How to thrive in your freshman year

Abby Crespin, Molly Moore, and Preston Lieu

This article provides the best tips and pointers that all freshmen should know, written by last year’s freshmen staff writers. (Graphic by Ellen Chadwick)

Find a consistent spot for Mustang Block. 

Mustang block is a great time to catch up on work, socialize, meet with teachers, or just decompress. “I meet up with my friends on the third floor,” sophomore Sophie Weisert said. Having a plan for mustang block will help you best optimize the short time period.


Don’t buy everything at the Mustang Mug. 

The Mustang Mug is a convenient spot to purchase a quick snack or drink, but it’s important to be conscious of your spending. It is also great to bring snacks from home to save money and avoid the long line.


Bring layers.

Especially at the beginning of the school year, the classrooms around the school can feel noticeably chilly. Often when you are sitting in class for a while, students tend to get cold even if the temperature isn’t very low due to a lack of physical activity. For example, if you are wearing a t-shirt, you should probably plan on bringing a sweatshirt or a jacket to be safe. 


Don’t be afraid to explore the different activities Meridian has to offer.

School clubs and activities are an essential part of high school, allowing you to make new friends and do the things you love with your classmates. “I really like GIVE day, SCA, soccer, and field hockey. I got to do a lot of fun things like work with friends, meet new people, and encounter situations I’d never seen before,” sophomore Grace Calabrese expresses. 


Try to find motivators to work hard in your classes.

School work can oftentimes feel overwhelming and stressful, leading to procrastination and more anxiety.  Finding motivators to stay on top of your work will help you feel in control and limit unhelpful stress. Additionally, when you find a solid rhythm of completing work on time and well, it will increase your confidence, decrease your stress, and make your high school experience more enjoyable. “I strive to be the best version of myself,” said sophomore Joyce Taddesse-Kassa when asked what motivates her. 


Have a wide variety of friends; try not to limit yourself to one social group.

Friend groups will shift with changes in classes, sports, and general life, so be sure to avoid limiting yourself to one group because odds are that group is not set in stone. 


Prioritize your work and plan your schedule ahead of time.

Although it may sound cliché, scheduling your work ahead of time simply sets you up for success. “The workload in high school is different from middle school and if you don’t prioritize your time well, the work will catch up to you. I would use a calendar or set a specific time after school every day,” Anand Colby explains. As school gets harder, prioritizing your work allows you to stress less and have more free time.


Take advantage of the lockers around the school.

Whether your lunch box is taking up too much space in your bag, or you’re tired of carrying your coat, the lockers on the third, fourth, and fifth floor are there whenever you need them. You will be less likely to lose your personal belongings around the school because whatever you do not need throughout the day will be stored safely. “It’s really helpful especially if you do sports,” sophomore Gia Khan adds. 


Enjoy your freshman year — don’t take it for granted.

Despite all the intimidating thoughts you may have about your first year of high school, it really is a fun experience that you should try and enjoy. “I really liked [my] freshman year because it’s a transition year between middle school and high school and it’s a time where you don’t have too much time on schoolwork and can spend lots of time with your friends. I would recommend partaking in a club that you are interested in and easing your way into the high-school experience,” sophomore Ben Beloe concludes.