The Freshman Survival Guide


Casey Anthony

Senior Austin Rivera takes freshman Emily Stackhouse under his wing.

Sarah Lynch, Staff Reporter

Calling all freshmen! How are you handling your first year at Southern Lehigh High School? Whether it’s been smooth sailing or choppy waters, “The Freshman Survival Guide” is here to give you advice and help you get through your ninth grade year.

“Enjoy high school; do whatever you can to enjoy it,” senior Austin Rivera said. “Don’t take AP classes if that doesn’t make you happy. Try everything till you find what you like.”

Although finding what you enjoy and being happy in school is important to having a good freshman year, you should also focus on academics while in class.

“My best advice is that playing those addicting internet games during class will NOT increase your social studies grade no matter how good you are at getting the little bike up the mountain,” Mr. Brian Dow, civics and government teacher, said.

You may be feeling like no one realizes how difficult the first year of highs school can be, but don’t worry: you’re not in this alone. From seniors to freshmen, everyone had fears their ninth grade year.

“I was afraid that what happens in movies was going to happen to me: I’d get pushed into lockers and bullied and get lost in this giant school,” said Rivera. “But none of that ever came to be.”

Moving from the middle school to high school is a big difference. Sure, you’re with the same kids you’ve known since kindergarten, but it’s all new teachers, all new learning styles, and all new levels of academics.

“I would say, be aware that many of the safety nets have been taken away since middle school, so self-advocacy is key to your success,” Mr. Dow said.

Academics and teachers aren’t the only things that change when moving from the middle to the high school; freshman must also deal with all the upperclassmen. They might seem intimidating at first ,but don’t worry. In just a year, you’ll be one of them.

“Just let seniority happen; don’t try to fight it. Do what they tell you as long as it’s not ridiculous, “ Rivera said. “Let them cut in front of you at lunch. But don’t get pushed around!”

Learning the ropes of high school is a challenge at first, but it gets easier as the time passes.  Once you are able to adjust to how everything works, it becomes smooth sailing, and high school goes by in the blink of an eye.

Rivera said he agrees.  “High school flies by. I can still remember being a freshman; it’s surreal that I’m a senior now.”