Rocket High 101: Tips for freshmen during their first days at McNick

My first day of high school was one of the most overwhelming days of my life. I ran around with my book bag full of every possible book or folder I would need for that day, worrying that I would not have enough time to go to my locker between classes. I got lost on my way to Spanish hall (twice!) and I made the mistake of walking on the left side of senior hall. These kids rushing past me had been going here for years; they knew the ins and outs of this place. I know if someone had given me a heads up about what to expect from teachers, students, and just McNick in general, I would have had a much less stressful freshman year. So, freshmen, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

1. Always walk on the right side of the hall, just as if you’re driving. When faced with double doors, always go through the right one and hold the door open for the person behind you.

2. Never stand in the middle of the hall and chat with your friends. It slows traffic down and people get mad when they are late for class. When upperclassmen complain about freshmen, that is the number one complaint. So don’t be one of those freshmen.

3. Avoid walking outside as much as possible. The doors at the end of freshman, sophomore, and senior halls lock, so don’t go that way unless you know someone’s going to open it for you. If you really need some fresh air, walk underneath the glass hallway or outside the main courtyard entrance on your way to the convent, since the convent door stays unlocked.

4. Get to know your teachers. For example, in Mr. Kirchgassner’s history classes, write down every name or date he mentions, because all of it is fair game for tests. Talk to your friends’ older siblings, or that one senior in your Ceramics class, for some pointers.

5. Dress appropriately for mass days. Use it as an opportunity to look a little nicer than usual. Don’t abuse it by wearing short skirts or gym shoes with your dress pants and keep in mind that teachers are quicker to write detentions for short skirts on mass days than for untucked shirts on regular school days.

6. Save your work every time you write a paragraph. You will be happy you did when your Microsoft Word stops responding and you have to shut it down.

7. Lastly, be a part of the “Launch Pad.” Come to as many games as you can and dress with the theme. Cheer on our home team in the stands with the rest of the school. I can tell you from my experience as an athlete, when the entire McNick community is cheering for you, it makes you play ten times harder.

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