On everyone’s first day of high school, many students might feel overwhelmed, and maybe even lost and alone. It can be difficult to start at a new school with new classmates, new teachers, and a new atmosphere. Finding new friends can be challenging.
As a freshman, senior Liam Rinehart tried out for the boys soccer team, and immediately found friends.
“I would definitely recommend just participating in any sport, just because it’s instant friends,” Rinehart said. “Coming into freshman year, [soccer] is how I had most of [my] friends.”
His biggest piece of advice for those participating in sports: give it all you’ve got.
“Hard work pays off,” Rinehart said. “I started freshman year on JV2 and ended senior year on a state champion varsity team.”
While being at La Salle, Rinehart said, he never truly gained great study habits — some of his friends even note that he has “borrowed” some study guides from them in the past.
“I have horrible study habits and horrible organization skills,” Rinehart said. “I often end up accidentally stealing other people’s study guides.”
But for anyone who is struggling, Rinehart recommends to make sure you do the homework that is assigned, and if you plan on taking accelerated courses, recognize that you may have to prioritize one class over the other.
“I think if you’re going to be taking hard classes, you need to understand that it will not be good for your mental health if you hold yourself to an unrealistic expectation that you’ll take five to six AP classes and get an A in every single one,” Rinehart said.
Rinehart instead suggests to think about your goals for beyond high school, and forecast for classes that will help you to achieve those specific goals.
Finding room in your life to do things that make you happy can be difficult with the pressures of school, from parents, and from the unknown future.
“You have to schedule time to do things that you want to do,” Rinehart said. “You have to look for extracurriculars and stuff that you really want to do, instead of just doing things to put on a resume… Doing things to put on a college app is good, but at the same time, you have to make time to be with your friends, to be with your family, to do things you really want to do otherwise.”
Looking back, Rinehart emphasizes the importance of not always just doing what is expected of you, and that it’s okay to do something someone could shame you for.
“A lot of people might tell you that now [is] not the time to have fun, but now [is] the time to have some fun in your life,” Rinehart said.