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Six Things I Wish I Would Have Known as an Underclassman

Peyton Hedges, Editor

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Being an underclassmen is rough, when you still haven’t totally figured out high school, and you feel like you don’t actually know what you’re doing yet. You have a new sense of freedom at school, without anyone constantly telling you what to do or where to go, and you kind of have to learn as you go along. It can be challenging to navigate through the obstacles that will come up for you in high school, as you are still trying to decide what path you want to follow. To hopefully help you out with this, here are six things that I wish I would have known as an underclassman at La Salle:

Your interests will change, and that’s okay.

At the start of high school, you usually have a pretty good idea of what your interests are and what you want to pursue throughout your four years at La Salle. I personally came into my freshman year thinking I would continue playing the same sports and participating in the same activities as I had growing up. But things change in high school: you meet new people and try new things, and at some point the activities and things you used to enjoy might not be that interesting or fun to you anymore. It’s okay to let go of those things. Take the time to try new activities: there are so many different clubs to join, sports to play, and electives to take at La Salle. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore your interests, and find new ones as you let go of old ones.

Attend school events.

If standing outside in the cold to watch a football game you don’t even understand sounds like the opposite of fun, or if dancing isn’t your thing and being in a hot and stuffy cafeteria with terrible music is the last thing you want to do, do it anyways. You don’t have to go to every sporting event or every dance, but at least give them a chance. They really are what you make of them, and can either be very fun or very miserable depending on your mindset. If you go with an open mind, it could be better than you think. These events truly are the things you will remember the most—not being in class or doing homework—so experience high school.

You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do.

There are many driven and ambitious kids at La Salle, many of whom know exactly what they want to do and where they want to go once they graduate high school. It can be intimidating when the people around you seem to have it figured out, and you have no clue about your own future. However, it’s alright if you don’t know. You don’t have to decide exactly what you want, and it’s okay to take your time in figuring it out. And if you are one of the kids with it all figured out, don’t limit yourself to the plan you have set in your mind. You will change throughout high school and so will your goals and interests, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Explore different opportunities and take classes that interest you, so you can open yourself up to all the options that are out there for you one day.

Your friends will change.

The people you hang out with your freshman year most likely won’t be the same people you hang out with your senior year. Over the four years at La Salle, you will meet so many new people through your classes, clubs, sports and activities, and you might find yourself spending time with different people than you used to. Don’t close yourself off to new people just because you think you already have enough friends, but instead take the opportunity to become friends with more people.

Take breaks when you need them.

High school is stressful. All those times in middle school you thought you were stressed out were absolutely nothing compared to the stress you now have to face at La Salle. It’s difficult to handle all of it sometimes, especially with outside activities on top of your schoolwork. Give yourself a break when you need it. Take the nap that you really need, go out with friends, or do something that will relax you for a bit so you can go back to your work later feeling refreshed and less stressed out.

Challenge yourself, but don’t overwhelm yourself.

Just like the banner in the main hallway says, “Push your limits and prepare for life.” It’s great to challenge yourself, because if you don’t, you won’t know what your limits are. Take honors or AP classes if you want to, push yourself in your sports, but don’t challenge yourself to the point of being overwhelmed. There are many kids at La Salle who can be taking five advanced classes and handle it very well, but not everyone is like that and it’s okay if you’re not. Don’t challenge yourself to the point of struggling, but still challenge yourself enough to “push your limits.”

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Six Things I Wish I Would Have Known as an Underclassman”

  1. Giliana Kaptur Dejesus on September 12th, 2018 9:44 pm

    100% agree with all of these. As an upperclassmen I still need to work on some of these especially taking breaks.

  2. Sherri Keepes on September 13th, 2018 8:16 am

    Nice job Peyton!

  3. Carolyn Hawkins on September 14th, 2018 6:52 am

    Great article Peyton! As a parent reading this, you have nailed all the things we parents are thinking and reassuring our children about as they navigate their high school journey.

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Six Things I Wish I Would Have Known as an Underclassman