Welcome to high school. You made it! At the moment, the next four years might seem a bit daunting, but it’s a right of passage you must go through. There will be good times, sleepless times, hilarious times, stressful times, and, if you’re anything like us, crying in the middle of class times. However, we believe in you.

Take the short time in Monterey, before school starts, to realize that you are about to enter a complete whirlwind that is the next four years of high school. Most importantly, you have to reflect on what kind of a person you want to be in the next four years. Be the person who includes others, who appreciates the harder times and who works hard toward goals. Start new friendships, strengthen your old ones. Put yourself out there, start the ball rolling for the new year.

Before continuing to the rest of the year, you need to shut up and listen. You need sleep. No, you don’t need to keep studying. You need sleep. Sleep, please.

Now, for the year. Here is a crash course on your four year-round teachers. First, Ashley Tidey. The number one rule is to never ever chew or bring gum anywhere near her. Secondly, print your homework or essays out before class. And third, have a planner or something that you can write assignments down on. If you follow these three cardinal rules, and don’t sit in the back row of the classroom, you will have a truly amazing, transformative year in English. Savor it.

Now for Erik Faust. This math class is unlike any other. You will laugh, cry and question the meaning of life. This is the place where you must exercise common knowledge. Don’t ask pointless questions, but take every opportunity to quote Friends and The Office.

Next up is Richard Nathan. You will often find yourself late at night trying to complete his latest essay. The ultimate strategy of Civ is time management. Get a bunch of people in your class to all take good notes together, and appreciate the passion about history that Nathan brings to the table.

And finally, we have Amanda Whalen. Whalen is the rock solid backbone of freshmen year. Take a deep breath when you enter her class, because you know everything is going to be alright. Make a quizlet every test, ask questions in class, actually read the textbook homework and willingly accept the many snacks that she will bring in.

But outside of the class trips, the teachers, the academic everything, what you will truly appreciate and miss about freshman year are the little moments. The things outside of class, the unplanned adventures, the tiniest interactions and the biggest gatherings. These make up the heart and soul of the year, and what you will remember the most.

And we know it might sound weird and superficial, but take lots of pictures. By the end of the year, and years to follow, the sad moments will be hilarious, the happy moments will be adorable and the normal everyday moments will mean the world to you.

Finally, the best thing you can do for yourself this year is to participate. Join the sports team, find a club, get involved in matters that are important to you. Go explore the opportunities that Laguna can offer. Treasure this time in your life, we know we did.

– Frank and Mads