10 Things For Underclassmen to Know

This fall, a new set of students are starting high school. And then there’s the sophomores coming around for their second year. Everything seems like a big knot that seems impossible to untie. There’s a lot these underclassmen can learn from the people that have already been in their shoes years before: upperclassmen.

Recently, we’ve gathered ideas from upperclassmen to help out our underclassmen feel not only less overwhelmed, but also understand what’s important to know while being an LHS underclassman.

The Importance of Getting Involved with School

Many upperclassmen emphasize the importance of getting involved with the school. Whether it’s going to a school football game, going to a school dance, or going to local school events, it’s something every LHS student should try to be involved in. 

However, Senior Jeanette Jenkinson pointed out that you shouldn’t feel pressured. “I know dances and like games and stuff like that aren’t always for everyone,” said Jenkinson. “Crowds kind of freaked me out sometimes {and felt too} stifling. Do what suits you.”  

Jenkinson explains that there’s no pressure if you don’t stay for the whole thing. But being involved with the school by going to a school dance is definitely worth a shot – especially if you have a great group of friends to have a blast with. 

The Importance of LHS Extracurriculars

Upperclassmen also largely expressed the importance of school clubs and extracurriculars. 

“I’ve probably gone to at least like ten different clubs and then just been like, ‘nevermind,’ and then left after the first meeting,” Jenkinson explains. 

“You’ll get new experiences, you’ll probably make new friends,” said Senior Fatma Elmenshawy. “That’s how I got to meet most of my friends I have so far. Don’t be afraid to take risks.” 

Junior Sofija Tijunelis recommends joining a lot of clubs like Random Acts of Kindness, Best Buddies, Psychology Club, Caring for Cambodia, Medcats and Green Dot.

The Importance of Freshman Year

Senior Brogan Losch emphasized that often freshman students don’t realize the importance of freshman year. “Generally freshman year is the easiest year, but the classes are meant to introduce you to high school,” he said.

In addition to emphasizing the importance of freshman year, Losch pointed out the importance of GPA in senior year and building your GPA starts freshman year. 

“When it comes down to your senior year, and you’re looking at your GPA and trying to get colleges or wherever you’re going after high school, your GPA can really matter. Or else you’re kicking yourself later down the road.”

The Importance of Staying Organized

Losch also recalls how important it is to stay organized with your school work and the things you use every day in school. 

“[Stay] organized with your email, your PowerSchool, put some of the apps that you use in school on a Chromebook on your phone, [so you can get] notifications on your phone.” 

He added that keeping the same notebook and water bottle handy are also quite important. 

Elmenshawy also shared how staying on track of your work, doing your homework, and doing test retakes are the key to success as an underclassman. 

“If you have to do a retake, don’t put it off, do it right after, and don’t wait till the end of the semester,” she said. “Because if you cram them all, it’s not going to be easy. And ask questions in class or [stay] after class.”

The Importance of Upperclassmen

Junior Molly Neary emphasized how welcoming the upperclassmen are. 

“I wish I knew how kind and welcoming everyone at LHS is, because I feel like underclassmen think that it’s really weird or scary asking for help from upperclassmen or having classes with them,” she said. “However, every upperclassman totally will help and has your best interests in mind.”

The Importance of Building Relationships with Teachers

Jenkinson also shared that building relationships with teachers can be important. “The biggest thing that has definitely helped me over the years is just building relationships with teachers.” Jenkinson suggested building relationships with teachers you have in class, as well as those you don’t have for a class.

The Importance of Using LHS Resources

Tijunelis also talked about how the LHS resources are important to know about.

“We have resources such as the DIL, MASH, and LSTs that are super helpful for your academics and overall high school experience!” Tijunelis said. “They are super awesome to use!” 

Dealing with Stress and Ways to Cope

Tijunelis also added how stress will only make you feel worse, and that there are plenty of ways to cope with stress. 

“My favorite ways are practicing mindfulness/meditation, walking my dog, preparing a good meal or making a smoothie, listening to music, or watching my favorite TV show.” 

So, whenever you’re feeling stressed, try one of Tijunelis’ ideas or a different strategy you know that works best for you!

To Conclude

We all know the first few years of high school can be quite hard to survive. But keeping these words of advice in mind can definitely make your life a little easier. 

“High school is always going to be tricky,” Jenkinson emphasized. “I feel like I’m still figuring stuff out, especially with all the pandemic stuff…. Everyone’s experienced that. So [try] to be realistic. Be honest with yourself.”