DOI’s Declassified School Survival Guide


For us seniors, it feels like it was just last month that we casually peeked at the school map in our backpacks on the first day to see where our next class was. It feels like it was just last week that we entered the school with a new load of confidence as we were no longer the lost freshmen, but the sophomores who knew their way around. It feels like yesterday when we were filling in those bubble sheets on the ACT and going to every college fair trying to make a list of possible schools. And now, today, we’re here participating in the ABC countdown and picking up our cap and gown.

The Drops of Ink seniors gathered together to reminisce on some of our experiences and lessons learned during our time at LHS and want to share them with you to hopefully guide you through your time in high school and maybe even beyond.

If 10 seconds of your day are filled with negativity, don’t let it ruin the 86,390 others.”

Libertyville High School…where to begin. For starters, it’s a school that seems to never sleep. There’s always an event going on, which allows for many opportunities to get involved. As seniors who recently finished the college application process, it seems to be said often that you should participate in certain things because “it looks good on college applications.” While college applications are important, we want you to take part in the things that make you happy, not those that add more stress because you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

While it may be intimidating to go out of your comfort zone and be the newbie in the room, you never know what could strike a passion. Also, just because your friends don’t do it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If there isn’t an activity that jumps out at you, grab some friends, talk to a teacher and get a club started.

Use failures as a learning experience. They are just stepping stones to your goal.”

Extracurriculars and school events build connections as they introduce us to people we would not have met otherwise. Although many times it seems like we’re all very different from each other, it only takes one similarity to bring us together. Get to know people beyond just their name. Talk to the person who sits next to you in math or say “hi” to the underclassmen in your sports program. Pro tip: Get to know your teachers and those who work in your LST. Not only are they amazing people beyond their job, but you never know when you’ll need help or might have to ask for a favor (letters of recommendation!).

Bad days, like the good ones, are just a part of the journey.”

LHS creates a very strong community — a family feel that encourages and supports all those within it. It’s important to realize that everyone in Libertyville wants you to succeed and there are endless resources that can help you get there with people being one of the top ones. Build and maintain those relationships, and it all starts by just smiling and saying “Hi!”

Take time to take care of your physical and mental health: sleep, eat right, exercise, find your happiness.”

Over the course of four years here at LHS, a lot happens. The only thing that is constant is change, and it’s inevitable. People change. Relationships change. Priorities, friends, likes, dislikes, grades, the list goes on. Even you will change, which is good; you’ll grow   and discover your identity. Just be sure that external factors like those around you aren’t forcing change upon you. Never surrender who you are to fit someone else’s mold.

With so much pressure to fit the “perfect model,” high school is honestly really tough, but it’s more important that you stay true to yourself and do what YOU want to do. To be successful and happy, you must embrace the change instead of fighting it. Even if it doesn’t seem ideal at the time, know that it will all work out in the end; in the grand scheme of life, a lot of things won’t matter in the future.

You never know what someone else is going through. Be kind and understanding.”

We are sad to say goodbye to the Jungle, yet forever grateful to have been a part of it. We know that you all have different journeys to follow, but we hope our advice can maybe make some parts a little easier. Good luck and enjoy your years as a Wildcat because they don’t last forever. Live in the present. It’s easy to get too focused on what’s next.