Letter to the Freshmen

Shelby H.

Managing Editor

                Dear Freshmen,

It is my desire to first applaud you on making it this far. Graduating from the sheltered halls of middle school is no small feat. Clearly, most of you are smarter than you are given credit for. That said, congratulations on making it to ninth grade, and welcome to Woodstock High School.

By now, you have all settled into your respective freshmen classes. Not to worry, your teacher does not dislike you; he or she is just preparing you for the real world where, unless you learn to be mature, you will have a difficult time earning your peers’ and superiors’ respect. You will find that this year will not only be one of academia-related stress like you have never seen, but one of great personal growth. If that is not the case, you need to take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why it is you continue to act like a middle schooler. As a senior here at Woodstock, I would like to offer some advice that will make your transition from Wolf and Patriot to Wolverine slightly easier.

While it is said that there is strength in numbers, meandering down the hallways in large packs is unacceptable. Other people have classes across the school to get to, and your horde of friends is a preventable obstacle. A group of two or three is usually your best bet; if you find that you and your companions are stretching the width of the hall, you are not making it easy on yourself or others. Other hallway etiquette rules include not stopping in the middle of the hall and not crowding the 700 hall intersections. There are several routes to your classes that are far more efficient than standing motionless in a doorway while the crowd crawls forward. Breezeways and the doors at the end of all the hallways are very helpful in navigating the heavy traffic areas of the school; use them to your benefit.

Once you have improved upon your hallway etiquette, your freshman status will be less obvious to those around you. However, there will be a few traits that you may carry which just scream “freshman.” Ever amusing, as well as embarrassing, is the “Turtle Back Freshman.” Hunched over beneath the crushing weight of every binder and textbook of the semester, they can be spotted immediately. The stuffed backpack’s resemblance to a turtle’s shell has earned these particular freshmen their nickname. In middle school, it was often easy to carry around a semester’s worth of books, but students have lockers for a reason. Bottom locker or top locker, it matters not. Utilize it to the best of your ability. Your spine will thank you later when you do not have a permanent hunch back, not to mention that it will save you extensive mockery. Lessening the load on your back might help you relax as well. The confused, wide-eyed, and terrified expressions are easily picked out of a crowd, labeling you as the bottom of the food chain. High school can be a bit of a culture shock with three times as many people milling about and unfamiliar sights and smells, so the first days can be quite daunting. At this point, however, blending in and acting like you have a clue should be fairly easy. Just take a deep breath and try to make sure it does not look like your eyes are about to pop out of their sockets. Honestly, high school is not as bad or scandalous as your favorite television shows make it out to be.

Lastly, I will attempt to discredit a few of the myths older students may try to sell. There is no pool on the roof of the school, nor are there any passes to get to said roof. This little deception has been around since Woodstock had its first graduating class. By now, most know better, but there is always the one kid who takes the bait hook, line, and sinker. “Freshman Friday” is also a myth created to terrify freshmen into believing they are going to be shoved into lockers and trash cans. The most malicious thing that really happens is the booing of the freshmen at pep rallies. It can be upsetting, but we have all been through it, and when you are an upperclassman, you will gleefully participate. Everyone starts at the bottom, but you will work your way up until you find that suddenly you are the seniors grumbling about the newest class of freshmen.

For four years you will walk these halls, make friends, attend games, participate in spirit weeks, and hopefully learn a few things along the way. The best advice I could probably give you all is to enjoy it. Make the very most of high school because before you know it, it will be over, and you want to avoid any nagging “what if” questions. Join the clubs – we have one for every individual, go to the dances even if you hate dancing, and attend the games and show everyone how great it is to be a Woodstock Wolverine. Before you know it, you will be leaving the halls you once clogged, and you will want to remember the exceptional days you spent here over any miserable ones, so make an effort to make them all the best. Welcome to Woodstock High School, Class of 2016.


  1. Hadley C. says:

    A freshman I’ll be next year, and in all honesty, this has been the most helpful thing I am yet to read. Sure, teachers telling me that if I don’t pass I’ll live in a box on the street is nice (hyperbole intended…), students seem to understand better. I’ve been having nightmares about getting lost in the high school ever since the tour, talk about nervous. And as silly as I sound, I believed the whole bit on Freshie Friday! I’m exited about the clubs at WHS, like chrous, drama, and especially newspaper club. No one at the middle school takes it seriously… May I add that I had the idea of putting it online (-cough- genius -cough-), but no one seemed to care, so that idea never left the room.
    Well, now I seem to be rambling, so I’ll stop myself. I hope I survive!

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