Dear freshman

TRL’s Calla Patino shares her advice for underclassmen


Marisa Green

“Four years goes by fast, and one day you’ll wake up and be a senior. Don’t take the time you have in high school for granted.”

Congrats, you’ve made it to high school. Let’s get a few things straight: it is not “High School Musical.” Forget every single high school movie you have ever watched in your life and either lower your expectations or aim for them. I only have a few solid pieces of advice for each of you, and some of it may sound familiar, especially if you have an older sibling or upperclassmen friends. Warning: there will be no sugar coating; do with that information as you please.

You’re not in middle school anymore Totos. If you haven’t realized it yet, there is more coursework and homework, so keep up with your work. Find a way to organize your stuff. Are you a planner who needs to write down deadlines so you don’t forget what’s due when, are you a binder person, are you a folder person or are you both? When you understand what works for you, be consistent with it, and if it isn’t working, try a different method. This is the time to work these things out. If your backpack looks like a tornado went through it, you’re making your life twice as hard. 

One of the biggest things to learn during high school is how to study. I’m not talking about the night before or morning of memorization and brain dumping, and I know because I did this. Nothing is worse than when you’re reviewing before a test and you don’t recognize half of the stuff you supposedly learnt during class. Then you have to cram five units before an exam. Even though you could get through all of high school with last minute memorizing, it does no good in the long run. 

I know as a freshman college seems very far away, and college fairs seem pointless at this point. You do still have time to figure all of that out so don’t stress yet, but just keep it in the back of your mind as you’re gonna have to make the decision at some point. I highly recommend getting your fine art, athletic, leadership and heath credits out of the way when you’re an underclassman. It allows you to take the courses you want to take senior year, including dual credit and off periods. You don’t want to be that senior in a primarily freshman class (also me right now). When it comes to APs, you should try it, and if it doesn’t work for you just refrain from taking one again. They are nice GPA boosters, but realistically you’re probably going to get into a college even if your GPA and rank aren’t super high.

Listen, you may not leave high school with the same friends you came in with, and if you do fabulous. You don’t have to feel required to stay friends with someone that’s bringing you down. Be selective with who you keep in your close circle because there is a reason why there is a saying ‘you are the company that you keep.’ Be smart, and make good decisions.

You will only get out of high school what you put into it, so join clubs, go to football games with your friends, join a sport, find what you like to do and stick with it. Create those memories as those are the ones you’ll remember after graduation. Do not be afraid to take classes your friends aren’t taking because if you know what you want to do as a career take the classes available to get you there. Do not be afraid to take classes you don’t immediately think of taking because you never know if that class leads you to your passion. Now, some of y’all need to hear this: it is not uncool to have school spirit, and you don’t have to wait until senior year. Screaming till you lose your voice is the goal and should always be the goal.

The final piece of cliche advice I have is to take advantage of the opportunities you’re presented. Four years goes by fast, and one day you’ll wake up and be a senior. Don’t take the time you have in high school for granted.

Signing off,

A sleepy, stress out senior