The Bona Fide Guide to Freshman Year

By Caroline Hong
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, a new wave of freshmen began their high school careers, as they were greeted by four silver balloons and a hoard of students showing their first symptoms of senioritis.  Among the sea of students approaching the school and the display in the lobby, those who had recently left the middle school must have been overwhelmed by the stampede of not-so-pretty butterflies in their stomachs.
What else does high school have in store for them?
Well, here’s the delayed all-you-need-to-know that should have been dropped in every incoming ninth grader’s mailbox before the commencement of the 2013-2014 school year.
Ninth grade is all about finding a place for yourself at South.  It is the chance to make new friends other than the close circle you are familiar with—a chance to put yourself out there and possibly expand your interests.  Of course, exploration and discovery all start at the annual club fair.  Regardless of the jam-packed sardines-in-a-can feeling you might experience, the fair is the perfect way to discover all the new things you could do at this high school.  What interests you, even a little bit?  Perhaps there is a way to fit that interest into clubs such as Student Government, the Harry Potter club, or Academic Outreach.  Because these clubs are after school activities that require some level of dedication, your passion for a certain area or topic can bring you closer to others that share your love for a certain something as well.
Although involvement in clubs can become an important part of your freshman year, the main concern for most students is probably managing the workload of high school level classes and keeping up their grades.  At this time in your educational careers, it is important to build a study habit that works for you in the different subjects you are learning.  For an example, maybe learning something by rote is easier for you than memorizing through an acronym.  Find something that expedites studying or work, for management is arguably the most important wrench in your toolbox.  You may hear grueling stories about the difficulty of freshman year courses, but the truth is that everyone’s capabilities are furthered with each coming year, just in time to take on a workload that is just a little harder than before.  In order to do that, efficiency and accuracy are two important things to master as well.
Leaning away from the more obvious worries about freshman year, the less apparent ones, like getting to know the building, loom ahead.  Rumor has it that the water fountain in the main hall tastes the best, so the new objective is to set out on a water-tasting test around the school.  Alas, many of you may not fancy wasting time on trivial questions about water coolness and delectability, but the concern might fall on the staircase leading from the crossed paths of the Social Studies hall and the library hall, for it does tend to get pretty congested.  Finding a more efficient path would better serve you during the day than locating the fountain with the best water, presumably.
On the note of missions and the like, set a goal for yourself this year.  You never know what you may accomplish.