Advice for Freshmen from a Junior

Because I'm sure you haven't read enough of these already

Sophia Dempsey, Writer

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Salvete, kiddos. You have already been settling into Loyola for a few weeks now, and I hope that at this point you have figured out your locker combination and where all your classes are located. When I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed underclassman like yourselves, I was lucky enough to have upperclassmen friends who were more than happy to show me the ropes of high school and answer any questions I might have had. However, you might not be as fortunate as I was, and for that reason, allow me to provide to you, in no specific order of importance, some advice for your next four years that other standard freshman advice articles may have glossed over.

  • Befriend your teachers. I seriously cannot emphasize this one enough. Show up to class a few minutes early to wish your teacher a good morning or a good afternoon, ask them about their day, and strike up a little conversation. Thank them and wish them a good day when leaving their room. Say hello to them in the halls. Once you have established a personal connection with your teachers, it becomes so much easier to ask them for help when it is needed. You will have mutual respect for each other, which will ultimately lead to you enjoy—or, at the very least, tolerate—their classes a little more, and that positive atmosphere in the classroom will lead to better grades on your part.
  • Find your niche. There is not a doubt in my mind that you have already heard this one before. Join a club, a sport, or any other kind of extracurricular activity, so that you can befriend some like-minded people, as well as find your place at Loyola. I did not discover my place at Loyola until my sophomore year. My niche is the classics (Latin and Greek, for those of you who are not aware), but some of my friends pour their passion into scholastic bowl or anime club. Figure out your interests and involve yourself with them. There’s no rush, but when you do, it will make high school all the more enjoyable.
  • Let good people into your life. News flash, the people you walk into high school with on your first day are likely not going to be the same people you are friends with come your graduation. Drama is pretty much unavoidable. The best advice I can give to you is to make friends that uplift you, support you, and make you feel comfortable. If you feel that a friendship is toxic, try to work things out with them. If the situation does not improve, there really is no harm or shame in blocking and ignoring someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. In fact, it might just be one of the healthiest decisions you make. Your mental health is important, so fill your friend group with people who value you.
  • Live the next four years to the fullest. It’s certainly not High School Musical or Friday Night Lights, but high school really can be a lot of fun if you allow it to be. Yes, homework is a pain and takes up a lot of time, but there’s always room to fit in a trip with friends to a football game and a tailgate. Cheer as loud as you can at the pep rallies, add a little maroon and gold to your wardrobe, and go to the dances, plays, and showcases. Your high school experience should not be your glory days nor the highlight of your life, as you still have years and years ahead of you to live and experience the world, but make the effort to enjoy Loyola Academy and the good times it offers you. You would not want to look back on your high school years and only have memories of boredom, homework, and a lack of school spirit.

About the Writer
Sophia Dempsey, Writer

Hey! My name is Sophia, and I’m a junior! Besides writing for The Prep, I am an avid member of Loyola’s classics club serving as co-president. I am...

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