August Advice Column

story by Emily Tully and Chloe Treat

Q: I’m an incoming freshman and I’m intimidated by the size of the school, and the reputation it has for being such a scary place. Is it really like that? Was freshman year bad for you? How do you make new friends?

(Emily) A: I totally understand being intimidated, as I was more than a little scared to come into a school so big, especially having terrible social anxiety.

The first few days are very scary, in all honesty. For someone who’s shy or has heard the rumors about the school, walking into your first day can be petrifying. But you’ll come to find out that the rumors aren’t true, and after a while, being surrounded by so many people will become your new normal.

Try to make friends in all of your classes, and don’t be afraid to speak up, or reach out to someone you’d like to get to know. I spent way too much time being scared and anxious while I was an underclassman; those were the hardest years of high school for me. I let my anxiety hold me back from having fun and enjoying the little things that make the place not as scary. I let potential friendships pass by because I was too scared to put myself out there.

After learning to not overthink every social move, I was able to ask teachers questions in class, give presentations, and present ideas all without feeling like I was going to cry. Believe me, it’s easier said than done, but if you want to enjoy these next four years to the fullest, then try to breathe and remember that it’s high school and nothing to be scared of.

(Chloe) A: When I started freshman year at Jeffersonville High School, I had no friends — literally none. My first day was so bad I remember going home and crying to my parents about it. But as time went by, it got easier.

Once you get a routine down and get used to things, life in high school becomes just another thing. You’ll eventually make friends, maybe through a club or sport, or even in your classes.

On the social side of things, high school in general is one big test. It’s going to test you to stay true to yourself and your beliefs, and also see just how far you’re willing to go to “fit in”.

The best thing about Jeff High is that there is so much diversity, you can step into one building and be surrounded by every type of person. With high school comes finding yourself and deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life, as if being a teenager isn’t already hard enough.

For me, being a junior now means thinking about college and adulthood and that is terrifying. As a freshman, give everything 100-percent, because no matter what anyone says, the choices you make this year can determine the rest of your high school days.

Don’t over think and have as much fun as possible whilst still being yourself — not who everyone else wants you to be.

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