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Wise words for winning at NT

Marie O'Connor, Opinion Writer

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With nine days left of highschool it’s almost impossible not to feel nostalgic or want to impart some wisdom on my fellow trevs.
After four long years of homework, tests, new friends and maybe the occasional fight, I feel like an entirely new person compared to the tiny freshman who walked into the Northfield campus for the first time.
I won’t pretend that I have all the answers or solutions to have the perfect four years here at NT, or even that I am a perfect model to follow, but I have survived, I am graduating, and I am going to college.
Not to mention I’m a senior, so I innately have authority on everything. This alone gives me the right to impart advice onto all you lowly underclassman.
So here we go; advice on how to win at high school….
Don’t take yourself so seriously. After eighth grade, and all alone on the freshman campus there’s no one to put freshmen in their place. Trying to make friends and move on from junior high means inflated egos and lots of overconfidence.
To all you sophomores with your swelled heads, welcome to the Winnetka campus, here you are the bottom of the food chain. (And to that sophomore boy who stole my seat in the trevian commons, YOU AREN’T COOLER THAN ME.)
But besides hating on sophomores, which is always fun, I am being sincere when I say that no one will remember what you wore or what parties you got into in high school. Use your time to make real friends or find a club you love. It’s definitely important to try out different roles to see which one fits, but don’t force a personality that isn’t your own.
Join a club where you know no one. It can be terrifying to join an activity, sport, or club without a friend to rely on. Going into something alone is risky, but the result is often well worth the risk. Sophomore year I saw an opportunity to write for the Sophomore Journal, and even after begging my friends none of them would join me in attending a meeting.
Fed up, I emailed the sponsor and showed up to the club by myself. Obviously, I fell for journalism because here I am writing for the New Trier News two years later.
I knew no one in that club, but it didn’t matter because the as like- minded journalists we all got along and now many of those once-strangers sit beside me everyday in the newsroom.
Join a club with people you know. While taking a risk and doing something alone can result in learning something new about yourself, sometimes it’s also fun to join something with a bunch of people you already know.
For me, this was Track and Field. The no-cut sport allowed me and my friends to run together every day after school. It doesn’t have to be a sport though, any activity where your group of friends gets to hang out during the week is really fun and usually completely hilarious.
It’s not uncool to try. What I mean by this is it’s not uncool to be passionate about something you love. Really loving something and giving it all you can is a lot more satisfying than pretending you’re above trying.
Life is way more fun when you accept that some things are just really exciting, and you’re allowed to get excited about them. Basically, don’t be too cool for school, it’s boring and honestly, you’re wasting your time.
Get to know your teachers. Having a great relationship with teachers, para-pros, or other adults around the school adds another layer to the learning here.
It’s so important to have relationships with individuals of all ages and backgrounds and it’s never too early to start. Not only does having a good relationship with a teacher most likely help your grade, but these relationships can serve a role found nowhere else.
Teachers aren’t your parents, so many times the relationship is a more friendly one, but at the same time each teacher has a different story or experience that is incredibly fascinating.
We are given the freedom to roam the halls during our free periods rather than sit in mandatory study halls, giving us the chance to talk to teachers outside of class. Most students are not given this kind of opportunity until college, so take advantage of all the knowledge in this building.
Throughout my four years I have had a few amazing teachers that stand out in my memory. Teachers who even years later I still say hi to in the hallway or stop to catch up.
I can’t imagine enjoying high school as much as I have without some of the people in this building who have made it their life’s work to educate me.
With that I conclude my last opinions in this newspaper. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of this news staff, and to work with such amazing people. Finally:
Don’t Juul in the hallway. It’s not cool.
Don’t play music from speakers in your backpack, it’s just obnoxious.
Try all the clubs or sports you can until you find something you love.
Remember that high school isn’t always supposed to be fun, so when it gets tough, keep going!

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The student news site of New Trier High School.
Wise words for winning at NT