What Every Freshman Should Know

Astrid Kieser Kisting, Freelance Editor

School can be a very stressful time for anyone, especially if you’re adjusting to a new routine and it’s your first year of high school. Here at Vis, we’re so fortunate to have a welcoming community that is our second family. This article is meant to decrease your stress and share some insightful tips to help you be successful in school. These tips are from students  and even graduates from Vis. They were meant for freshmen but are encouraged to be enjoyed by all. First, I will start out with some of my tips and well wishes for the school year. I just want to say congratulations, you’ve made it through your first few months of school! Everyone is so happy that you’re here, and you’ve been doing great so far. My biggest piece of advice to you is to enjoy the process. High school is indeed a process, or rather a journey, meaning that it’s not going to be perfect, and it’s not going to happen over the course of one day. One of the things freshmen struggle with is accepting that it’s okay to make mistakes! Mistakes are opportunities to get better at something, and challenging yourself is healthy. Mistakes are part of the journey and you will make it, I promise. Another piece of advice is to meet new people! It’s so important to try to talk with your classmates,  whom you’ll be with for the next four years. They are your family, your biggest supporters, and your sisters. You might find that it takes time to develop friendships and find your true group of friends, but it’s so worth it in the end. Lastly, sometimes upperclassmen can be intimidating, but I promise you we’re not! We’re here for you, we want you to succeed, we want to help you, and we want you to reach out and have the chance to get to know you! Every upperclassman has been in your shoes, and it’s so incredibly amazing to have friends in other grades, so reach out! I hope you enjoy these words of wisdom and pieces of advice, but I’d like to share just one more with you. Audrey Hepburn was such an influential woman and there’s a quote that really embodies how you should go about your high school experience, and especially how you should treat others. It says, “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Now, here are what some other girls have said: 


“Don’t stress about finals, they aren’t bad.”- Olivia Brockman, 10th grade


“Study, Study, Study.”- Abby Keegstra, 10th grade


“Be yourself & try your best!”- Lucy Wheeler, 10th grade


“Don’t be afraid to branch out and meet new people, AND DO NOT STRESS ABOUT GRADES.”- Ericka Carlson, 11th grade


“It may sound scary, but your freshman year grades create your base GPA. Even your first semester is very important. It’s really important to start strong because it’s harder, but possible, to raise your GPA after that first year, trust me, I know from experience.”- Anna Tessman, Vis graduate


“Making friends takes time so don’t be afraid to just branch out to lots of people, even though it can be scary!”- Alecia Fitzgerald, Vis graduate


“Particularly in a year like this, seize every opportunity presented to you to connect with others. Be lab partners with someone, sit together at lunch or get their number and follow up later, and put in the effort to get to know others. You will not regret reaching out!!”- Grace Conroy, 12th grade


“Enjoy your time while it lasts! High school flies and you don’t realize this until you are a senior!”- Olivia Leon, Vis graduate


“Reach out to upperclassmen if you need help or have questions!! We want you to have the best experience at Vis and would LOVE to help you!!”- Emily Wollan, 11th grade


“Stay open to new people and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone in order to make new connections!”- Jane McMahon, 12th grade


“You don’t need an STA boy for your high school experience to begin.”- Mary Witkowski, 10th grade


“Talk to as many people as possible!”- Noel Wang, 12th grade


“Be yourself and be open to new friendships.”- Meghan Gerend, 10th grade 


“Don’t be afraid to make friends with upperclassmen!! They’ll give you the best advice :)”  -Brittney Wong, 12th grade


“As cheesy as it sounds, really cherish every moment you have at Vis before it’s gone :)- Laura Breyen, 12th grade


“Try new clubs and activities even if you’ve never done them! The community is so fun!!- Tess Cavanaugh, 10th grade


“Embrace every moment. Go to the soccer game, go out to eat, have fun and smile.”- Faith Geis, Vis Graduate


“The older grades genuinely like the freshmen and want to help them in any way we can if they need it! We all remember how tough freshman year can be at some points, and though this year is tough for everyone, it’s especially difficult for the freshman as they are trying to learn names, find friends/meet people. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are approachable :)- Reece Bergeron, 12th grade


“Step outside of your comfort zone! Do things you had never imagined yourself doing and you will amaze yourself. I joined Mock Trial as a freshman and I knew nothing about law but decided to go to a practice. Years later, I am a captain of the team and it is my favorite Vis activity!” 

-Maggie Doran, 12th grade