High School Tips from Seniors

Meiling Mathur, Copy Editor

Entering high school is a brand new experience filled with exciting opportunities, great classes and new people, but navigating such a big transition can seem daunting at times. Thankfully, MHS seniors offered their best advice to the incoming students about how to make the most of their high school experience. These words of wisdom are not reserved only for freshmen—returning MHS students would also do well to keep these tips in mind.

Britney Dang, ‘22, said, “My biggest piece of advice is to not procrastinate. If you have multiple assignments that are due on the same day, make sure to space things out so you don’t feel overwhelmed when the due date approaches.” 

 Also, the importance of asking your teachers for help cannot be understated. “My number one piece of advice that I learned from freshman year is that your teachers always want to help you,” added Claire Acheson, ‘22, “So please ask them for help when you need it. They are not going to turn you away, and they are not going to judge you.”

“In the beginning of the year before other activities start, try to do as much as you can as early as you can,” offered Elizabeth Wang, ‘22. “Once you fall into a rhythm, you will figure out what sorts of study habits that work best for you. In some classes, maybe it works best to pay attention when the teacher is talking and take notes in class. In other classes, maybe you will have to read your textbook outside of class.” 

And while high school is a time to learn new things, it is also a place to form new friendships and let go of old ones. Acheson said, “Things change. You meet new people and lose touch with some people. Embrace it and do your best to see the positive side of everything.” Acheson cited partner projects and study groups as fun ways to build community.

“During class discussions, you just gravitate towards some people, and that’s the best way to make friends,” said Wang. 

For those students who often feel lost inside the large school, Wang recommended that they “always refer to where the Commons are. Once you know where the Commons are, you kind of know whether you’re on the left or right of the school. Know the general areas of which subjects are in which areas and have a general idea of where the Port is, where the gyms are.” She reassured students that they would get used to the school’s layout quickly.

“Look at the signs that we have because they have directions,” added Wang. “You can look at the classroom signs to see if you’re going in the right direction. Even now, I don’t have to run through my schedule — I just follow the signs.” Perhaps the easiest way for new MHS students to recalibrate their bearings is to simply ask someone else. “Ask teachers,” said Wang, “It’s not like they’re going to judge you for not knowing where you are.”

Acheson also offered some important insider wisdom about the school restrooms. “The best bathrooms are the ones at the top of the main entrance staircase,” she said. “They have windows, they’re really nice, [and] they’re always super clean. Those are the best ones, I think.”

While this year is slightly different due to the pandemic, every school year always has many things to look forward to. “I’m looking forward to being back in school and seeing my teachers and friends more regularly,” said Dang. 

“In a normal school year, everyone’s really excited about homecoming and school events,” Acheson said. “If you can do your best, don’t skip the dances, especially homecoming. If you don’t plan on going with anyone, just go anyway, because once you get there there’s gonna be everybody..Look forward to the chance to start fresh…[form] your own person, [have] your own likes and dislikes, [meet] new people, and experience new things. It’s all new, it’s all exciting, it’s all different. Be positive about it and look forward to it.”

As a freshman, Dang wished she knew not to be afraid to try new things. 

“The high school offers a wide variety of courses, clubs and activities,” she said. “Explore new things and find what you’re truly passionate about.”

“I wish I knew that there’s not as much time as you think there is,” said Wang. “You only have six classes a year, maybe more if your classes are semester classes. Use your time to take cool electives [and] to do more activities so that you don’t come to the end of your high school career wishing you did more fun things.”

“I wish I knew that there’s only one ‘high school,’” said Acheson. “I wish I could grasp as a freshman how fast it was going to go and knew that this was my only shot at it. Looking back, there are some things I would’ve changed about how I handled different situations. Take every opportunity you can, even if you think you’re going to hate it.”

Wang also said, “get to know your counselor well [and] get to know your teachers well. Those connections and guidance will be important for many future opportunities,” she said. “It’s always nice to have those adult figures at school who will greet you warmly, and it’ll make your high school experience better.”

“There have been times when I’ve gotten so stressed. And you are going to feel like that in high school,” said Acheson, “But you have to remember that time keeps moving forward. Even if you feel like you’re not going to make it, you will, because the clock keeps going. And you will get everything done eventually because time keeps moving forward.”

“High school is a time to learn and grow as a person,” Dang said. “There’s no doubt that you’ll face challenges that may feel like the end of the world, but take every challenge as an opportunity to learn and to gain more valuable lessons. Everything will turn out alright.”