Dear MPSH freshman,
Whether you feel comfortable and optimistic about the next four years or the absolute furthest thing from it, just hear me out.
Now I have to start with a disclaimer. I would feel safe betting that my freshman experience began different than most. Transitioning from a tiny private Catholic school to the seemingly monstrous campus that was Miami Palmetto Senior High School left me knowing a whopping — brace yourself — three people as I walked in on my first day. Yet, that number soon multiplied during the first week, and then again several times throughout the year. My point is, on the off-chance you can relate to my start, know you will be okay.
Although preserving a social life is absolutely necessary during these years, the academic side of high school (yes, the school part) should remain your priority. Depending on what classes you decided to take, you may find yourself a little (or a lot) overwhelmed. We all hear the same cliché tips when it comes to productivity and organization: create schedules, keep everything neat, etc. Although I consider this important, I think one piece of advice in particular is paramount in our Gen-Z world: PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN.
According to an article published by Psychology Today, research conducted in 2017 by Éilish Duke entitled, “Smartphone addiction, daily interruptions and self-reported productivity” attributed cell phone use to disrupting productivity. It only takes three seconds of looking at your device to break concentration. Do yourself a favor and save yourself from long nights of homework that you actually could have finished in half the time had you decided not to open Netflix.
Ms. Valero, the Activities Director, will time and time again urge you to become involved on campus; take that advice, and do so quickly. Circling back to the social aspect of high school, branch out and truly push your comfort zone — because honestly, why not? High school is a time of exploration so you can hit the ground running once you graduate. Join 15 clubs at the Activities Fair if you like, and you may find yourself president of one senior year. Granted, it may also be the only club you actually decide to stay active in.
Listen up: you will make it to senior year. You will paint your paper crowns from Burger King the week before school starts — or maybe the morning of, if you so choose — and take photos wearing them in the senior lot. You will find yourself surrounded by your classmates in a sea of red t-shirts and think to yourself: “I made it.” The obstacles you will encounter on the way — and yes, you will encounter many — are just part of the process. At the end of it all, look back on these four years and find pride in the fact that you stuck it out.