From Freshmen to Seniors: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known

Elle DIckson

Matt DeLano

1. Time is valuable

I am a planner person. I have an online planner, a bullet journal, and a desk planner. You think it, I probably have used it. However, if you met me freshman year, you know I literally wrote all my homework on my hand. How I took such a dramatic turn I will never know, but I am so thankful I did. Freshman year I would stay up until two in the morning doing my homework and felt like I was drowning in all the work I needed to do. 

Did I constantly feel overwhelmed? Yes. 

Was it probably perfectionism? Maybe. 

Now, I plan out almost everything. I have a routine for what homework I do first, when I take breaks, what I do on my breaks, when I eat snacks. I also finish my homework by 9:30 every night, and most nights it’s earlier. I have way more time to do the things I’m passionate about and I feel like I have the time to learn my homework instead of just completing it.  

2. Asking for help makes you smarter

In my math class freshman year, I never asked for help. I also didn’t know my exponent rules well enough until last year when I took Calculus. Don’t be like me. 

I was terrified of raising my hand freshman year. I was worried that the teacher would think I’m dumb, or my classmates would think I’m dumb, or that I actually was dumb. Then, I would do bad on tests and have to cram the night before in order to get the grade I wanted. If I had just raised my hand or, even better, went in during flex or after school and received one on one help, I would have done way better. If you are taking chem or physics right now, this is so incredibly important. With subjects like that, you aren’t just learning the material but how to learn that material. By asking for help, you are getting even more practice and then later everything else is easier to understand. Just ask questions now, it saves you so much time. 

3. Take an art class

I have learned more in art classes than I have in some of my core classes. Yes, I know the quadratic equation by heart and how to conjugate French verbs, but in art classes you learn real lessons. I learned how some of my classmates cope with their mental health issues, and how to ask someone on a date, and people’s opinions on gender identity. The things you learn in an art class are not just how to draw or throw a pot on a wheel, but how to be creative and live creatively. And, by living creatively, I’ve learned more about myself. Through bad plates and cracked pots, I know what it means to give something your all and fail without being able to fix it. And then fixing it and finding a way to make it worth something. I’ve used that skill in every class since and don’t see myself stopping. 

4. The counselors are fun and want to be your friend 

Yes, they are here to help us with classes and colleges. No, that is not all they’re here for. Personally, I have a bad habit of bottling up my emotions and then often crying to release them. Don’t recommend it, but we work with what we’ve got. After a while, I got tired of silent crying in the bathroom. It gets exhausting. Now, I can give Mrs. Fuller and look and she lets me sit in her office or the room in the counseling office alone so I can let everything out I need to. You can’t plan a mental breakdown. But, you can support yourself as it happens so you can come back to your plan as best as possible. By establishing the relationship I have with my counselor, I know that I am actively being supported here. I created this support system by asking for help, because it’s the smart thing to do.

5. Don’t discount people because you knew them before high school

Coming into high school, I wanted so desperately to shed my middle school self. My goal was to be older, to be better. If someone would have told me one of my current best friends was the same girl that sat behind me in 5th grade math, I would have said not in a million years. Now, I am so grateful for the moments where we have laughed at getting injured in different sports on the same day and cried about our love lives while getting McDonalds. You will change in high school, and so will other people, so don’t make assumptions about who will matter most in your life. 

Chuck Eckrich