Valuable Advice for Incoming Freshmen At Pennridge High School


Lux Concannon

Class of 2023 Canvas Page

After four long years in high school, I am finally at a point where I am able to reflect back on the different years and think about what I could have done differently. I am also in a place where I feel I have valuable advice that I can offer up to incoming freshmen, as well as current underclassmen. After conducting a survey, I received valuable feedback from current underclassmen as well as teachers at Pennridge High School. Before we dive into the survey responses, I am going to give some of my own personal advice that I think is good to know.

To begin, treat the bathrooms with respect. In my time at Pennridge High School, I have seen more changes to the bathroom policy than I have anything else. I understand why these policies are put into place; students find it hard to simply use the bathroom and then continue back to class. Since so many students have decided to vandalize the bathrooms, the school has had almost no choice but to make the policies regarding the bathrooms stricter. It is slightly frustrating being 18 years old and having to be watched as you enter and leave the bathroom. That is why my most important piece of advice would be to treat the bathrooms like bathrooms. This way you could prove to the school that you are capable of using the bathrooms and don’t need strict policies anymore.

My next piece of advice would be to make as many friends as possible. When you have friends in all of your classes, school becomes much more fun. Sometimes you can feel unmotivated and like you hate school because of the amount of work that you need to do. Having friends in your classes can make actually showing up to school a lot easier and much less stressful. Knowing that you have a friend in your corner can make tough assignments much less intimidating and the overall idea of school a lot better.

The next piece of advice I have may sound obvious, but I wish that someone had stressed this to me more. Even when you are an underclassman, your grades really do matter. If you plan on furthering your education at a college or university after high school, your GPA is so important. I think that I underestimated how much this would truly matter, especially when I was a sophomore. I had a really good GPA freshman year, but during sophomore year I let my grades go, and it is extremely evident in the GPA that I ended up submitting to colleges. In my freshman year, I had a 4.0 GPA, but after sophomore year was said and done, it dropped to a 3.7. Though a 3.7 is truly not bad, it is a significant drop and can be the difference between an acceptance or a rejection when it comes time to apply to colleges.

Allison Omara is also a senior at Pennridge High School. Some advice that she wishes she had gotten before going into freshman year is that “joining clubs and being involved within the school really does matter.” This is really important advice that I agree with and I think every freshman should really take into consideration. Joining clubs and being a part of teams connects you with people who you may never have been connected with had you not joined. This connects back to the second piece of advice that I gave because joining groups within the school can help you make friends. You might find that these friends from your clubs are also in your classes and now you have a friend in your class that you might not have had before.

Kayla Archibascio is a former Pennridge student who graduated a couple of years ago and now attends college. When asked what advice she would give to incoming freshmen she said, “Don’t worry so much about your social circle because you will meet so many new people.” In high school, you may not be as close to your social circle from middle school, and that’s okay. There are so many new faces in high school and you will have no problem finding new friends.

Finally, many teachers told us what they would tell students to work on and what advice they have for incoming freshmen. Jill Troutman said that something students need to work on is, “Staying on task, completing assignments, and meeting deadlines.” This is extremely valuable advice, especially the part about meeting deadlines. In the real world, deadlines are final. There is no late submission for just a few points off, if it’s late there will be extreme consequences. Starting as early as freshman year, turning everything in on time is great practice for what it will be like when you have a real job.

Another teacher, Julia Grimshaw shared that her advice for underclassmen would be to, “Learn to pace yourself. If you start the school year strong and you overextend yourself, you’ll burn out early. If you are slow to start, you will need to do too much catching up at the end. Instead, start at a good pace and maintain it throughout the entire year.” Many students give it their all at the beginning of the year and then as the school year is closing out they start to give up. It is important to stay strong throughout the entire year, you will have the whole summer to relax.

Whether you are currently in high school, leaving high school, or about to enter high school, I hope that you were able to find some valuable advice that you can utilize in your future and be successful in your endeavors.