A Senior’s Advice to Freshmen

Courtesy of Top Tier Admissions

Courtesy of Top Tier Admissions

Jillian Neuner '19, Editor-in-Chief

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To the Class of 2022,

Welcome to Marymount! I hope your first month has been exciting, presented you with many new friendships, and eased your worries about high school just a bit. Looking back on my four years at Marymount, I have learned a lot about myself and my role as a student – sometimes the easy way and, other times, the not-so-easy way. I’m hoping that me laying it all out on the table now will help many of you come to these realizations a lot faster than I did. Navigating the rough waters of freshman year seems like a huge feat, but I promise, with patience, motivation, and a little encouragement along the way, you will be sailing speedily in no time!

My first piece of advice is to become involved and engage in many activities during your first year at Marymount. Club Fair probably seemed pretty overwhelming, but it offers so many unique clubs and exciting extracurricular activities that will allow you to refine your interests. Find your passion – whether it is reading, political awareness, or service – and explore it. Not only will these extracurricular activities “look good on your college applications,” but in a greater sense, they will aid you in learning more about yourself and your areas of interest.

My second – and probably most difficult piece of advice – is to find your voice. This was the not-so-easy realization for me. Looking back on freshman year, I laugh every time I think of my shy attitude and apprehension for speaking out in class. However, throughout my four years at Marymount, I have gained greater self-confidence and now use my voice to my advantage. I have realized the power and gift of my voice. So, while coming into a new school with new friends and teachers seems intimidating, I cannot emphasize enough the impact of finding your voice early. Realize that your perspectives, opinions, and backgrounds are what make you unique; isn’t it a gift to share your unique personality with the rest of your peers and teachers?

Lastly, I encourage the Class of 2022 to aim for good grades and perform well in your classes, but also realize that it is hard, and that is perfectly okay. For many, the transition from eighth grade to high school is a challenging one, filled with higher expectations, heavier workloads, and less time to complete every task. While freshman year grades do matter, they do not define your entire high school career. No one expects that the same foot you started freshman year with will be the same one you walk across the stage with to receive your diploma. In short, freshman year is a time often characterized by the struggle with a transition, but I want you to know that if you work your hardest, set achievable goals for yourself, and have a little fun in the process, you will eventually emerge the victor.

Good luck with the rest of your freshman year! Know that you have a wonderful support system at Marymount. When times get tough, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and guidance. Likewise, when times are going great, share it with the world! You have the privilege of a community that wants to see you thrive, grow, and excel and – most importantly – believes you can.

Best wishes,