New to East? Think you’ve got it all figured out? Well, you don’t. We don’t either, but we at least know more than you. The last three years here have taught us a few things about how to not just survive, but thrive, in these halls. Trust us, and follow these bread crumbs of wisdom on the path to a great career at East.
1. Give this school everything you have, because it’ll give back to you. Try. Work hard on your grades, because the next few years mean a lot in the long run, and freshman year is most likely the easiest one for you. Get involved. Trust us, you’ll regret it if you don’t. Try everything. Get out of your comfort zone. You’ve probably heard the “There are so many things to do at East!” speech about 50 times now, but that’s because it is so true. So, don’t be too cool for school. Because, honestly, you’re probably not even that cool.
2. Lose the ‘tude. Sure, you’re hot-shot high schoolers now. But that doesn’t mean anything on its own. You still have to earn the respect of your peers. Have some humility, especially as an underclassmen. Even within your grade, never assume that you’re superior. That type of “‘tude” will do you no favors.
3. Don’t rush. To use a well-worn cliche, high school is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t matter where you are in the beginning; what matters is where you are four years from now. It’s okay to be a late bloomer. It’s okay to pace yourself. Good things often take time and patience (and maybe a few tips from us). Don’t worry if you have a rough start because it’s never too late to turn around your high school experience.
4. Be friendly. Having social integrity is a strength, not a weakness. Put yourself out there, and if people make fun of you for going out on a limb socially, they’re the ones with a problem, not you. As long as you make honest efforts to relate to people and to make friends, things will eventually fall in place.
5. Leave all roads open. Open-mindedness is an essential element to a great high school experience. Don’t resist any ideas, people or trends. Just don’t burn any bridges, because you never know where they’ll take you. You have something to learn from everyone you meet here. Don’t be afraid of change; most likely, you won’t be the only one who is different by the end of your time at East.
There’s no telling what experience awaits you in high school. But if you keep these tips in mind, it’ll probably be a good one. We wish you way more than luck.
Vanessa Daves and Matt Hanson