GBU: Some Final Words
Dear Howler, I’m currently a sophomore, and I’m really nervous about junior year. Any advice?
Good: Don’t be! Contrary to popular belief, junior year is actually pretty manageable and can be an exciting step in your Northwood journey. Make sure to maintain a good work ethic and don’t procrastinate on your schoolwork and you’ll be fine on the academic side of things. Outside of the classroom, your first year as an upperclassman can really open a lot of doors for you, whether in leadership roles or further refinement of your extracurricular abilities. The most important thing is to keep the different aspects of your life balanced, and if you do that, you’ll probably find it surprisingly enjoyable. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.
Bad: The rumors are true. Junior year is as bad as everyone says. However, whenever things get tough, I like to remind myself that what I can’t see or hear doesn’t exist. This has got me through all those reading assignments, lab reports, and major tests. Homework waiting for me on my table? Leave the room, plug in a pair of earphones, and pull up an episode of “Parks and Rec.” Taking a huge, nerve-wracking exam? Just pull out your phone; they’ll kick you out for you. I recommend starting this process early when time for your summer homework rolls around. Summer homework? Opt for Netflix binges on the couch instead; work can wait. Do this, and you’ll have a minimal amount of stress junior year!
Ugly: Imagine all the pain and suffering that juniors go through, and then just keep that mental picture there…keep it imaginary and don’t go to school. Some alternative options for you include lying about your age to enlist in the army early, running away into the wilderness Thoreau-style or moving to Labordonia for a better future.
Dear Howler, I have a sibling who’s going to be a freshman next year. What advice should I give them?
Good: High school can be an unfamiliar and scary place for incoming freshmen—just think about your first day at Northwood and all the times you went to the wrong classroom. With that in mind, try to have a little sympathy for your younger sibling and be the first one to welcome them to the Timberwolf/Wolfpack. You don’t have to hang out with them every day; both of you probably have your own friends, and let’s face it: siblings are tiring; but showing them the ropes around school, telling them which clubs to visit and even helping them out with their IS1 homework can make a world of difference to your sibling.
Bad: Let’s face it. High school is all that and a bag of chips. Wait, scratch that. It’s just a bag of chips. It deceives your expectations into thinking that the experience will be fulfilling, fun, and exciting. But once you actually open the bag, you’re met with half-hearted disappointment. So you might as well be honest with them from the start. Fill their ears with horror stories of freshmen perishing from the sheer workload of IS1. With the monsters called “juniors” prowling around and snapping at passersby, in a haze of caffeine and sleep deprivation. With the cyclical grind that chews innocent, bright-eyed freshmen up and spits them out as bitter seniors devoid of purpose. Because that’s the fate that meets all Northwoodians. What better way to send them off than with the truth?
Ugly: Tell them the truth: high school is a race. If they’re your sibling, they’re probably just as unfit for this race as you are. Tell them to at least embrace the loss, no one remembers who doesn’t finish in first anyway.
Dear Howler, we’re going to miss you three. Any final, wise words from you guys?
Good: Don’t worry too much about school or college this summer—try to enjoy high school while you still can. Hang out with your friends, spend time with your family, pursue your passions and make the best of these next three months. And don’t be too sad to see us go; you’re stuck with us for one more year!
Bad: HAGS. Try holding your promise to every single person you told “yeah, let’s totally hang out this summer!”
Ugly: Remember that this is your life, and even if you do whatever you want to do, it probably won’t matter or change the world in the end, so just leave everyone, and live alone.