Hello! As a graduating senior, I feel compelled to give some advice to future students. As we all know, life can be rough. Not everyone has that "big bro" or "big sis" in their lives. Let me be that temporarily sibling for you. :)
  1. Make mistakes ASAP
    Even though this seems counterintuitive since no one wants to feel like a fool, it's always better to get it over with early than later. Get people's name wrong the first day of school rather than not knowing their names for the entire year. Explore and go the wrong route than always having to rely on "hallway buddy". And know what your getting yourself into when you sign up for the school lunch.
  2. Make a spam email
    Spam emails are emails that you don't really check and use to experiment with random subscriptions. This is extremely helpful when all sorts of tests and exams inundate your life. Do NOT check the "yes, I want to be notified of scholarship opportunities and etc." on the PSAT with your email. Spam. So much spam. Over 500-600 unread emails in a few months. Not fun.
  3. Build good relationships with teachers
    You never know when you need their help with something. Perhaps you need them to write a recommendation. Maybe you need to sneak in a few extra batteries for an AP Stat exam on break (true story btw). Or maybe they got connections for internships. Get on their good side and reap the benefits.
  4. Stay informed
    Who has time to read the news and debate about global problems when there is homework to be done? Well, you might just miss some of the best local events such as a Zombie 5k or 40% off at your favorite store. And you might just miss an extraordinarily opportunity to help save mankind. It's hard balancing real life and school life, but it can be done. Make a goal to read the news every day. A great, humorous news site that condenses all the leading headlines for you is theskimm.com.
  5. Invest in a charger case
    1% battery sucks when you got to finish homework for your next class because you procrastinated a little too much last night to websurf. Although the cases are expensive initially, in the long run, it's totally worth it.
  6. Prioritize sleeping
    As much as peers brag about being the most sleep-deprived in your group, don't follow their trend. Resist. You are the chosen one. One night of bad sleep could mean bombing an otherwise easy test that is 20% of your final grade. Also, it never feels good to be a zombie the whole day. If you ever get less than 5 hours of sleep, just stay home. You won't be functional enough to comprehend what's even happening. Sleep child, sleep.
  7. Study and CRAM
    We all do it even though we know it's not the best way. I'm not saying just cram. I'm saying cram in addition to long-term studying. Sorry to say: grades matter. You don't want to be that idiot that didn't use the 5 minutes before class to review some obscure dates, names, or numbers to only have it show up on the test.
  8. Bring baked goods
    You will have swarm of friends. Food = happiness. Sharing food = sharing happiness. Sharing happiness = friends. Therefore, food = friends. Elections are food contests, not popularity contests.
  9. Ask for college recs early
    Some teachers are more popular than others. They will be swarmed and more likely to say "no" if you ask senior year. I recommend asking in junior year, as early as after AP week. Stay ahead of the competition and leave your summer one less thing to worry about. (Be sure to ask in person first and follow up with an email.)
  10. Pick your battles wisely
    Sometimes you need to lose the battle to win the war. Your physical and mental health is always more important than a low grade. Other times, endurance wins the race. Put up with the bad teachers and dramatic friends. Don't let them bother you. If they become too much to handle, then speak up. Choose the way you want your life to be.