If You’re New To the Orange and Blue…

Advice to freshmen and 7th graders… and sophomores!

Flip the Dolphin, Whitney Young Mascot, extends a fin invitingly.

Photo courtesy of Beacon Archives.

Welcome, incoming students! Congratulations on getting into the school where academic excellence is the standard, and where our mascot is actually an animal known for being smart. (Seriously, when was the last time you saw an eagle use echolocation?)

By now, you’ve had a month to become acquainted with our campus and culture, and hopefully at this point know what you’re doing. But, a little advice goes a long way, and this much advice should take you at least halfway from the Arts Building to Dunkin’ Donuts.

If you ever feel overwhelmed, take a moment to think about the many noble icons that have tread the path before you. Think of how former First Lady Michelle Obama overloaded her backpack with every textbook and notebook in her possession, hunching her way to greatness; how John Tobias, co-creator of the hit Mortal Kombat video game series, came up with his first great combo move by wearing his P.E. uniform under regular clothes all day; how the acclaimed Wachowski directing duo huddled in the halls during lunch, forming an impenetrable Matrix with other sevvies, preventing tired upperclassmen from getting to their lockers. You stand on the shoulders of giants. Giants who also once ran to their next class as if it started in 30 seconds.

On a more sincere note, if you’re finding it difficult to keep track of all your assignments, try keeping a planner! Try not to get overwhelmed by the overly-involved bullet journals full of washi tape and neon gel-ink cursive you see online. Often, it’s enough to simply have a spare notebook to write down your homework for the day or week.

If you haven’t already, consider joining a club or extracurricular activity. Aside from being one of the easiest ways to make new friends, you’ll get to spend Enrichment doing something, well, enriching! Young Company would be glad to have you for the spring production, and Pride Club always welcomes LGBTQIA+ students (and allies!).

Finally,  please, PLEASE remember to plan out larger assignments over a longer period of time. For example, if you have an op-ed to write that’s due by the end of the month, and you wait until the last minute to type it up, you’ll definitely regret having to turn in an unfinished…