A Look Inside
A Beginning … and an Ending
For our Scripps Ranch High School column this year, four seniors will share the writing duties. This allows the community to get “A Look Inside” SRHS and life as a teen in Scripps Ranch from different and unique perspectives. This month Quinn Gorham gives freshmen some advice, and this topic hits close to home. Quinn is editor in chief of the Falcon Flyer—the SRHS newspaper—a member of the Cross Country and Track teams, and an Eagle Scout.
Here we are again at the beginning of a new school year, and with it we face a plethora of new opportunities. For some of us, this marks the end of a chapter in our lives, and it seems bittersweet as we prepare to say goodbye to what we’ve known for our entire lives. For others, however, this school year marks the beginning of a new journey, one that may very well determine the path we take for the rest of our lives.
In my family we happen to be experiencing the best of both worlds, as I get ready for my final year of high school and my younger brother gets ready for his first. My brother is uncertain of what is to come, just as I was, but unlike me, he has a resource to help him through his first year. In my three years of high school, I have accumulated some knowledge as to how to “survive,” other than the cliché “don’t bring a rolling backpack”—though that’s important. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your freshman year.
Don’t stress too much. One of the first things you’ll notice in high school is that the workload is a lot heavier than in middle school. There is no reason to stress excessively, however, as this creates more problems than it solves. Sure, a small amount of stress can be helpful with one’s sense of urgency, but worrying too much about a small assignment can be detrimental to your progress.
Don’t procrastinate. Though this is easily the most common advice given to new students, it is also the most important. I can’t begin to express how many times I have started an English paper the night before it’s due, only to find myself lying awake at midnight wondering how to finish the essay. Start writing the day you find out about the assignment so you have time to ask your teacher questions. Procrastination can create a lot more problems than it will solve, so start that paper early.
Be yourself. It sounds trite but I can’t express how crucial it is to be yourself, especially in your first year. You don’t want to be stuck masquerading as someone you’re not for four years. The easiest way to mess up the rest of your high school experience is to make friends with people who don’t share your interests. The way you act and the people you associate with will shape your high school experience.
Have fun. High school is quite literally a once in a lifetime experience, so make the most of it while you can. It’s easy to get lost in all of the stress and homework that you can often forget to have a good time. Hang out with friends, go to football games, join a sport or a club. There’s so much to enjoy in high school, and I suggest you try new things. Of course, there’s no need to neglect your homework and sacrifice your grades in order to be with your friends, but you should try to make sure your high school experience is fun.
Don’t worry. I’ll admit, the first day of high school can be scary. You have no idea what to expect and oftentimes have no idea how to prepare. But the things you see on TV and in the movies—where kids get trash-canned and get their heads dunked in the toilet—don’t actually happen. There’s no need to be scared of that group of big bad seniors, because chances are they have better things to do than knock your books out of your hands.
All in all, high school is an amazing journey that is too short to be spent fretting about the small things. You only get to go through this one time. I sincerely hope that if you are getting ready to enter your first year, you cherish it. I will remind my brother throughout the year to enjoy it while it lasts, because the memories and relationships you make here will be some of the best of your life.
Quinn Gorham, SRHS Senior