The Paw Print

Freshmen 10 Commandments: Listen to your elders

Sophomore Elise Holfeltz-a flag- and  sophomore Jenna Loprich - a catette (left to right).

Sophomore Elise Holfeltz-a flag- and sophomore Jenna Loprich - a catette (left to right).

Photo by Lara Nuñez Cerrillo

Photo by Lara Nuñez Cerrillo

Sophomore Elise Holfeltz-a flag- and sophomore Jenna Loprich - a catette (left to right).

Lara Nuñez Cerrillo

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Ah, freshman year. The first year of high school: when the future is uncertain, college is looming, the pressure of perfection and permanent records and GPA is everywhere.

And let’s not forget the terrifying notion of upperclassmen stepping on you because you are at the bottom.

Sound familiar? As a sophomore I can testify that all these fears (along with a few others) were running through my mind a year ago. Never fear; I survived and so can you!

If you follow these ten commandments, you won’t just survive but own your freshman year. And if you are a Sophomore, Junior, or Senior, let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Shall we?

#1: The Clock Trick
Do you find yourself asking “hey what time does this class end?” often? Yeah, so did I, until someone showed me the clock trick.

What is the clock trick? It’s simple; think of what period you are currently in, then think of how many periods are left until school ends.

Compare the number of periods left until school ends to a non digital clock. When the minute hand gets to that number, class is over.

For example, if you are in fifth period there are three periods left before the end of school. Which means that when the minute hand reaches the three on the clock (aka fifteen) fifth period ends. Note: this does not work during Wednesdays.

#2: Use late starts wisely

Mayfield has the wonderful opportunity of having late start Wednesdays.

Please take this advice to heart: do not waste this precious hour. I know it’s tempting to just come to school later and waste that hour on your phone, or watching tv, or gossiping with your friends and not being productive at all. We’ve all been there.

But time is money and if you keep that up you’ll end you being broke. Manage your time in a productive manner, either by catching up on sleep after cramming on homework, studying while chatting with your friends at the library, eating breakfast, or getting help from classmates on work.

Also, keep in mind that all classes are ten minutes shorter on late start, so make sure you squeeze all you can out of those forty minutes. You might be surprised but ten minutes is a lot of time!

#3: Befriend upperclassmen

Either your Wildcat Focus mentors, older students in clubs or sports, or people in different grades that share your classes can become your biggest allies and your best fountains of knowledge.

They give you a friendly face to identify in the halls, to feel more comfortable around older kids, and they might give you advice on certain teachers and courses.

#4: Think about academics

Let’s face it: GPA and permanent records are a thing, and you need to have a good foundation to be able to build on top of it later.

I know you want to take it easy on your first year because you’re just getting started, but believe me, it’s much easier to maintain a good GPA than trying to raise a GPA from the ashes.

So find study techniques that work for you, stay organized by having an organization tool (ex. Binder, folder, notebook) for each class and of course a folder for all your homework, do your work, and get on with it!

#5: Join Clubs

This one might seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many freshmen don’t join clubs because of fear, or lack of commitment, or the false notion that they’ll be too busy, myself included.

But clubs can give you something to look forward to, give you opportunities to meet new people with common interests, and to try something new.

#6: Be a full fledged Wildcat

Whether it’s homecoming, football games, choir and band concerts, or the musical get involved and show some Wildcat pride!

Sing the fight song loud and proud and cheer on the band as they march through the hallways on Friday mornings. I know sometimes it might seem “lame” to show school spirit or it might make you anxious, but in the long run you’ll be glad you went.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll make really amazing memories or meet great friends, but you’ll never know until you go.

#7: Ask questions

Carl Sagan said it best; there are no stupid questions. If you need help in a class, help finding a room, wanting a date to a dance, or want to know when or where an event is just ask.

You might feel embarrassed at the time but most of the time, a lot of other people have the same questions.

You never know when asking a key question could help you land that A, get that date, or make a best friend for life. Life is full of uncertainties, so ask away!

#8: Take Risks

This one might seem cliche but there’s a reason this advice sticks around. If you take risks you might change something in the community, make a name for yourself, discover a talent you didn’t know you had or find a new group of people to hang out with.

So, volunteer to give that speech first, try out for that solo, say hi to someone new, join an unexpected club, or express yourself and share it with others.

Most people find their strengths in the most unexpected place. It’s what shapes us as people.

#9: Plan ahead

So you’ve got an English paper, twenty pages of reading in History and five Math problems? And they’re all due tomorrow? Chances are you participated in a little activity called procrastination.

Space out your assignments so you aren’t overwhelmed on one night. Make sure you can get at least five hours of sleep a night, because sleep deprivation is no bueno.

You only have five minutes to get from one side of the building to the other? Plan your routes by trying out different ones each time, push through the groups congregating in the middle of the hallway, walk at a reasonable speed (don’t run like a maniac but also don’t as slow as humanly possible) , and if you want to talk to a friend on your way to a class? Walk and talk, darling.

If you plan ahead there is nothing that can stop you! Carpe Diem honey, I believe in you.

#10: Just enjoy it

Freshman year does not last forever.

I miss being a freshman, having Wildcat Focus and a lunch period. I miss being the youngest in the school and having older kids show me the ropes, and meeting new people that I’ve never had a chance to interact with before.

Freshman year is an amazing time, it’s a time to make mistakes and to try new things. And while it might seem intimidating now, I promise you that you will feel like part of the Wildcat Nation sooner than you would think.

Every sophomore, junior, and senior you see in this school was once a freshman too. Everyone remembers what it was like to be the youngest, and that’s why those “upperclassmen will bully you until the end of time” rumors aren’t true.

In three years you will be a senior with your career at Mayfield coming to a close and the rest of your life just starting. When that time comes you will remember freshman year fondly, because it was the beginning of your time at MHS, and believe me it goes much more smoothly than you’d expect.

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Freshmen 10 Commandments: Listen to your elders