By Illeana Baquero
The leaves are changing colors, the days are getting colder, and the halls of Byram Hills High School are filled with students once again! Of course, with each new school year comes a class of fresh faces roaming the halls: the freshmen. Though it may feel like years and years have passed since the sophomores, juniors, and seniors were in this same position, each student can remember it like it was yesterday! There’s no doubt that embarking on the journey we call high school can be extremely intimidating: clubs, colleges, and APs, oh my! However, the upperclassmen are thankfully here to help. Well-equipped with experiences and advice to pass on to freshmen that will help them acclimate to the high school, the seniors are here to pass on some tips they learned along the way.
The first piece of advice comes from senior mentor Alex Dempsey. “Get involved,” he suggests. “It’s really easy and it’s honestly the best way to get out of your shell and meet new people.” The mentor club fair is a great way to introduce freshmen to their options to get involved in the high school community. Some clubs and activities that are open to freshmen include Youth Against Cancer, Astronomy Club, H.Y.P.E., the Varley Players, the Speech and Debate Team, The Oracle, and tons of others.
When choosing which of the many clubs to join, it can sometimes be difficult to make your own path rather than following what other people encourage you to do. It can be tempting to just join whatever your friends are a part of, or to stay away from activities you feel you might be judged for. “Do the activities and things that you want to do, regardless of what your friends do and what other people say,” encourages senior Grace Byrd. “This will make you a way happier person.”
Another senior, Izzy Yallof, advises that, “Grades don’t define you; if you fail a test, it won’t kill you. You will get into college!” This is an especially important reminder as freshmen are introduced to the world of college stress for the first time. She also adds that, “Time management is key!”
Further, senior Emery Cohen says, “Don’t take yourself too seriously, it’s high school and not the end of the world. You will make mistakes which you think are going to mess up your life, but they won’t.” He continues by saying, “If you are afraid to do everything, you’ll never do anything.” Emery also adds that “You will lose friends, make new ones, and mess up relationships, but at the end of the day you will make connections with people that will last a lifetime. You will meet people that you would be completely and utterly willing to give your last breath to so that they can have another one.”
Overall, high school will be filled with ups and downs, but the seniors advise to take each moment as they come and enjoy them; it goes by faster than you’d expect! Byram Hills High School is an amazing place filled with exciting adventures, people, opportunities, experiences, and memories to be made, so make the most of these four years and have fun!