Letters to Freshmen: How to Be Successful in Highschool

Dear Freshmen, 


By this time in the year, you’ve probably somewhat adjusted to your new school. While it may have seemed intimidating at first, you’ve hopefully learned that it’s not as scary as it first seems. Even though you may have started to adjust, I would like to give you some advice that I wish I could have had in freshman year. I’ve collected the best advice from all grades and one alum. My main goal in writing this letter is to give you the advice I never received during my freshman year.

I was a freshman myself just last year, and I can still vividly remember what it was like to be the newest additions at Millennium. I spent a lot of time laughing last year, and I made friends I hope to keep for a long time. However, I can’t say that my freshman year was necessarily easy. I can recall the never-ending waves of stress rolling over me constantly, and this has nothing to do with Millennium itself. All my worries and anxieties were inside my head, and I wish I had done something to change this last year. Although it can be difficult, remember that as time passes, the smallest things that bring you anxiety and stress now probably won’t matter that much in the future. Even though it may feel like every time you don’t meet your standards it will have a profound negative impact on the rest of your life, this is simply not true. Last year, I stressed myself out to the point of mental exhaustion. If I could tell myself one thing during that time, it would be to just take a deep breath and relax. I know that all of this is incredibly cliché and much easier said than done, but if I had tried just a little harder to keep things in perspective, I would’ve enjoyed my freshman year a lot more. 

I’m lucky enough to also have gotten feedback from two other students, Tao Chen, a junior, and Alexandra Tiger, a class of 22’ Millennium graduate. Tao mentioned during our interview with him that although sometimes it can feel like you have no control over your future, one thing you can do to help your future self is to join clubs (like the Newspaper I’m writing this for)! Clubs are a great way to feel a part of and be involved in your school community and a great thing to put on your resume and college application. As a leader of Model UN, Tao has gained valuable leadership experience that will help him in the future.

Alexandra advised freshmen to try finding a balance between academics, extracurriculars, and socializing. As she put it, it “was difficult, but over time it becomes easier and more natural.” An important part of being successful at Millennium is participation: “Participating in class enhances the overall education experience and helps you to get to know your teachers.” Participating may seem intimidating, especially when you’re thrown into a new environment the way you are at the beginning of high school, but it definitely helps you stand out academically and has lots of benefits. 

The most important thing I hope you take away from this is that although this year might be challenging, it will get easier. The challenges and obstacles you may be experiencing now will seem insignificant by the time you reach sophomore year.



    A Sophomore