The Wisest Warriors: Seniors Spill Need to Know Advice for Incoming Freshmen


Rachel Mountain

Siblings Share: Senior Lizzie Havey and Freshmen Julia Havey share the bond of sisterhood- and with that- the privilege of gaining valuable advice from a senior sibling.

Freshmen around the world are facing a daunting challenge as school begins again: embarking on their first day of high school. Excitement flows through their veins, yet for many, anxiety has a strong grip on what the next year-and at that rate-what the next four years hold. Sensory overload and worry is commonplace in a new environment, and so it is understandable that the freshmen who arrived at the North Atlanta building on August 1, 2022 had a lot to consider about their new academic home. Prior to their arrival, they may have heard overused pieces of unwarranted advice offered by parents and friends, such as “don’t be late to class and make sure to turn in your work,” but has anyone actually offered them meaningful advice?

While some truths of the trade may have been thrown around, practical advice from fellow students and upper classmen is unparalleled to stereotyped back to school jargon. Just as the freshmen class of 2026 were not granted revolutionary tips, the same dilemma once occurred to the now Senior class of 2023. Well, warriors, let’s change the script. Here you have it, advice you didn’t know you needed from the class who lived and learned the hard way so you don’t have to.

For senior Sarah Anne Hamilton, the difference between high school and middle school academics was drastic, and the change was incredibly challenging from the second she walked into the eleven stories. Small tasks, such as raising a hand in class or asking for help proved to be a mountain to climb for herself and many other new freshmen. “Wether you are new to NAHS or an experienced veteran, class participation is a timeless essential in ensuring the success of your high school experience,” said Hamilton, “Because of the chances I took and the connections I made, I now have teachers who I not only have an established bond with, but am also able to work with them to contribute to my college applications and solidify my future beyond high school.

Being an engaged student is critical to success in the first year of high school and throughout the years to come, yet some argue that establishing a strong GPA is also a highly important factor in starting a solid high school career. Although some teachers warn students that prioritizing GPA can distract students from a healthy learning environment, senior Sophie Haines argues that establishing good grades, specifically as a freshman, is of utmost importance. “As a freshman, I didn’t start highschool as seriously as I should’ve, and because of this, my GPA suffered from then on. After two years of achieving a 4.0 GPA, I have learned that supporting your future self with solid first year grades is an extremely wise academic choice.” 

Academic tips are irrefutably useful for building a successful high school career, yet maintaining a balance between social life and school life is arguably just as rewarding. Many teenagers pursue social life over academic responsibilities as their freedoms evolve, often making the realities of high school a hard hit right off the bat. “School always comes first, especially since you can see your friends at school,” said senior Kate Zappa.

As freshmen begin to conquer their first year in the building, pressing questions will inevitably arise. So, the next time confusion hits, look to the all-knowing upperclassmen. They promise they won’t bite!