Good, Bad and Ugly: Advice for a frenzy of freshmen fears


Rita Lai

LIBRARY LEVITY: Freshmen Emma Walton (left), Adam Elkoustaf (middle) and Shada Sirat (right) enjoy a bright moment of reprieve during their study session.

Kaylie Wang, Accent Editor

To all the young Timberwolves, feeling lost is indeed a natural sensation that you are expected to have; entering the Pack is a bumpy road, and each individual will face their own set of challenges. As you navigate your first year in high school, hold on tightly to this new edition of The Good, Bad and Ugly, a roadmap of advice to help make your year run smoothly.

Dear Howler, I want to start getting involved now that I am in high school. What are some activities I can participate in?

Most appreciated, Eager and Enthusiastic

Good: Remember that you are not expected to have a life-long passion when you enter high school—or even when you graduate. High school is a place to explore new and old interests, so make the most of Northwood’s plentiful opportunities by participating in extracurriculars or taking classes on topics you already enjoy and topics you want to try. To list a few, there’s student government, athletics, music, theater and student media. At Club Kickoff, scope out a reasonable number of clubs you want to join (from speech and debate to cultural clubs) and stay updated through the club’s method of communication—Instagram, email etc.

Bad: You absolutely should have your entire life already planned out by the moment you set foot onto these hallowed halls. Revolve your high school life around the despicable activities you were forced into by your parents. And remember, you better stick with those activities if you want to show commitment on your college applications. If you are not already involved in extracurriculars, then you might as well cling to the first activity you can join.

Ugly: Why would you want to get involved? Don’t take the risk of finding an activity that makes you feel fulfilled, motivated and valued. Continue sulking as you watch others live their best life.

Dear Howler, are there any bad teachers at Northwood?

Many thanks, Ferociously Fretful

Good: While all Northwood teachers are equally as passionate in their subject as they are in helping you succeed, that is not to say that you won’t encounter a teacher whose teaching does not match your learning style. In this case, you may find it helpful to see if your teacher can help you individually during tutorial. If you would benefit from being taught elsewhere, you can head to The Media Center during seventh/eighth periods to meet with trained peer tutors.

Bad: If you don’t like a teacher, you absolutely should continue complaining about them to your friends instead of adapting to learn the best. Follow the footsteps of Steve Lacy in “Bad Habit” by continuing your bad habit of not asking your teacher for help or being proactive in making sure you understand concepts in that class. Then, when you are filled with regret at the memory of missed moments when you ultimately receive a disappointing grade, Steve Lacy’s lyrics “Made a move, coulda made a move … I wish I knew you wanted [to help] me” will resonate with you.

Ugly: Yes. There are teachers that hate students and will do everything in their power to make you fail. If your Steve Lacy-obsessed friend tells you “I hated that teacher. They failed me on purpose, I mean maybe that’s because I never asked any questions and always felt confused,” follow their advice: Immediately drop the class. Happiness comes with sacrifices, and those sacrifices may include dropping all of your classes based on one friend’s opinion.

Dear Howler, what are the best tips to survive long lines into the parking lot in the morning?

Best, Baffled and Back of the Line

Good: Here is a valuable life lesson from Zach Halop, the Vocal Music teacher: “Early is on time. On time is late. Late will get you fired.” Replace “fired” with “possible detention,” and the rule applies to school attendance. Oftentimes, you may find that leaving early is the only way to avoid the intense backup. Plus, with at least a couple minutes to spare, you can bask in morning sun and crisp air, easing yourself into a productive day.

Bad: Continue leaving 10 minutes before school starts. If anyone confronts you for being late, remind them that time is merely a construct. Remember that regardless of others’ success (e.g. immaculate attendance), you are not behind in life, even if you are still in bed at 9:00 a.m. on a Monday morning when school starts at 8:30 a.m.

Ugly: Cut to the front of both lines. While this may involve angering hundreds of families and executing unsafe driving practices, squash the weak in survival of the fittest.