From freshman year to senior year, many aspects of students’ lives change: interests, friends, and responsibilities. Throughout the four years that students spend in high school, they learn many new things each year and gain insight on what to do and what not to do. Students pick up tips to make their high school experience the best it can be.

As the oldest in the school, seniors have gained the most high school experiences. Seniors are granted more freedoms and have perks in their schedules such as open campus. From their experiences, seniors also have the most insight on how to survive high school. Senior John McLaughlin shared his three tips on getting through high school, “1) Always manage your time. Do not waste time at home doing unimportant things, get your homework done early so you don’t have to stay up all night. 2) Build relationships with your teachers. You want to be able to ask them for help, and you are going to need recommendation letters. 3) Don’t slack off at any point. Keep your averages up so you don’t have to stress about finals.” School is important and a necessity to life, so if a student treats it like a joke, then he or she won’t be prepared. Seniors have had four years to refine their high school experiences, so tips from a senior are very helpful.

Junior year is generally agreed to be the most difficult and stress packed year. It is during junior year that many students are searching for ways to be more efficient and get through. Junior Lauren Monteiro encourages students to “make sure that you have good time management skills. It might seem like [you have] a lot of work but if you spread it out and manage your time, it won’t seem like so much”. A trending piece of advice seems to be that getting work done early is important, so that it is out of the way and done with. Juniors tend to get a lot of work and have a difficult year, so getting work done is always a priority. Many juniors are happy to get advice and tips that can alleviate their stressful year.

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Sophomores are slightly more experienced than freshman when it comes to ‘surviving’ high school. Sophomore Katie DeMicco’s recommendation is “not to stress too much with assignments or tests and quizzes. Do your best because the more you stress, the worse it will be”. Everyone has their own tips to help themselves get through. Sophomore David Forrester suggested to, “never do homework at home”. Trying to get all work done at school during lunch or free periods can allow students to have more free time at home.

         Freshmen are the new faces and the youngest in high school. They are inexperienced and unaware of what to expect in high school. Teachers tend to be more lenient this year as the students are all still figuring out how to act as new high schoolers. As high school begins, finding one’s own path and interests can be difficult or scary. Sophomore Matt Saia inspires freshman with this tip: “Don’t be afraid to choose a new path, whether it is choosing a new sport or joining a new club. It shouldn’t scare you because even if your old friends don’t agree with your decision, new friends are coming. In the end, following what you want to do and going against mob mentality means being a leader, and that is an excellent character trait to have because in this world all you have is your character.” It is very important for freshman students to expand their horizons and try new things. Freshman Riya Patel shared her high school experience so far, “I thought high school was going to be the hardest thing I would ever have to go through. But I learned that if you pay attention in class, study, and hand in your assignments, high school can be fun and enjoyable and something to look forward to everyday”. If students really dedicate themselves and show an effort, their teachers will work with them, and their high school experience will be improved.

    High School may feel like it lasts forever, but It doesn’t. Students should embrace it while they are there and try to make as many friends as they can. Students should find their paths, but is okay if they are unsure what their interests are - That is what high school is for. Do the best you can, try not to stress yourself out too much, and remember to enjoy where you are in life.

Editor's Note: The Highlander is the student newspaper of Gov. Livingston High School featuring articles written by staff and guest writers covering a variety of topics of interest to the students.