Freshman Advice I Wish I’d Gotten


Author Daniella Malinowski

Daniella Malinowski, Staff Writer

After going to Stamford High for four years, you go through a lot; yet, it seems like just yesterday I was walking in as a freshman. Here are the top ten tips I would’ve loved to have read my first year here:


1. Learn how to walk in the hallway – Don’t expect people to be nice to you when you’re standing on the wrong side of the hall or bumping into everyone within a 2 foot radius. Also, DON’T be that one person that’s taking their sweet time walking to class and causing a huge traffic jam behind them.

2. Get to know your teachers – Outside of being nice to your teachers with the hope that they’ll go easy on your grades, you should actually try forming a relationship with them. Though it won’t seem that important to you now, you need recommendations from these people in order to apply to college.

3. Maintain your grades early – On the same note of your future and college, it’d be a really smart choice to get the best grades you can this year and sophomore year so that you don’t have to work your butt off junior year trying to catch up. Have a solid base to work with and keep your grades up now.


4. Develop a lunch time strategy – Every day we have roughly 25 minutes to eat our lunch. It’s important to appropriate that time in the most efficient way possible. If you know you will be standing in the lunch line, run to the lunchroom so you don’t have to wait 15 minutes. Also, figure out who you’ll be sitting with for each wave so you don’t waste time looking for your friends.

5. Don’t rely too much on friends and cliques – Yes, I know your goal for freshmen year is to make more friends and find a group you belong in. As important as it is to have friends in high school, don’t make them your entire life. Throughout your four years here, friends will come and go and you’ll laugh thinking back to who you were super close with freshmen year. This doesn’t mean certain friends won’t stick with you all four years; it’s just a warning to not get too caught up in popularity because honestly, in a decade it won’t matter how cool you were.

6. Use a backpack – we call them “freshmen backpacks” for a reason. There is no way you will be able to comfortably carry around all of the binders and text books and papers in a stylish tote bag. Sure, it’s the more fashionable option, but I guarantee that by the end of the year you’ll be permanently hunched to one side due to the weight of that bag. Put your backpack on both shoulders and just work it, kids.

7. Don’t rush to figure out who you are – You have four entire years to come up with some kind of name for yourself. That’s a whole 1460 days. You are bound to change a ton no matter how much you try to resist it. Don’t feel like you need to find out all there is to you in the first month of school. Be patient with yourself.

8. Join a club or sport – The best way to make friends you’ll actually keep is by doing some kind of after-school activity. Whether you join the volleyball team,  the drama club or the debate team, do something you actually enjoy and you’re guaranteed to have a much better time throughout your high school career.

9. Respect the upperclassmen – Being friends with the older kids definitely gives you advantages: having someone drive you to or from school, put in a good word to one of your teachers that they’ve already had, and that can help you adjust to high school in general. There’s a good chance you’ll mature quicker by spending more time with those that have already been through some of the challenges presented to a teenager.

10. Don’t let the high school distractions overcome your drive to succeed – This is my final and most important word of advice to you. It’s too easy to get caught up in all the changes and forget the one thing that truly matters: your future. Use these four years wisely to learn about yourself and to excel academically. This will prepare you for the challenges life presents after graduation. Do yourself a favor and try your best.