Riley Chavez(Left) and Serena Villalvazo (Right)
Riley Chavez(Left) and Serena Villalvazo (Right)

Upperclassmen’s Advice For Freshmen Entering High School

“Tips to Ace the Best Four Years of Your Life”

November 5, 2020

“The best four years of your life.”  Sounds exciting….right?  Entering high school as a freshman is an exhilarating experience, but it can also be downright terrifying.  

Harder classes, college looming, and unavoidable drama surely can create butterflies in every freshman’s stomach.  Luckily for the rookies, San Dimas High School’s veteran upperclassmen had some wise words for the younger crowd. 

One of the biggest stresses of high school, unanimously, is grades.  “My biggest struggle was just stressing about all my work and wanting everything to be perfect so that my grades could be straight A’s like they were in middle school,” admits junior Riley Chavez.  “Now, I have learned that as long as I do my best and not put too much pressure on myself with homework and due dates, I’ll still be fine.” 

Grades are important, but putting too much pressure on a student’s scholastic performance to be perfect can be just as detrimental to mental health as an F can be to a report card.

The other side of high school struggle is the social side of it.  High school is infamous for dramatic social affairs with peers and popularity struggles.  “Focus on school and your grades. Have fun but be smart about it, focus on mental health,” advises junior Serena Villalvazo.  “Don’t get involved in dumb stuff like drama and even boys can wait.”

She also explains that social life and the more enticing parts of school can be a distraction, if not moderated correctly.  When asked what she would do differently if she started over as a freshman, she said, “I would push myself a little more.  I think I was so excited about high school that I got sidetracked in what my focus was.”

High school will be some of the best years of your life so soak it all in, and just be you!”

— Riley Chavez

A high schooler’s social life isn’t just about staying out of stressful situations with other friends and students or focusing on academics.  When asked the same question about something the upperclassmen would do differently, Chavez answered, “One thing I would do differently is attend even more school events because I feel I missed out on some lowerclassmen memories.”  She says her advice to freshmen is, “to join sports and clubs and to attend school events.”

Just like middle school and elementary school, high school will have some negative people and experiences that will test the strength of students.  Villalvazo gives an inspirational statement about staying positive through dealing with negative people or events, “Advice I would give is don’t let anyone or any situation define who you are and don’t ever give up.”

Like any part of life, high school will be full of ups and downs.  Freshmen entering this new stage of their life will feel both nervous and enthusiastic at the prospects of the next four years of their life.  They will make many new memories.  Whether those memories be delightful days of fun or hard lessons, they will all be a part of the four-year transition between middle school and college, or beyond.  “High school will be some of the best years of your life,” promises Chavez, “so soak it all in, and just be you!”


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