Speak Confidently and Carry an Umbrella

How was my first day of high school? In a word: terrifying. I was slathered in red paint, hurried to classrooms between campuses I barely knew, and seated in my first classes with Brunswick boys—all within the first hour. Freshman year is scary no matter where you go to school. Hopefully the following advice will help you get through it!

1. Don’t let the little things stress you out

Almost every person I interviewed, upperclassmen and teachers alike, reminded me of this.

Mr. Nicholas Salazar, a Brunswick Latin teacher, put it this way: “Keep your chin up.  Don’t let a bad grade on a quiz or assignment get you down. Just keep working and smiling. No one succeeds all the time. What matters is that we get back up after we’ve fallen.”

“Sometimes freshmen freak out like ‘Oh my god, I got a C on this one teeny bio quiz– I’m not getting into college!’ Just take a deep breath and relax,” said Olivia Alchek, Group XII, the President of the Arts Board.

2. Manage your time wisely

Greenwich Academy school president, Phoebe Weiss, XII, advised that “time management is very important. The way you distribute your time as a freshman typically reflects how you will for the rest of high school, so it’s important to develop and maintain good habits.”

Good time management includes not overbooking your schedule, added Camilla O’Brien, XI.

3. Communicate with your teachers

Your teachers are all here to help you, so don’t be afraid to talk to them. Mr. Steven Mandes, a Brunswick history teacher, and Mr. Jeff Schwartz, a GA English teacher, believe that communicating with teachers and coaches shows effort, enthusiasm, and that you care about your work.

“Don’t be scared to talk to your teachers,” said Paige Harty, X.

4. Join clubs or sports teams!!

Joining clubs or sports teams in high school is a great way to get to know other GA students and get involved in the school, said Jordan Fischetti, X.

“Try something out of your comfort zone, be it a club, sport, art…anything! It’s a great time to try new things,” added Athletic Board president Tyla Taylor, XII.

5. Walk the path alone

Walking the path alone may seem intimidating and scary, but it is a great time to collect your thoughts and relax between classes, said Sophie Hadjipateras, XI.

6. Carry an umbrella. 

This advice came from Brunswick biology teacher Mr. Daniel Dychkowski: “Carry an umbrella for the Brunswick commute. I don’t know why, but it is considered uncool to have an umbrella on a rainy day. Can someone tell me why smelling like a wet dog and dripping all over your teacher’s classroom is more desirable?”

7. Keep up with your work

“Try and stay on top of your work and not fall behind,” said Phoebe Bloom, X. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to fall behind on homework– and it can show during assessments.

8. Enjoy High School!

Four years may seem like a long time, but it really isn’t. It will go by so fast, so make the best of it!