An open letter to future freshmen

Leesville Liaisons give tours to eighth graders, future freshman nervous and excited for high school. If freshmen ever have any questions or concerns they should ask a Liaison, teacher or their counselor. (Photo courtesy of Erin Darnell)

Dear Future Freshmen,

The end of eighth grade is fast approaching. Soon, you’ll be taking your final EOGs or EOCs and nervously asking each other to your last middle school dance. In June, you’ll say goodbye to the teachers and the school that you’ve become accustomed to over the past three years. You’ll sign yearbooks with “Have a great summer!” or “I’ll miss you next year!” Or, if your experience is like mine, you’ll shed a few tears with your friends as you wonder aloud about what each of your separate high schools will be like, as many of us ended up going to different schools.

Leaving middle school is a big transition. Whether you had a good experience or not, the change will be a turning point in your life. Reading this, you may think I’m over exaggerating. However, the changes are more significant than you think.

One of the most significant changes is the shift in independence. Hopefully, your middle school teachers have warned you of the adjustment. “[In high school,] you don’t rely on your teachers, and you are basically by yourself. Your teachers do help you, but not in such a big way, like middle school,” said Hannah Woody, sophomore.

My eighth grade social studies teacher often warned us of the newfound independence. He regularly informed us that our high school teachers won’t “hold our hand” through assignments. Incoming freshmen, I encourage you to heed your teacher’s advice — don’t roll your eyes and brush it off, high school teachers will not guide you through every step of every assignment. They do their best to help you pass and want you to succeed; however, someone can’t always be there to help you. They are no longer your babysitter.

Another large change is in the importance of grades. Freshman year will become an appealing time to slack off in class and let your grades slip (considering freshman year classes won’t be that difficult). However, freshman year is an essential year for grades if you wish to attend college. “Try to keep your GPA up, because it will catch up to you,” said Cat Torrendell, senior. Always work hard in your classes, and do your best.

While grades are important, they also aren’t everything. You should try to do your best in all your classes but don’t fret if you don’t do great in one. Numbers don’t define you. Throughout your high school experience, it will be tempting to reduce yourself to a number; how does your GPA, class rank, SAT or ACT scores compare to your peers? It doesn’t matter. Sure, grades and numbers are important to colleges, but it also matters if you are a good person. Showing kindness and respect to your peers and teachers will leave a better legacy than any number or score.

Reach out to the Leesville community and all high school has to offer. Leesville has lots to offer from sporting events, arts productions, and clubs. At first, it might seem lame to go to certain events, however, going can help you reach out and make friends.

“I feel like I made the mistake of thinking that I should stay at home a lot, and not go out and make new friends…[However], I feel like [Leesville] is such a friendly environment and it is so easy to meet new people and make friends that [will last] a lifetime,” said Jaeden Flagg, sophomore.

The people you meet are an important part of your high school career and a great way to reach out is by taking advantage of the activities that Leesville offers.

A lot of freshman year is discovering by yourself who you are, and what you are going to be in high school. Though it may sound cheesy, stay true to yourself and you’ll find your way. High school is a blast, if you make it that way.

Best wishes,
Erin Darnell

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