Top 6 Tips for Freshmen

Top 6 Tips for Freshmen

Avery Plathe

Freshman year is the start of a new beginning. It’s your first year of high school, and you need to kick off the next four years right. As the youngest in a new building that is going to prepare you for your next steps in life, here are a few tips the upperclassmen thought you should know based on an email survey conducted on Oct. 28.


#6 – Respect Seniority

Seniority is major recognition in high school, and as a freshman, you should learn to acknowledge it right off the bat. Freshmen stand in the back of the student section, you get the last of most things, and you’re known as the babies of the school. Welcome to being an underclassman. You are at the bottom of the food chain again and you will be stuck in this position for two years but it’ll get better as you go. The upperclassmen want you to know that it’s important to understand and acknowledge seniority, mostly the seniors. The seniors are having all their lasts, and it’s hard for them. Senior Isabella Squiers can attest to that: “Even if you have friends who are in the older grade, seniority is important because the people above you only have a few more years left and want to experience what they can with their grade.” You might think seniority is stupid or not like it but it’s important and most students at Mount Vernon agree. But with seniority in the play, don’t be scared of the upperclassmen they want to help you; because not so long ago they were also freshmen.


#5 – Self-Advocate

The next tip is self-advocating. Now, this Learning to self-advocate is very important in your freshman year because if you don’t do it you won’t do it later when it matters. “Asking for help is so important, especially when you don’t understand something,” junior Jaden Houghtaling said. “No question is a “dumb” question.” Your education is in your hands once you enter high school. With Evidence-Based Grading, self-advocating is extremely important. Going in and talking to a teacher about your grade shows that you want the best. Teachers love when you come in and advocate for yourself. But if you don’t advocate for yourself your grades will fall. You could fail a test or a project because you didn’t advocate. You need to make sure you are getting the best education you can and that starts with advocating. 


#4 – Get Involved/Branch Out

Getting involved is very important when coming to high school. This is the time to try something new. Mount Vernon offers so many opportunities to get involved. Trying new extracurriculars has many benefits to it as well. “You get an opportunity to meet upperclassmen, make new friends, and broaden horizons,” said Junior Sarah Homrighausen. Meeting new people is always fun, the memories and experiences you get are amazing. You will cherish these memories and experiences for a long time. But if you don’t later in life, you will regret not doing those experiences.” 


“The time in high school goes by really fast. Faster than you think,” said junior Maia Bentley. “Whenever you get the chance, choose to go out instead of just staying at home.” Enjoy your time in high school and try as many things as possible!


#3 – Be yourself

Being yourself is extremely important in high school, this is where you can learn so many new things about who you really areyourself. “Being yourself is important because that’s what high school is about,” said senior Tessa Baty. “Finding your place in a sea of people always telling you to conform and figuring out how to be someone YOU like is how you bring happiness into your life.” 

You might think you need to fill these stereotypes but you don’t. High school gives you a chance to figure yourself out before you hit the real world. Take the next four years to learn and discover new things about yourself. 


#2 – Save Free Hours

One of the most substantial things you need to know as a freshman is to save your free hours for your junior and senior years. As you get older the classes become harder and saving free hours for your last two years will help with your workload. It aAdditionally, it allows you to take college classes online.” It’s very important to take as many required courses as a possible freshman and sophomore year so that you can take college classes in your junior and senior year,“ senior Trevor Fernau said. Taking online college classes in high school is easier than in college. Saving free hours also gives you a chance to try a new exploratory class too. These classes can help you in the long run as well. 


#1 – Understand Sarcasm

The number one thing you need to know your freshman year is sarcasm. As a freshman, you don’t comprehend sarcasm very well. As you get older, you start to understand it more. Mr. Timm is one teacher that likes to use sarcasm in his class. Most freshmen have him as a US History teacher. He uses sarcasm in class to keep you engaged and to have fun in class. But he also believes that “It ensures that they know where they rank on the food chain which is a step below a house plant,” Timm says, sarcastically. Sarcasm is also a fun way to joke around with your friends. Upperclassmen tend to use it a lot when talking to a freshman. It’s critical to know what sarcasm is and how to react to it. Many freshmen might think upperclassmen are being mean, but they aren’t, it’s just sarcasm.


Freshman year is a new start, use it to your advantage. High school goes by fast, take advantage of all these tips that the upperclassmen suggested. Start the next four years with the right step.