10 Pieces Of Advice For Underclassmen From a Graduating Senior

Giving my best advice for underclassmen as a senior leaving high school
As a senior graduating, I wanted to leave my best advice for the underclassmen and incoming freshman.
As a senior graduating, I wanted to leave my best advice for the underclassmen and incoming freshman.
Taylor Koehnemann

As my senior year comes to an end, and I move on to the next chapter of my life, there’s a few things that I wish I would have known before I had even started my freshman year.

I take it upon myself to give out my best pieces of advice to the underclassmen about things I wish I knew and the best way to make it through high school.

Here are my 10 best pieces of advice for the underclassmen.

1. Your grades are your reputation

Newer students are usually worried about the kind of person they want to present themselves as by putting themselves in groups of certain people to have a reputation.

As someone who’s seen this happen, I know now that your grades should come first. It shows what type of student you are and builds up its own sense of confidence in you. You build your reputation off of the way you fly through high school in terms of classes you take and your own grades which usually needs to be your top priority in high school.

2. Don’t let assignments get past you

One thing I had learned quickly in my previous years here was not letting assignments get past you. What I mean by this is when an assignment is assigned to you, do not forget about it. You want to do your assignments the day they’re assigned to you.I had originally not known this and had around 20 missing assignments at the end of my freshman year.

It creeps up on you faster than you think.

3. Try new things

Trying new things is a core piece of being a high schooler whether it’s clubs, sports, or just electives in general. A lot of people go into classes they think they might not like. And sometimes after taking those classes those become some of people’s favorite classes.

High school is all about finding what you want to do and what kind of person you want to be, so taking a large variety of classes is  a great idea.

4. Go to sports games

One thing I wish I did a lot more while I was in high school was going to sports games. Sports games aren’t always to everyone’s taste, but the feeling of going to a high school football game, basketball game, etc. feels so fun. Just going to even a couple games is really fun and you’re almost guaranteed to have some sort of fun. Going with a friend or a group of friends is my suggestion.

5. Be confident in yourself

Back in my freshman year I wasn’t very confident in a lot of what I did. Simple things like even asking a teacher a question was always very scary for me. I also always felt like everyone was watching me, and it felt like I was doing something wrong. I began to learn that people are usually a lot more worried about themselves than they are about you.

Keeping your head up high and being confident in the person you are is a lot less embarrassing than acting embarrassed.

6. Don’t get wrapped up in drama

Drama is a huge part of being a teenager. Some choose to participate and others don’t. Whatever you consider drama to be, at the end of the day it’s a waste of time. It’s meaningless and it gets in the way of you being your best self. It only brings temporary feelings that won’t matter in a month. Drama really gets the best of people and it drags them down farther than they can imagine. A lot of time it gets people to lose friends and lose a good image of themselves.

Stay away from the drama and I guarantee you, you’ll be a lot happier.

7. Deca Store

If you ever feel like the lunches and food the cafeteria serves isn’t something you particularly want, there’s another option. Two doors down from the backdoor, near the main staircase, There’s a spot called the DECA store. The DECA store carries a large variety of snacks and drinks that you can’t get in the cafeteria. It does cost money, however it’s cheap, and you can pick out multiple items with little to no limit of how much you can get.

Anytime someone goes to the DECA store, they almost always end up going back for more.

8. Passing period efficiency

Passing period can always be a scary time of the day. The crowds of people pushing through and blocking your way always tends to be a problem. About two years of learning, and I’ve figured out the best way to get through the halls during those chaotic five minutes.

If you’re downstairs or upstairs and you need to move up or down a level, do not take the main staircase; it always changes patterns and ways people move; by far the most chaotic place during the passing period. So instead take the closest stairwell down one of the hallways. If you need to up a hallway you’re already in, then wait. Trying to evade the crowds of people going down the hallway usually isn’t going to make way for you. Wait about 30 seconds then go up the hallway. 

9. Make new connections

High school is always about finding out what kind of person you are, part of this is making new friends and meeting new people. Staying with one group of friends or not willing to meet new people will tend to fence you in.

Finding new friends can help you learn a thing or two about the kind of person you are.

10. Be in the moment

The number one thing I wish someone had told me before I started high school is about being in the moment. I feel like high school really flew by for me. Making friends, getting involved, and trying new things. I’ve done all of those, but I wish I did more. Making the best and most out of high school truly matters. These are years you can’t get back; years that should be cherished. Waking up every day and making sure today was better than the last.

So look at the memories you’ve made so far and ask yourself, “Are these the best memories I can make?”

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About the Contributor
Taylor Koehnemann
Taylor Koehnemann, Reporter
Taylor Koehnemann is a senior reporter for The Ledger. This is his final year being a reporter for publications. Taylor co-operates a YouTube channel. He also works at Detail Driven. Last year, Taylor was a starting Ledger magazine member; this year he is working for The Ledger staff once more and hopes he can create amazing stories for people to read and enjoy to end his senior year off on a high note.

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    Todd Gleck | May 24, 2024 at 6:37 pm

    Good piece, I’m the dad, daughter a senior, bridge walked today. I sent this to her brother, a current freshman. Good luck to the author on future endeavors!