Advice to younger siblings rehashes lessons learned

By Emelie Gulde


I’m a freshman. That comes with a bit of stress. Some upperclassmen would say I won’t know what stress is until I have this teacher or that class or those grades. But this is what I know now. I came into high school unprepared, and uncertain. I want to eliminate some of that uncertainty for my three younger siblings.

I have two little sisters named Katherine and Colleen, whom I think are the most adorable girls on the planet. They enjoy writing notes on my mirror when I’m not at home and eating cake. I have one brother named Jonathan who likes to play on Xbox and with Legos.

They are adorable and sweet, yet annoying. But mostly sweet. And I don’t want high school to scare them. I want them to come prepared.

Freshman year is a defining year. Will you be a band nerd? A newspaper chick? Smart? Sporty? Artsy? Honestly, my sibs could be all or none of these, and I would love them to death. Here are some things that I want them to know about high school, and that I wish I knew before I came.

Being involved in the community is essential. Not only does it look good on college applications, but it’s fun. You get to know all sorts of different people and their opinions. Volunteering is a great way to get to know the town and gain experience. Because I work at Scott and White Hospital over the summer, I get to be with college students and adults, and observe how a hospital works. I also teach swim lessons for the City of College Station, and because of that, I have a chance to get to know people my age who love to help others.

Another important part of high school is balance. Whip out that planner, because high school tests not only your knowledge, but time management skills as well. Your classes will be hard (or they should be), and your schedule will be busy. Not only will you have to balance school, but friends, church and family. Don’t forget us. I actually feel like I should spend more time on balance because it’s so important, but it’s pretty self-explanatory.

People are going to complain. A lot. Try not to be one of them! They will complain about teachers, how hard a test was, and how much sleep they haven’t had. High school students talk about sleep a lot (because we don’t get enough) but trust me, the ‘I don’t have enough sleep’ competition is not one you want to win.

Appreciate school for what it is. Some people consider school a prison. I consider it a tornado. Tornadoes pull in wind from all over the world, different places and scenes, into one area. If you can imagine the wind as knowledge, the amount of resources we have here is crazy! Every teacher and textbook holds an incredible amount of information just waiting to be absorbed by the sponges we call brains.

It’s a competition. Not against your classmates, but against yourself. Try the best you can, and you will receive positive results. If you look at the smartest person in the class and say, “I need better grades than her,” you’re tricking yourself. You need better grades than you. If the world worked that way, there wouldn’t be a highest person in the class, because they wouldn’t have had the incentive to get there. You are your own nemesis, best friend and worst critic. You are your own judge.

What I’m trying to say is this- I want my siblings to do well in school because they want to, not because they have to. I want them to find a motivation behind the work and make it interesting. I know that if they find motivation and decide they want to learn, they can look at the stars and the pages of a book at the same time.