Freshman Asks, Senior Answers: Social Life & Cocurriculars

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Emerald Staff Photographer

Mia Lee ’21 and Bridget Panina ’24

This is Part One of a series that will feature discussion between underclassmen and upperclassmen regarding life at SHC. Each piece will focus on a different aspect of high school life — this article hones in on the social interactions that are a hallmark of life at SHC.

Mia Lee: As a senior writing this article now, I still remember being a freshman at SHC and having so many questions about high school. Some questions were left unasked and unanswered because well… I was a frosh who was afraid to ask. Four years later, I have answered a lot of those questions through my own experience but I always wondered how my experience could have changed if I received the advice beforehand. 

Through this article, I wanted to give the underclassmen a chance to ask their questions, and I wanted to do my best to give my most honest answers. I would love to get other underclassmen and upperclassmen involved, so we can really form an understanding of each other’s experiences of high school.  Especially during this pandemic, considering the freshmen have never truly experienced their first year of high school and us seniors are missing out on our last. Overall, I feel that we can all embrace the amazing community I learned to love at SHC these past four years. Plus, I have the brightest of the class of ‘24, Bridget, co-authoring this article and helping me to accomplish our vision together!

Bridget Panina: As a freshman who started high school online, I have a lot of questions. Sitting behind a screen for five months did not really give any insight to the “high school experience.” My fellow freshmen have no idea what high school is like either. I wrote a list of questions that I have about SHC, in-person school, and teenage life in general. Mia Lee, a wonderful senior here at SHC, was kind enough to answer them. So, without further ado, here are my questions, and Mia’s answers.

The 2017 Freshmen Football Team after a game; many SHC freshmen make lifelong friends through sports. (Emerald Staff Photographer)

Bridget: How do you make friends? 

Mia: Don’t be afraid to talk to other people, even if you think they don’t seem friendly or you don’t know them – you never know until you try! A great way to make friends is through extracurriculars at SHC. Extracurriculars like sports teams, after school clubs, and theatre are a great way to meet new people who have similar interests as you. One way to do this is by going to the club fairs or by researching the different clubs at SHC and reaching out to the student leaders to join. Another great way is to connect with other students via social media, especially if you haven’t met students face to face already, such as through adding peoples’ Snapchat or Instagram. Finally, I suggest getting involved at SHC even if it’s taking more classes or different classes such as chorus or band during a block 8. 

Bridget: Is balancing extracurriculars and school difficult?

Mia: It’s definitely harder because you have less time, but you learn to get used to it. Being in sport or after school activity means making friends, learning about how other people are doing in school, and staying active. Balance, baby! Don’t do too many activities if you have hard classes or don’t take too many hard classes if you know you have a lot of extracurriculars. There is always a way to manage time, but you need to be proactive about managing your schedule and how to stay on top of your work. Also, don’t be afraid to take a break or quit if you’re truly overwhelmed from extracurriculars. School always comes first. You can tell your coach that you have a big test or a lot of homework. They should understand, and you can ask your teacher for help or support, they will definitely be willing to give you advice. 

Many freshmen enjoy the activities that are typically conducted at school before the Bruce-Mahoney game. (SHC OCM)

Bridget: What are some funny or interesting stories about your freshman/sophomore year?

Mia: I don’t have a lot of stories from freshman year because it was three years ago, but one morning before class this student Riley just started jumping over his tall friends and other really tall people. Then a crowd formed of students and Mr. Sazo/Cannon went to break it up. Riley then asked to jump over Dr. Cannon and Mr. Sazo once which they agreed to, so everyone watched, cheered when he was successful, and was late to class. It was pretty funny. (See the video HERE)

Bridget: Is it smart to date freshman year?

Mia: It’s up to you. Don’t force anything if you feel you’re not ready and don’t let anyone convince you to be. Additionally, do what makes you happy! It’s okay to date other people or talk to people, but you don’t have to tell yourself that you have to be in a relationship. That just comes with time and maturity. Overall, you should date on your own time and not just when other people are.

That’s it for Part One of this series: be sure to keep following the Emerald for more from Mia and Bridget!