A letter to underclassmen

Jana Ignacio

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Underclassmen, I hope you realize how lucky you are. Your classes are relatively
easy, I bet you get 9 hours of sleep every night, and your social life is probably at its prime. You aren’t having breakdowns every night because of an AP test tomorrow, or because your IB Chem grade is plummeting, and you’re definitely not worrying about the score you got on the SAT that will probably determine your future and all of your plans. For the most part freshmen and sophomore year are pretty easy, but I admit, there will be some struggles. So that’s why I’m here.

This year, many of you may have joined a sport and for the first time, it’s actually required you to go to practice every day for 2 hours, something totally different than middle school sports. Or some of you may have joined a bunch of clubs that fascinated you and all the meetings and requirements may have thrown you off. A lot of you may be worried about balancing school with your extracurriculars like Sydney Turpin ’21 who told me that “keeping up with my school work and sports at the same time” is one of her major concerns. Sydney, I know it seems like an impossible feat but it really isn’t too hard. Prioritize what you really need, and never procrastinate. Understand the best way to manage your time because as Angela Cuff ’19 said “Learn how to manage your time now while the workload is light because it only gets harder from here.”

Another concern that I know a lot of you may have is the question on whether or not you should do AP or IB. My advice to you is to go to what you think you’ll be best at, and don’t just follow whatever your friend is doing. Plus, you can talk to people you have probably never talked to before if you take a different path than your friends. Some people do believe they know what the best choice is though, like Brooke Stamey’18 who says “Do AP. It’s less work than IB but still very challenging, so you can get just as good of an education but with low amounts of stress,” while Josh Prieto ’19 says to do IB because “It’s the better program and you can get a lot of scholarships because of Bright Futures.” Ultimately, it’s your decision and it’s important that you choose one that is the best fit for you.

Finally, one of the biggest worries I had as an underclassmen was that I would never find a solid group of friends like the one I had in middle school, and I feel like this is a concern that many people shared with me. It can be difficult to automatically find your people and the first person you see will probably not be your best friend for the rest of your life. If you’re having trouble finding people that you connect with instantaneously, try out for a sport or join a club that you really like. You’ll be able to find people who share similar interests with you and you may even find a lifelong friend. There is such a huge variety in the people at CCC and it is always possible to find someone.

Remember that your freshmen and sophomores years should not be taken lightly. Focus on your grades, because they will affect you in the long run, but also don’t be so wound up on school that you miss out on making memories. Have a balance and enjoy these years while you can, because you will remember all the fun times you had, from football games to homecoming dances. I could give you countless pieces of advice, but sadly I don’t think I’m allowed to write a 2000 word essay on this. Though I will tell you that if you ever have a question about anything or just need someone to talk to, I’m always here, and so is any other upperclassmen. We will always be here to help and support you in any way we can, because after all, we were all underclassmen before.

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