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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration


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A simple guide for surviving Freshmen year

Photo Credit: DeAndre Oglesby
Freshmen year can be stressful. However reading this article will make the ride a little less bumpy.

The transition from eighth grade to freshmen year can be a rough ride for some people. However, if you follow these tips, the ride won’t be so bumpy. So strap in and enjoy the ride.

Don’t procrastinate or be lazy

Let’s face it, no one likes doing homework. I don’t like it, you don’t like it, not even your teachers liked doing it when they were in school. But that doesn’t mean you should put off all your work until the last possible second. Procrastination is a habit that many people (especially teenagers) exhibit. It’s also a habit in which you should try to stop or else your life will become a living nightmare. Trust me, I used to be a procrastinator myself.

I mean sure, spending your time on Snapchat, watching Netflix, or FaceTiming your significant other may be fun. However, you wanna know what’s not fun? Spending all nighters trying to get a literary analysis done that you had all year to work on but waited until the last week to actually start (this is totally just an example and not something I actually went through). And guess what, when you procrastinate all the time, all nighters become every nighters. And when you lose sleep, your grades will go down, and the quality of your work will go down. Additionally, being on a 5 am to 6 am sleep schedule will definitely cause you to go insane!

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Procrastinating, being lazy, copying off of others, and shirking your work may work in the short term. But if you continue to do this, it’ll all eventually catch up to you. I mean you definitely can’t do this college. So just rip off this band-aid now, because the longer you do a bad habit, the hard it’ll be to break.

Join clubs/sports

Joining a club and or sport can be a very good experience. For starters, you get the opportunity to make many new friendships. Some of which could possibly last a lifetime. Secondly, it’ll look good on your college and or job applications. Nowadays, people are looking for individuals who not only have good grades but also participate in many activities. Additionally, you can use the directors of those activities as references for interviews. So be in as many clubs as your schedule permits. But most importantly, being apart of a team or a group is fun. Being a teenager shouldn’t just be about getting good grades, remember to have fun! You can allow yourself to do that you know.

Don’t care about what others think

As teenagers, we often worry about how our friends, family, or teachers perceive us. But on the contrary, there is no need to worry. So what if you’re a little nerdy, or you dress a certain way or are dating a certain person? Don’t let other people dictate how you should live. You shouldn’t have to change who you are just to be with a certain group of friends. If those people don’t like you for who really are, then they aren’t REAL friends. Same thing goes with relationships. Besides, you’ll just be causing yourself more unnecessary stress.

Just live your life the way you want to. I mean you’re probably never going to see any of the people you meet in high school afterward, so why should it matter? Trust me, you’ll be much happier. Don’t let people bully you because of things you can’t change like your race, sexuality, appearance, etc. Which leads me to my next point.

 Just be a good person

Is it really that hard to be kind to others? It’s absolutely ridiculous I even have to tell you something that should be common sense by now. Just be a nice, honest, courteous person. I’m not saying you have to be friends with literally every person you meet. But don’t go out of your way to make another person’s day terrible. I mean I get it, your day wasn’t that great. But guess what, you don’t know what everyone else is going through. We all have our own struggles that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Whether it be abuse, financial issues, bullying, bad grades, or whatever. So do something nice; hold the door open, say please and thank you, stand up for someone, or be there to listen to someone else’s problems.

 Talk about your problems

As I said in the previous paragraph, we all have trials and tribulations we go through on a regular basis. However, you shouldn’t have to go through them alone. Whether your problem is as small as getting a C instead of an A on a test or as large as losing a loved one, you should speak up. Holding in all your emotions is not healthy. If anything, never seeking out help for your problems can end up making things a hundred times worse.

And for all you guys out there who thinks crying is for sissies or something stupid like that . . . grow up. People deal with their emotions in different ways. Additionally, if you have depression, if you self-harm, or if you ever think of ending it all, you NEED to seek help. It’s not negotiable. Try talking to a close friend or family member, a guidance counselor, a teacher, or anyone you trust. But please, if you are under extreme emotional distress, seek help! The 2nd Floor hotline helps teens in New Jersey who are going through all sorts of issues. Their number is (888) 222-2228. So give them a call if you need help.

Avoid drama

No friendship is perfect. From now and again friends will have falling outs, argue, or even stop talking. It’s inevitable. However, don’t spread around drama, rumors, or be nosey. Nobody likes someone who gossips a lot. And nobody likes people who talk trash behind others backs. Furthermore, if one of your friends talks trash about others a lot, they’re probably talking about you too. If that’s the case, avoid that friend, and others like them.

If you’re in a situation where your friends are fighting and spreading drama and you’re in the middle of it all, just don’t talk to them. Plus if this constantly happens, like I said before, find yourself some new friends. Real friends won’t betray you, or talk behind your back. Real friends will stick by you no matter what. If you want to find out the difference between fake and real friends, ask yourself this question: Who would still be by my side if I lost everything?

Don’t care so much about relationships

Falling in love is a magical experience. It’s great finding someone who’s perfect for you in every single way. However, you shouldn’t let your relationship status be the center of your life (trust me I’ve been there before). Just because you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend in high school doesn’t mean you won’t have one after you graduate. High school takes up four years of your life, and on average people live to be at least eighty. Four years without having a significant other isn’t a big deal. I mean I know that seems like forever, but trust me, time flies.

Besides, 98% of high school relationships end in complete and utter failure! An article by the Huffington Post states, “The majority of the time, high school relationships do not last, as only two percent of new marriages in North America are compromised of ‘high school sweethearts.'” So even if you got into a relationship, chances are it isn’t going to work. Sorry if that seems brutally honest, or heartbreaking, or mean, but guess what, that’s the cold hard truth. In the words of Jeremy Scott from his debut novel The Ables, “I wish it could all be roses kids, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I skipped over the thorns.”

However, you should still experiment with dating. It’s fun, and it’s good practice for when you’re an actual adult and you actually know what love is (because let’s face it when you’re in high school, you have NO CLUE what love actually is). Furthermore, if you’re in the LGBT+ community, don’t be afraid to be who you are. Date whoever you want. No one has the right or the authority to tell you not to do so. Like I said before, who cares what other people think? Don’t let others live your life for you.

Don’t do anything stupid

Out of all the tips on this article, this is probably one of the most important. To put it simply, don’t do anything stupid. I know it sounds corny, and I know I probably sound like your mom, but don’t do anything you’ll probably regret in the future. Don’t do drugs, don’t have unprotected sex, don’t fail all your classes, don’t make any unnecessary enemies out of your peers or teachers, and don’t post anything stupid on social media. Just use common sense! You have your entire life ahead of you. Don’t do something that will tarnish your reputation and ruin any of your chances at a good future.

Just remember that high school is supposed to be the greatest time of your young life. It’s a time where you have almost zero responsibilities (besides your grades), you’re still living under your parent’s roof, you don’t have to pay student loans or taxes or any bills, and you get almost everything for free. Make sure that high school is enjoyable, because like I said before, four years fly by fast! I’m just trying to help you get through the first steps to the rest of your life.

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About the Contributor
DeAndre Oglesby
DeAndre Oglesby, Senior Editor
DeAndre Oglesby is a 17-year-old from Colonia New Jersey. He was born on December 7, 2000 at JFK Hospital. His nationality is African Bajan American (his mother is from the island of Barbados). Oglesby is the youngest of four children. He has two sisters and one brother. Currently, he is a senior at Colonia High School. Oglesby is quite active at school. Some of the clubs that he's in are newspaper club, LGBT club, SLAC, Anime, and many more. A few of his favorite hobbies are art, photography, poetry, writing, and YouTube. Oglesby identifies as nonbinary, and wants to change his name legally to Andie J. Lewis after high school. One of his biggest dreams is to open a school for children who are more gifted in the arts rather than academics.

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The student news site of Colonia High School
A simple guide for surviving Freshmen year