Advice for freshmen


Michelle Li

The idea of four years in a new environment is daunting for many people. Being thrown into an unfamiliar situation with new people and events can be really confusing, and often times you might not know what to do. With the stress of tests, extracurriculars, academics, friends, and sports, it often seems like it’s absolutely impossible to balance it all. Luckily many sophomores and upperclassmen understand how difficult high school can be, and have some advice on how to make your high school experience fun and unforgettable!

First off: balance is key. You keep hearing the term “well rounded” everywhere, but how can you be well rounded? How do you stay balanced? Sophomore Katya Beltran says, “It is very difficult but I make sure to always do my homework on time and keep on track of my schoolwork. Since sports often end late, you cannot afford to procrastinate. If you start procrastinating it’ll be a constant cycle of catching up, so say on top of things.” Being well rounded is not going to be easy, but it is definitely doable. Sophomore Sean Boyce advises, “Start with one or two activities, and if you have free time, you can always pick up more. Flyers are posted all around the school and there are announcements everyday on RMBC.” If you’re looking for new opportunities, they are all around the school for you to gain access to them.

A high school experience would not be the same without the vast amount of clubs and extracurriculars that are offered. Richard Montgomery is an amazing school that holds a diverse amounts of clubs. All of them are listed on the website, and you can even form a club yourself if you find a deep passion for something. But with all these clubs, which ones are worth getting involved in? Junior Chloe Eoyang says, “Clubs like givology and autism awareness are great for volunteer work, if you’re interested in that or need SSL hours but do not want to commit too much time. A lot of clubs meet at lunch so you won’t have to stay after school.” Clubs that meet once in awhile and do not assign a lot of extra work are a good idea if you’re really focusing on your grades. “Join activities you are interested in, definitely.” advises Jada Petty, junior. If you’re doing something you enjoy, it does not seem like work, but instead it feels more like a hobby. Doing activities you enjoy is a nice balance to the tough work load given in classes.

Besides extracurriculars, academics are obviously absolutely essential for getting into a good college and pursuing a career. The rigor of high school classes differs dramatically from middle school. Teachers constantly say there’s only one of them and thirty some of you, so it’s really hard to catch them in the right mood to answer a question. Also, sometimes you may not want to go in for help because it may make you appear like you’re not smart enough for that course. What do you do if you need homework help? “Don’t be afraid to ask upperclassmen that you know for help. Also, the homework club is a great resource if you’re struggling,” says junior Alex Scott. There are many resources both in and outside RM that are there if you need them. “Get tutoring from the Honors Societies,” suggests junior Kunal Harmalkar, “and don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with your teacher.” Chloe Eoyang explains, “if you’re afraid of talking to a teacher, start by telling them that you mean no disrespect and you truly want to improve on the subject. Also, ask for accommodations if you feel like you really need them.” Teachers are not only there to instruct you, but they want to help you understand the subject and are looking out for your best interest. If there’s something really wrong with the way you’re learning, don’t be scared to ask for new approaches and study strategies. Your teachers will listen to what you have to say and will work out a compromise with you.

Finally, older grades have decided to share some advice on how to make the most out of your high school experience. “I definitely don’t regret getting a head start on studying. It helped a lot in the long run,” says Sean Liu, sophomore. Vivian Yuan, sophomore, agrees with this, she notes “You need good time management and you can’t procrastinate if you want to get all your work done.” High school is definitely very busy, so you should use your time wisely to ensure to finish all your tasks and still have time to do things you enjoy. Matt Nguyen, senior, says: “I regret not committing fully to my clubs”. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in trying to do it all, and quantity might supercede quality. It will be more beneficial to yourself and others if you try to do a few things really well rather than participate in a lot of activities but not give all of them your best effort. High school will go by in a surprisingly short time, so don’t waste any of that time on things that make you miserable. Do what makes you happy, and give it your all. There’s no one formula on how to succeed in high school. Don’t be afraid to pursue what you want, and remember that the students and staff of RM are a great support system.