Dear Newbies…a word of advice

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“Venture out”

By Cody Lee

High school is one big playground. I am assuming that most of the incoming freshman and seventh graders are familiar with one of those. You have the “too cool for anything” kids gossiping over on the bench, and the show-offs doing pull-ups on the monkey bars. And oh, how could I almost forget about the suck up chatting with the teacher instead of playing with the rest of the kids.

High school is chock-full of different settings, and the best advice I could give is DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY. Make sure to let your mind wander. Try out new things, and different identities. If you want to be a jock one day and on the chess team the next, do it. That’s how you end up actually finding yourself.

Sure you are going to have the people that will try to judge and make fun of you, “OMG your shoes don’t match your shirt!” But seriously, who cares? If you saw me now, it would be pretty hard to believe that I wore vests and ties to school freshman year…I don’t really like to talk about that. You’re probably going to have some embarrassing moments yourself. Don’t take them seriously.

You’ll also have some of the best times of your life. Don’t waste your whole high school experience stuck doing one thing with one group of friends because, trust me, you will regret it. To get the full high school experience, you need to venture out.

If you’re one of those kids who has never done their homework, switch things up and do it for once. Or if you’re a goodie-two-shoes now, take a walk on the wild side and get a detention. (Now obviously I’m not saying do anything extreme like flip over a desk and storm out of your classroom, but something mild. Maybe try getting caught texting in the hallway).

With all the diversity going on at Lane, you can never go wrong. Just take everything as it is. Relax. Go with the flow, and I promise that high school will be a whole lot easier. Well, unless you get hard teachers…


“Look the Part”

By Dirce Toca

It’s time to hang out with the big kids. On the first day of school the bell rings and you step outside your division room. You have your Lane lanyard around your neck, book bag filled with notebooks for every class, and a map in your hands figuring out which way to go. No! Just stop. Are you trying to let everybody know you’re a freshman? Might as well write it across your forehead.

Here’s a few tips on how NOT to look like freshman:

1. Don’t wear your hang around. Just don’t do it, promise?

2. Your gym uniform is called a gym uniform for a reason. Don’t wear it as an outfit. Don’t wear it on spirit day, either.

3. Look at the map before the bell rings for your next class and memorize the way. Walking around with maps in your hand is not cool.

4. Ditch the huge backpack.

5. Don’t carry so many textbooks and huge binders in your hand. One or two max.

6. That being said, USE YOUR LOCKER. Lane provides them for a reason.

7. Stop running. Speed walk if you have to. No running in the hallways.

8. No awkward u-turns. Unless you want everybody to know you were going the wrong way.

You’re only a freshman once. Enjoy it. Take these tips and use them.


“You will never be alone at Lane”

By Julia Kulon

There will probably be a moment sometime this year when you feel hopeless. It may happen when you’re coming back home on the bus. It may happen when you’re up for the first time at 12am finishing your first ‘high school’ paper. It may happen when your teacher gives you your first ‘high school’ test and even though you studied all night, you blank out.

That last situation actually happened to me. At the end of my first week of high school, my Survey Literature teacher said we would have a grammar test on Monday. I studied all weekend. Come Monday, I suddenly couldn’t remember anything. English in grade school was something I had excelled in, but all I could think in that very moment was, “What’s a gerund? What’s a participle?”

I spent the rest of the semester making up for that test because I was too stubbornly proud to ask for help or go to tutoring.

Now as a senior, I have realized two things. One is that the hopelessness I felt could have been avoided. But the more important realization is that as I asked my peers throughout the year, everyone seemed to have experienced it in one way or another.

That hopelessness is okay. It will probably happen, and it’s alright when it does. It’s not necessarily a good feeling, but the catch is that it’s not necessarily a bad one either.

You know what kind of feeling it is? A normal one.

There are about 4,500 students at Lane and one of them is going to feel the same way as you. You will never be alone at Lane. Take solace in that.

You’ll come to realize that big really means small in some cases. This is one of those cases.

Take the hopelessness you will feel at that very moment, and use it for reflection. Use it to better yourself. It’s okay if it busts you in shape as long as you remember that there are other feelings awaiting you these next four years: happiness, pride, and success.

I struggled in trigonometry junior year (math has never been my strong suit) and with my freshman year experience in mind, I went to tutoring the first moment I realized I was slipping. Tutoring allowed me to understand the basic concepts and relieved me of any stress that I might have had with my grade in that class.

What’s important is that you don’t let it defeat you. I didn’t let the scary beast of trigonometry rear its teeth at me.

What’s more important, however, is that you take that feeling and you cultivate it: you can come out a stronger and bigger person. For example, don’t be like me – go to tutoring!

You got that? Good. Now, run along to your first class. (Don’t actually run, though. You can get there walking in four minutes. I promise.)


“Get involved”

By Agnieszka Chrzanowska

Fear has always proven to be a great motivator in my life. It’s like a best friend who knows you can accomplish something phenomenal even in the worst of times. It’s like a vegetable, so bad it’s good for you. Most importantly, fear is proving that you’re still alive and breathing.

Entering high school I was a reserved student, or as some would call me behind my back, a loser. My day became a routine. Wake up, learn, sleep and do the exact same thing the next day. Exciting!

For me, freshman year was a torture I wish was never necessary. I wish I could have skipped it and moved on to greater things. I had major anxiety issues which allowed me to make zero, yes, you heard that correctly, ZERO friends. I opened up to one friend who I knew would help me when I needed it, but she didn’t even go to Lane. I was too scared and too nervous to meet anyone and was terrified of the “big, scary seniors.” At one point I even thought, “Lane will be the death of me,” (hypothetically, of course).

The years passed and things improved. Sophomore year, I befriended a new crowd of people and was able to branch out and leave most of my anxiety behind with their help. By the time junior year arrived, I thought I had everything in the palm of my hand. I was a “social butterfly,” as one of my good friends once called me. What my friend said truly made me realize I had potential.

I confidently joined clubs, tried out for International Days, involved myself in sports, the student body, and tried to make something out of myself. I wanted to make sure I didn’t waste my potential because, frankly, everyone has potential, even a measly freshman.

I am now a Senior.

Looking back at my high school career I wish I would have involved myself sooner, as high school passed by much too fast. I wish I knew everything would be okay in the end and that all my anxiety would be gone. I would not have spent as much time worrying and maybe a little more time living.

I should have known that everyone finds their niche in high school and because of that you should not be scared to be here. Since freshman year, I have become care free and completely in love with life. I am just waiting for senior year to fly by and for college life to start. It’s going to be a bittersweet feeling to be a freshman once again, but this time I won’t be scared of the “big, scary seniors.”


“Friends are important”

 By Erik Brito

Let’s face it kids, you’re about to enter a school similar but at the same time different from your old school. Back in your old school you were the top dogs. Here, you’re fresh meat. So to make this ride as smooth as possible, please, Classes of 2015 and 2017, pay attention.

Your friends are your second family and the sweet part about that is you get to choose them. Making friends is crucial when you’re new. They’re the people that you eat lunch with and take the bus home with. They are also there to stand up for you if someone’s looking for trouble. More than 1,200 new students are enrolled this year. Will there be someone you can be best friends with? Yes. Will there be people who, no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to like? Yes, and they probably won’t like you either. It’s all good!

Find the friends who will not let you fall. Some of you might be worried about your old friends. You know, the ones that couldn’t get in. You can choose to cut ties or to keep in contact with them. If they are important, they won’t leave that easily. Don’t tell yourself you won’t like someone when that weird kid in the corner can be the one person that will be with you your whole life. Be open, meet new people, and make great friends, but don’t forget to be a great friend.

Ever hear that cheesy line “Be yourself?” Well, guess what? It may be a cliche, but it’s true. Change happens. I know I am not the same guy that entered this school three years ago. Did I change everything about myself? No. I still like to wear regular jeans, white sneakers, and a funny t-shirt. I still play chess and Yu-Gi-Oh when I get the chance. English is still my favorite subject in school and reading is still one of my favorite things to do. With these geeky quirks of mine, I found friends who accept me and I accept them. You too can find friends who accept you for who you are no matter how strange you might be.

Friends are important. However, don’t let your friends keep you away from your responsibilities. The reason I ended freshman year with low grades was because I put my effort into having fun and hanging out with my friends. I spent more time on Facebook than studying and doing my work. It was my fault, not my friends’. I was the one to blame. So make the time to do work; your friends will still be there and they will understand. Now getting all A’s is great but if getting the A’s means no friends, than I’d rather get four A’s and three B’s. Finding the balance of friends and school makes freshman year fun and rewarding.

There’s more to high school than this. You all will soon find that out. These four years are not going to be the best years of your life. However, they can be some of the best and they all start with this one. Have fun!


“Hold on to yourself”

By Madeline Savoie

I am an immature teenager just like all of you. Sure, I’m three years older, and sure I can act more mature if need be, but in reality, I haven’t grown up in these four years like all those teachers, parents, and college counselors said I would. Often times I look around and think about how everybody seems to have changed so much, and yet I’ve stayed relatively the same (at least as far as I’m concerned). Giving it a second thought though, maybe staying the same is a good thing.

At the end of your first, second, and third year here, and finally graduation day, if you can look back and say to yourself, “Yeah, I’m still me,” all the better for you. You’ve made it through high school without being changed by the cliques, peer pressure, or those social teenage norms, set by shows on MTV.

Maybe MTV has a point though. It’s likely that the guy or girl you have been crushing on for three years will graduate without ever knowing who you are. Your teachers may never pronounce your name right, and your locker may be in the most remote corner of the school…every year. Some friends are going to ditch you. Your relationships may not last longer than a few weeks, or maybe even a few days. You are probably going to write a bunch of sappy statuses on Facebook when life’s bringing you down, and all those people who can truly sympathize with your problems will “like” it; and things will finally start to look up.

If throughout all of that, you can hold on to yourself, congratulations. If not, it’s okay. Those freaks will end up writing clichéd advice columns for the school paper.