The student newspaper of Washington-Lee High School

Been there, done that

September 24, 2016

Class of 2020,

Welcome to high school! Throw away everything you have heard; nothing beats experiencing it yourself.
However, high school is not as intimidating as it may sound. Sure, lots of things are different, and you have probably never been in a school with this many kids before, but that is not a bad thing; there are so many new people to meet!
Your freshman year classes will be your easiest, so use this time to practice balancing extracurriculars and work. From now on, all of your classes count toward your GPA. While this may seem a bit daunting, the best thing to do is to not stress out about it; the support system available to you is a vast resource. As freshmen, your General’s Period is assigned a connect mentor group to help make your transition into high school a smooth one. Zero period, General’s Period and lunch labs are all available to help you succeed, so get familiar with them now.
On that note, I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone and try new things. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of while you are here; join a club or a sport that interests you, and or create your own! Before you even know it, spirit week, the homecoming football game and dance will be here, a chance to show your class of 2020 spirit!

Class of 2019,

Congrats, you have your first year of high school in the books! It is true, sophomore year can sometimes be boring, but beware; while colleges sometimes forgive bad freshman grades, the same cannot be said for sophomore year. Your grades this year are more important than ever. Classes get harder each year, so expect to be hitting the books more often. Some of you might be taking your first AP or IB class, so work to create good study habits now.
Invest your time in clubs and sports that you truly care about and be wary of overextending yourself. If you cannot find a club you want to join, create your own and do not stress about what other people are doing.
Since you are not a newbie anymore, you have more opportunities given to you. This year, you can apply for National Honor Society and run for office in your clubs. Focus on schoolwork and take advantage of your resources. You do not rule the school yet, but you are well on your way.

Class of 2018

Two years down, two to go. Welcome to junior year, the most crucial year of high school.
This is the first year where college level classes really kick in and most importantly, the year that colleges and universities pay the most attention to. You may have been told to take as many AP and IB classes as you can, but overwhelming yourself with too many college courses while participating in multiple extracurriculars will only create unnecessary stress. Take courses in areas that interest you, because lack of interest will show in your grades. It is also essential that you start studying for the SAT and ACT now, and it is never too early to start visiting prospective colleges either; wherever you go will be home for four years, after all.
Frankly, this year will be tough. I cannot stress enough the importance of using your time strategically. You will regret procrastinating after your third cup of coffee at four a.m., finishing that paper that was assigned to you three weeks ago. With all of this in mind, do not forget to take care of yourself. Find your own way of de-stressing. It can be easy to get caught up in all of it, but you are on your way to ending high school. Hang in there.

Class of 2017,

Take a deep breath, because you made it through three years of high school! While you are in the home stretch, you still have a semester before you can really see the finish line. Do yourself a favor and knock out your essays early. You are more than a bunch of numbers, so dig deep inside and write from the heart. The first two quarters are absolutely critical if you plan on applying to college. Your grades will be sent to universities and can make or break your application, so dig deep and finish high school strong.
Finally, this is the last year to have high school experiences, so set aside time to hang out with friends or go to games. You may have to juggle clubs, sports, school and applications, but do not compromise your sanity; always try to find that perfect balance of work and play that will keep you going until graduation. If you even feel discouraged or overwhelmed, just remember: you are almost there.

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