beneficial. There are even some jobs that just want an employee to be trained or get a certification in order to work. Also, it is important to consider the military path, especially when thinking about all the benefits that they provide. Gap years receive a negative view, but if you have no clue what you want to do, taking a gap year can be beneficial. Spend the gap year discovering hobbies, traveling, and working at a minimum wage job.

In high school, dating is not as big as you might think. I wish that I would have known that. Do not worry about dating or to take it so seriously. You may date one person all of high school, date several people, or never date anyone at all. All of these are okay and no option is bad. In high school, you learn a lot about yourself and other people. The one thing I do want to warn you about is to not take dating seriously. Sure, there may be people that will marry their “high school sweetheart,” but do not go into a relationship expecting that outcome and do not be hard on yourself if you never date anyone in high school. You will have plenty of time to find someone. There is no reason to rush or go into a serious relationship in high school.

Finally, I wish that I knew that it is okay to lose or gain friends. Like I have mentioned, you learn a lot about yourself in high school. You will most likely change which does not have to be a bad thing. As you change, typically, your friend groups will change, too. It is fine to lose friends because you can grow apart. While you may lose friends, you will also gain some. Keeping, losing and gaining friends are all perfectly fine. Over my four years, I have kept and lost some of my junior high friends, but it all turned out fine because I also made some friends as well. Just remember that typically when a friendship ends, it is nothing personal. You just grew apart, and you two are different people now.

For me, high school was an interesting experience. I have learned a lot academically and a lot about myself. While I do not consider high school to be the best four years of my life, I definitely have enjoyed it.  Each thing mentioned were difficult yet important for me and my classmates to learn. I hope that this list will benefit you. I cannot prepare you for everything because each student has a different high school experience. Just remember to enjoy yourself and try new things. That is what will make your high school experiences memorable.

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