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Holly McCamant: Advice for forgotten, incoming freshmen

Right now, the graduating class of 2013 is getting all the attention. Sure, they’re done with high school now, and that is a pretty big deal. However, with all the focus on the people leaving us, the incoming class of freshmen is being forgotten.

School starts out as fun with easy stuff to learn. Then you get to middle school and think you’re all grown up. When you get into the ninth grade, well, then you realize how clueless you were as a young kid.

You felt so mad when the big high school kid called you a little kid and confused when he used words your mom forbids around you, but when you get older you become aware that you were really little – and that people swear more than they should.

So, with all the attention on the graduating seniors, the poor soon-to-be ninth graders are left wondering what high school is going to be like. No, it’s not as scary as you think it is, even if there is some stuff that you have to know.

Here’s a list of the top 10 pieces of advice that I can give you as a current freshman (with two days left):

  1. Keep in mind that just because it’s high school doesn’t mean that everyone has grown up over the summer. Girls, boys are still going to randomly start wrestling each other in the hall and steal pencils. (You get used to the wrestling after a while. The missing pencils, though, are still annoying.) Boys, girls aren’t going to stop laughing and not telling you why and will keep on fretting over their manicures.
  2. Three words: major hand cramps. If you don’t take enough notes, you will pay with your grade. If you do, well, your hand will do the talking.
  3. You are going to have to learn to study on your own even if the teacher doesn’t specifically recommend doing it. Tests count for a lot of your grade and it’s not fun to have to cram the hour before for one. If possible, find someone you can study for a test with. If no one is willing to help you study, get good at your studying alone methods.
  4. Entering high school is kind of like getting woken up. Almost everyone is oblivious about bad stuff until ninth grade. When you go up to the high school, you become aware about things you never wanted to know.
  5. Remember that you are not all knowing. There are a lot of people who are just misunderstood. Before you judge someone, remember that you do not know the whole story, even if you believe so.
  6. Be the nice kid. Don’t spread rumors or gossip, and you’ll live mostly drama free. If you do do something mean, apologize and don’t do it again.
  7. Don’t go along with something you don’t believe in doing or saying. If you do something just to fit in, people will be able to tell. You become an empty shell conforming to society. Really, who wants to be that?
  8. Fear should not hold you back from trying something you might enjoy or be good at. If you try something and it doesn’t work out for you, that’s okay. Your only other option is not seeing if something would work out for you and wishing that you had given it a chance.
  9. Eat pistachios. They are super delicious, healthy and give you lots of energy. I discovered how great they are this year, and I hope that if you haven’t tried them, you will. Warning: if you bring pistachios to a track meet, they will disappear.
  10. If all fails, there will always be cute puppies. If all doesn’t fail, still be nice to them. My friend confessed at a track meet that he confuses his poor lab by calling it a different name, and that didn’t work out well for him.

Ninth grade, not going to lie, is not the easiest year in your school career. It is, however, survivable for the most part. You’ll have your ups and downs, but in the end, you’ll realize that you have an even harder year ahead of you: your sophomore year.

Holly McCamant is a freshman at Frazee-Vergas High School.