To Class of 2022…

By Vy Nguyen

You don’t know me: that’s fine. That’s better. But below are some takeaways from freshman year that I think you should know.

  1. It’s okay to procrastinate.

You know that feeling when you do something very bad, but you still feel really good? This applies to procrastination. This does not mean you should procrastinate when you are supposed to do a project which is due two weeks ago, but you do you.

2. Everyone hates freshmen.

Honestly, same: freshmen hate freshmen too. Still, a positive side of this hatred is that as the youngest class, you can make as many mistakes and embarrass yourself as many times as possible, and nobody would give a shade.

3. Never come for a second cookie and clean up after yourself after lunches.

If you have been at OES since middle school, I think this is pretty straightforward and palpable. Why this is a very serious issue at the upper school will be revealed during a random Gathering next year.

4. Pay attention

It is fine to doze off in class- not that I do advocate for this- sometimes, but paying attention to small things like the number of times your advisor misses chapel is very useful. You can come to me for a personal elaboration.

5. Go. For. Help. No. Matter. What.

Never underestimate this sentence. Ever! Especially in an environment when you have tons of sources for help like OES, it is best to reach out to adults or friends whenever you are in need of assistance. Keeping pains to yourself may save you from the falling of disgrace, but in the long run, it’s not worth it.

6. The Westwind trip

It’s okay if the freshman trip to Camp Westwind is not that good. The experience is honestly the most awkward thing I have ever gone through, so it’s fine if you happen to screw up or embarrass yourself. Most people will not remember what you do there.

Also, bring a lot of socks.

7. There used to be something called Aardvark 101.

8. Try everything!

Don’t be afraid or put off because something sounds out of league or frivolous. Aforementioned, grab and try out all the opportunities you have and make as many mistakes as possible, while you still can. From someone with past experience.

9. Sleep!

Let me repeat. Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep. I have become more of a sleep lover this year than my parental unit wanted me to. To be frank, my best friend is my bed, my pillow, my blanket, and my brain when it does not scream “it’s procrastination time!”.

10. Set as many alarm clocks as possible

Another topic about sleep, because sleep is a very big part of my life. I enjoy the satisfaction of having to wake up at 6 am to turn off my alarm clock within the blind realization that I can sleep in for a couple of minutes before the next alarm.


11. Keep your room clean.

Honestly, this advice is only thrown here because I need to make myself less like a thick baked potato. Still, like the very much wise Kara Tambellini once told me “80% of your success in high school depends on being well-organized”, at least clean your locker and bag: my friend once found a half-eaten bagel in her locker that had not been in use for four months.

12. Don’t forget snacks to advisory time and activities!

Well, to say the least, you will suffer from those red-laser death gazes from your peers. This is especially directed to my fellow Dig writers.

13. Read the Dig!

It is really informative, and if you are like me, you would dig deeper into the articles that were written in the previous years and harbor a lot of terribly interesting information which people your class are not supposed to know. This is honestly really helpful.

14. If you don’t fit in, that’s fine.

Things will be okay. OES is a really really really tight-knit and welcoming community so sooner or later, you will find your place here.

15. Last but not least, always remind yourself that being a freshman is not that bad.

Sure, high school sucks, and freshmen receive a ton of hate (understandable), but compared to other years, the workload is certainly lighter. When you look back, no matter what, your first year in high school will seem pretty transformational. There are moments that you wish you could dive into your bed and have a good cry or eat very unhealthy junk food, but isn’t that just life?


So yes, that concludes my freshman wisdom. If you want to talk to me about it, here are two ways to find me at school (next year):

  • From 8 am to 3 pm: in classes, free blocks or where I have lunch. Just identify someone who is either screaming breathily (which will sound like a dead duck), crying silently, complaining depressively, or gazing at the clock every ten seconds.
  • After that: find me underneath my homework pile or in the dorm fridge.


You’re welcome.

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