Senior Musings: Buckle Up Freshmen


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Matthew McGrath, Sports Editor

Well, I just looked at the calendar and realized that it is almost April, which means that my time at Middletown South is rapidly approaching an end. Reminiscing upon my experience as an Eagle, I acknowledge that there have been some good times as well as some bad times (but mostly good times, I assure you). At first, high school is definitely a daunting responsibility. The idea of alternating classes, waking up earlier, and staying involved in every possible extracurricular may overwhelm an amateur freshman to no end. As a senior who is three months away from successfully escaping, I promise that the pressure that initially accompanies high school subsides rather quickly. In order to prepare incoming freshmen for the challenges that await and how to transcend them, I will provide readers with a glimpse of my personal high school account and how I have been able to improve as both a student and as a societal contributor.
Although it was three and a half years ago, I still remember my first week of high school vividly. I walked into Mrs. Boyce’s Honors Biology class nearly fifteen minutes late on the first day, clueless as to where each hallway led and dumbfounded by the foreign numbers that donned the classroom doors. To make matters even worse, on the following day, I received a pop quiz based on the summer packet that Algebra 2 students were required to complete. Obviously, I did not do the packet. It was summer, and I wanted to have as much fun as possible before the stress of high school kicked in. Therefore, algebra did not make it onto my summer 2013 agenda. Looking back on it, that probably was not the best decision on my part. Inevitably, I failed the quiz miserably, and was already at a disadvantage compared to my classmates (remember: this is only the second day of school!). Although freshman year had just started, I was already overcome with stress and desperately needed to alter my organizational methods. Fortunately, by the second or third week of classes, I had discovered a system that was working out for me and allowed me to be successful in my classes. The best advice I could give to an incoming freshman regarding preparation: do as much as you can to be prepared and organized. Clearly, you will not have the opportunity to prepare for everything, but the more you practice and the more time you put in, the greater the chances are that you will be able to avoid the aforementioned mistakes that I made as an inexperienced (and conceited) freshman.
While being prepared and performing to the best of your ability on a daily basis is crucial for high school progression, an individual should also develop a social network. Some people may ask: “does this mean I have to go to a party every weekend and drink?” Of course not! You can meet plenty of people through different clubs and sports at Middletown South. If you do not want to be a hermit for you entire high school career, it would be wise to join as many clubs as possible. Find other people who are interested in the same stuff as you, and build from there. Once you assimilate with the “right” group of people, everything becomes so much easier. The daily hustle and bustle of school becomes worth it when at the end of the day you have a group of friends to complain about homework and controversial television endings with.
All in all, high school is the most difficult yet rewarding period of a teenager’s life. There will be times where you are overwhelmed to no end; when it feels like you will not be able to survive. But trust me: there will situations in the future with much more at stake than doing well on a menial biology or algebra test. At this point, I consider myself to be an expert on high school success, and I recommend two things for any incoming freshman: work hard and be yourself. Regardless of how intellectually gifted an individual is, he or she can be successful as long as they try hard enough, whether it be in the classroom, on the track, or in a job. Do not waste away four years of your life pretending to be something you are not, because you will inevitably regret it. Buckle up, folks. The ride has just begun.