Upperclassmen Give Advice to Encourage Spirited, Successful Newcomers

photo by Caroline Crane

High school is a huge game of trial and error.  With every school year comes new responsibilities and things to experience, some more difficult or embarrassing than others. Fortunately, there are upperclassmen who’ve already gone through it.

Their lives have been filled with late nights, lots of stress, and some of their all-time favorite moments.  A lot can happen in four years, and they’ve learned how to get the most out of their time here.  After all, high school lasts much longer than just the six hours spent inside the school walls during the day.

There are quite a few misconceptions heard coming out of the mouths of the underclassmen, and even the older students.  One being that it isn’t cool to show school spirit.

“[Don’t] be afraid to show school spirit,” junior Emery Dunn, class president in her sophomore year, said.  “It’s more fun when everyone gets involved during games and spirit week.”

Another misconception would be that grades don’t start mattering until junior year; this being the time when colleges start to notice students.

“Don’t be lazy during your freshman [and sophomore] year, because it will heavily influence your GPA throughout high school,” junior Ty Kaatz, varsity football player, said.

Your teachers are here to help you succeed, granted some more than others, but use them to your advantage.  Along with that, there is a multitude of resources available throughout the school, the internet, and your peers to help you figure out almost any predicament.

“Help your teachers out and get on their good sides, don’t stop in the hallways, and wait till halfway through lunch to get food if the line is too long; you have time,” senior Collin Miller, AV Tech enthusiast, said.

Maintaining your grades along with a social life is hard. We all know that, but it doesn’t have to be as stressful as some make it out to be. 

“Going through high school isn’t about popularity, so if you waste your time trying to be popular, you might regret it because even if you’re not popular in high school, it can still be fun,” junior Emily Kotrola, JV volleyball player, said.

“TV shows make high school out to be a lot scarier than it actually is,” junior Sina Middleton, retired JV golfer, said.

The seniors have been doing this for almost four years now. That’s about 720 days at school plus extracurriculars.  If they can do it, you can too.

“Do every piece of extra credit you can get your hands on,” senior Meagan Shepperd, varsity cheerleader, said.

“Don’t procrastinate, ever,”  senior Hana Blackman, varsity cheerleader, said.

“Power through high school with everything you’ve got because it will be over in a second, and ask the seniors where things are if you’re lost because they love it,” vet school bound senior Julie De Luna said.

“My best advice is to get yourself plugged in, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone,” senior Lizzie Beggs, varsity cheerleader, said.  “Your high school years are ones you’ll remember forever, not because of the school work but because of the memories you make during those four years.  So, yes, make sure your grades are top priority, but don’t forget that you’re supposed to be having fun, and plugging into DSHS as much as possible can easily make your high school experience much more enjoyable.”

Make friends, make the grades, make some memories, and it’s okay to make mistakes.

“Put yourself out there, and don’t be afraid of being seen,” junior James Arn, debate competitor, said.  “Make sure you try to express yourself, and do whatever makes you happy. Live out your passions. It’s only high school.”

Written by Giselle Galletti, Features Editor

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