“What I Wish I Knew”: Upperclassmen Give Advice About What They Have Learned

Jane Elle, Staff Reporter

Many underclassmen are still learning how to maneuver their way through high school. With ups, downs, and everything in between, high school can be a challenging time for those who are still finding the way. Given that they have more experience under their belts, we asked several upperclassmen to offer their insight and advice about what they wish they knew before their junior and senior year.

Duncan Webster (senior)

“I wish I knew that you could have a choice of what classes you take. I thought all you took were general classes. I also wish I paid attention more, that’s one thing I would go back and change. A piece of advice I wish I was given would be don’t just do the bare minimum, do your work well.” 

Cameron Thornburg (junior)

“I feel like a lot of kids come in feeling like teachers are mean. I wish I knew coming here that they are really here to help. I have ADHD, [and] I wish I was diagnosed earlier. That’s one thing that could have helped me a lot — I wish I realized the importance of mental health. The final advice I have is to turn in your work, even if it’s not fully finished [because] you’d rather get a five out of ten rather than a full zero.”

Danny Finkle (junior)

“I wish I knew that friendships aren’t everything… no matter what, you’re going to lose friends. One thing I would change is being more thoughtful about the decisions I make and realizing they will affect me in the future. Some advice I have is don’t let your grades stress you out too much. Just try your best.”

Hattie Kirby (junior)

“Everyone is going through something and coming in as a freshman you’re in your own world trying to make friends. You don’t realize the way people act might be because of what they are going through. I wish I didn’t care as much about what people said. You have to be confident in yourself. One piece of advice I have is don’t focus too much on your GPA.” 

Tony Bulbes (senior) 

“I wish I would have known how important homework is. I think that homework pretty much makes up how well you do. You don’t have to do the best on tests — as long as you do well on homework and projects you will pass your classes. I would change when I took my P.E. class, [because] I did one semester my freshman year but then I saved the other [semester] for my senior year and now it’s just a pain. My advice is [to] keep [your] grades up and do homework, but remember to have fun and grow as a person. I think that’s the whole point of high school.” 

Madison York (senior)

“I wish I knew that grades aren’t really that important… I feel like having a social life and playing sports is more meaningful in the long run, and a lot of colleges don’t just focus on your grades anymore. I would change the fact that I didn’t go to La Salle my freshman year. I did have a good transfer, but I feel like I would have more friends. I wish I connected with people sooner. I would say don’t stress out, it gets better.” 

Mary Gach (junior)

“I wish I knew that grades don’t define you, especially junior year. It is important but people need to know that they are more than their grade. I would change the fact that I was extremely stressed and overloaded myself. I wish I gave myself a break and realized it’s okay to limit yourself and that it’s especially okay to fail at things. Also don’t be afraid to try new things. If you want to join theater or a sports team, do it. I guarantee that you’ll gain something from it and you won’t regret it.”  

Liam McNassar (senior)

“Something I wish I knew when I came to La Salle was the consequences of the actions that I make. Starting with high school, you really don’t realize it until it happens but you take on a lot of responsibility. And when you start acting out, being kind of goofy and all that, people are going to see you for that. So just, being cognitive about like how people see you.”