A letter to the freshmen


Holland Hilgendorf

Dear freshmen this is a letter to you about all of the things you should totally be doing this first year of high school.

Dear Freshmen,

I know, you were probably a big deal at your middle school. That’s cool. You were the top dog — an eighth grader — but now you are a freshman. You are at the bottom of the high school totem pole and that’s totally okay. No one enters the social food chain at the top, but we were all freshmen once. We all had to go through the nervous awkward phase in order to get to where we are now. 

I beg you. Please, please, please carry your shiny new laptop in the soft, black case that came with it. This really is the only acceptable way to bring your laptop to school. It ensures safety of your new prized possession and everyone does it. If you want to fit in, then you should do it too.  

KHS is way bigger than your middle school. That means you will have to hustle to class.

Like, literally run.

After a little experience, you will learn shortcuts and which halls are busy and which aren’t. But too bad you have no experience (ha, because you are a freshman). And then there’s another problem, how are you supposed to carry all of your things and make it to class on time with a clunky and uncomfortable bag on your back?

To combat this, I suggest a rolling backpack. They are super practical and allow you to roll around your school supplies with ease and better yet, sprinting through the halls won’t be a problem. Come on, I’m serious. You don’t want a heavy bag weighing you down on your six-minute sprint across campus. It’ll create too much drag. A rolling backpack is the way to go. Bonus points if it features your favorite childhood cartoon. Who wouldn’t love seeing their favorite Care Bear smiling at them in the hall? 

In all seriousness, I know you are worried because most of your ideas of high school were curated from movies and TV shows. I promise, KHS is no High School Musical—get your head in the game. You will struggle with grades, friends and finding yourself. But if you give it a little time, I promise you will find your fit.

Here is some advice that I wish someone would’ve told me my freshman year:

Knock out your credits early, especially health and P.E. so you have the opportunity to take classes you’ll actually enjoy when you are an upperclassman.

AP classes shouldn’t rule your life. I know you want the highest GPA for your college resumé, but taking AP classes that you aren’t interested in will only waste your time. 

If you are struggling in a class, reach out. Your teachers are literally getting paid to help you.

You are at the bottom of the high school totem pole and that’s totally okay. (Holland Hilgendorf)

You may or may not have come into high school with a friend group. Keep an open mind. As your interests change, so will your friends. You may keep the same friends all the way through your graduation date, but most likely you won’t. High school is the absolute best time for you to figure out who your real friends are.

Get involved. Oh no, you got cut at tryouts? Boo, play something else. If sports aren’t your thing, then participate in one of the many clubs KHS has to offer. If none of those clubs fit your niche then simply create your own. But also don’t overdo it. Your schedule isn’t a Mary Poppins bag with endless space for you to pack things into your schedule so pick and choose what suits you the best.

As a freshman, you will get booed at school events and will absolutely never be allowed to stand at the front of the bleachers at a football game. Accept it. You might think that freshman year is a big deal now, but wait three years and you’ll be writing sarcastic letters and giving bad advice like yours truly. Everyone will tell you this, but it is absolutely true. Enjoy your years at KHS, because high school goes by ridiculously fast and soon enough you’ll graduate and be tossed back to the bottom of the totem pole again, having to fend for yourself as a freshman in college. 


A Senior

P.S. get a rolling backpack.