Tatler’s Welcome to High School Guide!


As returning readers know, it simply wouldn’t be a September Tatler issue without a back-to-school guide. This year, the Tatler Staff has contributed, curated, and compiled a few pieces of advice for freshmen—and for anyone else in need of guidance—on how to best survive those mysterious, hazardous years of high school. We hope that the following suggestions may help you this year and in the years to come, and we wish you all the luck that high school has to offer!

Tatler’s 2019 Back-to-School Guide:

  • Do the homework: Even if your math teachers tell you it’s not required, it is.
  • Don’t let anyone borrow your pencils — especially if they’re the fancy mechanical kind.
  • If you take over a table on the upper floor of the library, expect upperclassmen to be annoyed.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour.
  • Wear deodorant, please. Re-apply after PE.
  • Stay organized; make sure all your material is in order, since you’ll need it for review before big tests and finals. Task manager programs or planners that help you keep track of what work is due when will free up the mental space necessary to chase that eternal “grind high.”
  • Don’t be a grade hawk freshman year — it’s bad for your health and cringey.
  • Save all your homework packets! You can use them as study material and practice problems (especially practice problems!) when finals come around.
  • Spending excessive time and effort competing with your classmates is unhelpful for all involved. Healthy, motivating competition is fine, but don’t allow yourself to become obsessed with the achievements of those around you. And please don’t do that thing where everyone tries to compete over “who went to bed the latest.” It’s dumb. The person who went to bed before ten is the obvious winner.
  • Don’t be afraid to get help, either from teachers, classmates, or upperclassmen! It makes everything infinitely easier, and everyone pities freshmen; so long as you try to learn the social mores, people will be a lot more lenient with you. So use the opportunity for free support from all over!
  • Your teachers, in particular, are such a great resource if you’re struggling in class. There isn’t a single teacher who would object to you going to them to ask for help. It helps if you talk to them and try to establish relationships with them early on, as that will make it easier to approach them when you need help.
  • Don’t feel pressured to live by any societally-defined idea of what a high school experience should be. Do whatever makes sense to you.
  • Branch out! Make new friends, join new clubs and sports, and most of all, do your best to embrace the novelty. High school can be the most enchanting place on Earth, especially when you’re new to it. Make use of this! Us Lakesiders are lucky that we have a great facility, faculty, and so on. Even more reason to explore the community and opportunities to their fullest.