Another Year Wiser: Advice from upperclassmen to freshmen

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The transition to high school from junior high is huge. 

The amount of students nearly triples, and the school itself seems to double in size. Classes become a lot more challenging and competitive. That’s why incoming freshmen are often intimidated by this new environment and are eager to learn how to navigate high school life.

Every upperclassman has been a freshman, and each of us has a lot to offer in tips and advice to this year’s freshman class; advice that they picked up over the years or wished they had known when they were calves at the Ranch.

My freshman year was a challenge, both academically and socially for me. I took all Pre-AP classes, which meant a lot of homework and struggles in classes I wasn’t necessarily strong in. And on top of that, I was in marching band, which meant a lot of my time was spent at rehearsals and games. 

Because of this, my grades suffered. It took a long time for me to establish a good routine. My advice is that it’s okay to push yourself, but don’t overwork yourself. It’s like a ladder: you advance yourself one step at a time, but don’t skip two or three rungs at a time.

Others chimed in with their advice. Senior Mia Cruz said she wishes she put herself out there more. 

“Be involved in everything in school, because at the end of your high school career, you’re going to be… you know, it’s going to be more fun,” said Cruz. “Like sports and different clubs offered at Morton Ranch.”

In high school, there are many more organizations and clubs than in junior high. It is easy to miss when you’re a freshman, because you’re still trying to figure things out. Cruz said she participated in the high school marching band for two years and is now part of other organizations, such as National Honor Society.

Senior Amiee Spots said she wishes she knew which classes to take and when to take them.

“I wish I would’ve known to take health, because I took marketing. I thought that was going to be my career, but then I wasn’t interested,” Spots said. “I also wish I did more Pre-AP classes to prepare me for AP, because right now I’m in AP and it was a little more difficult.”

AP classes are often underestimated by students that first learn of the course. AP can be very challenging, and students must be very dedicated and organized to pass in those classes. But they can be rewarding. Students should ask their teachers and counselors questions about these courses if they’re interested. 

Most of the advice that is offered to freshmen from upperclassmen may sound repetitive, but behind it, there was a personal experience that lead them to pass down what they learned. The hope is that our freshmen will have great experiences and these years ahead might be easier for them.