A Prowl reporter gives his advice to the incoming freshman class


Wyatt Henderson

Hoards of students gather in the Commons, on Sept. 6, as the final bell rings signifying its time to get to class. 

Coming into a new environment such as a school can often be overwhelming. A few simple suggestions may change the tide of newcomers experience as they arrived in August.

I am still being haunted by the fact that I disregarded these ideas so abruptly without any consideration. Take this free advice and run with it, or don’t and suffer like I did.

These are a few tips from a senior which are directed to assist freshmen:

  • Forget everything you think you know about high school. Freshmen who first walk into the high school with high expectations will find that Powell High School is nothing like any other school. All ideas of what high school will be might as well be left at the door. Movies and other preconceived notions aren’t accurate. PHS in itself is a great place but it’s not exactly what the middle school prepared freshman for. The term “freshmen are friends, not food” isn’t always pin point accurate. Upperclassmen have zero tolerance for a school of rowdy kids. Sorry, not sorry.
  • Be a teacher’s pet. So what if it’s not “cool?” Participating in class makes each day go by a lot quicker and people tend to enjoy that class a lot more. Be friends with the teachers, not just other students. You’ll probably find you like the teachers more anyway.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help or direction. Freshmen, everyone gets a little turned around from time to time; the school is sort of a maze at first. The upperclassmen may seem a bit intimidating, but they’re really not all that bad. So definitely ask for help and hopefully they can point you in the right direction.
  • Explore your options. Find classes that are enjoyable and progress in them. Start with “Intro to … ” then continue on with them the following semester. Get a feel for what’s intriguing and what you want to learn. High school can be a terrible or wonderful time depending on how you play your cards.
  • Find peace in being out of your comfort zone. Being in a new place isn’t always a peaceful feat to face. Yet the teachers here are all willing to help, assist and humor the freshman, as they come into the school. Some, more than others. Teachers can too seem daunting but stay on their good side and they’ll likely seem less scary.
  • Make friends with upperclassmen. Upperclassmen may seem intimidating or overall too goofy to approach. However, they’re just humans like the rest of the school (well, some of them at least). They like to make friends too, as antisocial as they may seem. Every student that’s made it out of freshman year has once been in the position the newbies are currently in, so upperclassmen totally understand the stress, confusion and curiosity. They can be helpful to freshman by showing students the ropes of Powell High School.
  • Try “hands on” classes. Classes like welding, woodworking and agriculture can be taken more than one semester in a row. Hands-on classes like these take a different turn on education. Sure, students will learn an incredible amount but it’s not just sitting in a desk having information repeated over and over until it’s lost its meaning. Take advantage of all the classes that are available, peak interest or that simply seem curious. Branch out and explore.
  • Focus on you. High school is a place to find out which path to follow in life. Everyone has their own battles to face and many students just want to clock in and clock out each day. Fight your battles, don’t try and be everyone’s hero. Of course stand up for someone if they’re being bullied and whatnot, but keep in mind that it can take a toll on someone if they try to please everyone around them.

Above all: Make yourself happy first.