Dear Freshmen

The Journal staff offers advice to new freshmen


Dear Freshmen,

I remember being crazy nervous during the first few weeks of school my freshman year. I was worried that I wouldn’t make it to class on time, the work would overwhelm me, and all the upperclassmen would be scrutinizing my every move. I quickly learned that my fears were untrue, and I was worried for no reason. In fact, freshman year has been my favorite grade since elementary school. It may take some time for you to see it, but you’ll become much happier here, you’ll make new friends and strengthen many bonds you already have, and you’ll learn things about yourself you never knew. Don’t be nervous for your freshman year, be excited!

– Catherine Hayes, sophomore


Being in high school means taking responsibility. Attendance is a really important part of school. Being here and doing what you’re supposed to do will get you through all four years. Take it from me. I almost failed junior year, partially because of attendance. Last year, I had approximately 98 unexcused absences by the end of the third 9 weeks (not including the ones I got excused). That was my first step towards failure. Once my attendance slipped, I started doing bad in classes and stopped doing work in general. This year, the rules have changed and if you’re tardy you get 15 minutes of lunch detention. Don’t let this scare you into skipping because once you start it’s hard to stop. It’s fun for awhile until you start getting behind in classes and start failing school in general. Also, don’t just stay at home because you’re too tired to get up or just don’t feel like coming. Get up, come to school, learn and have good attendance.

– Erika Gulley, senior


Please do your homework. I know that it’s annoying and you’re tired of hearing it, but doing your homework will help your grade more than anything else. Most teachers offer participation points simply for turning your completed assignment in. Between homework grades and class work, you will be able to pass most classes with at least a C. I promise you, I know what I’m talking about. My freshman year I really struggled with Algebra I. I got okay grades on most of the tests, mostly C’s, but because I did my homework and some extra credit, I passed the class with an A. So, please do your homework, it’s in your best interest.

– Anna Earl, senior


High school is a big transition from middle school and as we all know, being stressed out is the stereotypical school experience but it doesn’t have to be your experience . Obviously some situations are still going to cause stress, like that big test coming up or the math homework you forgot to do, but every day doesn’t need to be stressful. Here are some ways you can take a load off your shoulders:

1. Be present (come to school and pay attention, your grades will improve)

2. Get a planner (I wish I would have done this sooner)

3. Get plenty of sleep (no one likes a grouch)

4. Take time for yourself (it’s okay if you need a break, you’re a teenager you can’t do everything)

5. Don’t overthink it (you’ll be okay, I promise)

6. Don’t worry about other people (Everyone else is too worried about themselves to worry about you, so play nice to everyone, maybe you’ll even make a new friend.)

It will all be alright and before you know it you’ll be graduating, so enjoy the moments you have here. Keep calm and groove on.

-Kate Hayes, senior


The list of activities offered at PHS may seem daunting at first, but there is something for everyone. Whether you hope to solve an issue in your community, get a glimpse of a STEM career, or become a Division I athlete, you can find your community at this school. However, with such a long list comes a feeling of uncertainty, and you question where you even begin. When finding an activity that is right for you, it’s important to go outside your comfort zone and try new things, even if you are fearful you won’t end up liking it. There is always a possibility of you discovering something you will enjoy. With that, recognizing that just because your friends are pursuing an activity doesn’t mean that you must too is crucial. Participating in an activity just to follow the crowd will only waste your high school experience. Spend your time in an activity where you feel you can be yourself, have meaningful conversations about topics that you find interesting and meet new people that inspire and encourage you. So, come to a meeting for that club you’ve seen flyers around the school for or try out for that sports team you’ve always wanted to be a part of. You only get four years of high school: make the most of them.

– Yasmeen Alamin, senior


I would just like to say, the hallways are a no running zone. I know you feel like you have to because the school is so big, but you are given five minutes to get there. I thought the same thing when I was in your shoes, but I quickly learned that walking would still get me there on time. Also, if you are with your friends walking in the halls then talk at a normal volume. Don’t scream at each other or be loud in the hallways.

– Kadence Perez


The Newspaper Staff