Dear freshmen…


Jada Hallman, Editor-in-Chief

I know what you’re thinking. You’re a month into school and no one has broken out into musical song and dance yet. It’s no easy task navigating through a sea of kids every 58 minutes just to get to your next class and for some reason you can’t seem to remember where all the bathrooms are. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Whether it was four years ago or just last month, every single student at West High has felt the exact same feelings and thought the exact same thoughts you are having right now.

Walking through those gates on the first day of school was an accomplishment in itself, so pat yourself on the back. You took the first steps of your high school career and you’re well on your way to completing it. Always acknowledge your successes, no matter how big or how small, because a win is a win and every single one of them deserves to be celebrated.

In high school, you learn how to work hard and look to the future. You practice managing your homework, friendships and free time while balancing your health and sleep schedule all at once. I won’t lie to you, sometimes it is difficult. There will be long nights spent writing essays or sore muscles from intense sports practices or even just simply bad days. It is part of the amazing teenage experience. As the weeks grow into months and the months grow into years, you’ll become a master at conquering those difficult times. You’ll see that that long night writing that essay earned you a great grade and that tiring workout helped you win your next game and that really bad day was easily resolved with a gigantic bowl of ice cream. Don’t give up when times get tough; those times only make you tougher.

West High offers so many sports, clubs and after-school programs that will allow you to meet new people, find a new hobby or feel inspired with a new passion. It is so important to get involved with new activities and interests because they open doors for you that you might not have knocked on in the first place. The great thing about high school is that you can try so many new and exciting activities with other students who enjoy the same things as you do. The sky is the limit, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

There are so many resources at West that will help you pave your path after high school as well. Whether you are aiming to go to college after graduation, to the armed forces or straight to a career, the grades you earn matter. Do not neglect your academics or fall into the trap of procrastination. Creating positive study habits early will help you through the next four years and beyond. Being organized, attentive and responsible are all skills that are important outside of high school.

To all my young scholars, ambitious performers and dedicated athletes out there: don’t forget that you are human. Yes, high school is important for your future, but so is getting seven hours of sleep, eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated. You cannot perform your best in the classroom, on stage or on the field if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Your mental and physical health impact all your work, so do not forget to eat, sleep or take breaks when you need to.

Everyone says that high school goes by in the blink of an eye, and as a senior who still sometimes feels like an 8th grader, I can sure tell you time flies when you’re having fun. Remember to cherish the moments you have and take advantage of the many opportunities available to you.

Yes, this school is big, but your heart is even bigger. We’re almost a month down, there’s only eight more to go. You’ve got this.

Yours truly,

Jada Hallman