High school advice for the Class of 2023!

Janesville 8th graders were welcomed by Link Leaders as they arrived for a visit to Craig on Friday, May 3.

Emma Chamberlain, Student columnist

A long school year is beginning to wind down to the end. Freshmen have learned the ropes of Craig, and seniors are preparing their final words as they start the next chapter of their life. I asked the class of ’19 what their advice was to the class of ’23. I also asked the class of ’22 what was something they learned over the course of this year. They all offered some incredible insight into what their experiences are like. Their words of wisdom are presented in this open letter to the class of 2023.

Dear Class of 2023,

I hope this letter teaches you a little something about Craig High School.

First of all, welcome to Craig High School!There are so many opportunities that you will be exposed to! You may find new friends or a new clique you fit better into. Being able to connect with so many different people, you may be tempted to change yourself. But you should not change yourself, even if it means you may lose a friend or two.

“Don’t change yourself because you think it will make someone like you more. True friends will stay because you’re you,” says Abra Henry, class of ’19. The people who stick with you through thick and thin are the people who are your true friends. Becoming friends with someone you cannot rely on or trust will not help you in the long run.

This can become a toxic and harmful relationship. As a class of ‘22 member, Rebecca Seibert said, “Your real friends will stay your friends even if you do different things in high school.”

No matter what your friends do or don’t do. You also must keep your own dignity and self-worth up as your mental health is very important. Another important aspect of school is keeping your grades up throughout all four years. Senior Jayna Kendell said, “Get involved, make friends, and study to keep your grades up.”

Freshman year may be your easiest year at Craig High School both academic and stress-wise, so many seniors advise you to keep your grades up and get involved in extracurriculars.

Senior Tejas Patel advises, “Worry about grades because freshman year you have the easiest classes and can get a good GPA so you won’t ruin it later.” This may be true for some individuals at Craig, but freshman year may be the toughest for some. Maybe it is the transition from a small parochial school to a larger high school or a problem in your home or in your extended family. Your own freshman year does not have to be a reflection of anyone else’s. Inside or outside of the classroom, it is your own legacy you are writing.

Outside of the classrooms in the halls, it can be very confusing. The odd halls run left to right and the evens run opposite. Finding your classes and getting to them in time may be a struggle for you.  Two freshmen give advice about being in the halls.

Freshman Ethan Chan advises, “Stay out of senior halls,” and freshman Summer Carns agrees. “Do not walk slowly in the halls,” she said.

I have had a couple of friends who have been shoved or trampled in the halls because of upperclassman running to lunch. I’ve also seen, first-hand, an individual being trampled by a larger upperclassman.

Throughout my first year at Craig, I have had many late nights doing the worst I could on homework assignments or having stress colds and headaches. I do not know how many texts I have sent saying I wanna drop out or skip school for the rest of the day.

Neither are great options for your life, but through that, I learned that it isn’t impossible.

Those genetic problems in Biology may be difficult and annoying, but you will learn how to get through it. Learning the quadratic formula may be difficult and you may want to text your friends instead of taking notes, but take those notes (I didn’t, and I’m sorry Mrs. Clark). Those will help you as you keep building up your education in Math. That teacher you think is annoying may end up being your favorite teacher your senior year. Don’t ever think you can’t because you can. And if you claim you can’t, is it just because you won’t?

At Craig, you will be required to take three classes across the first three years. All three are semester-long classes, often opposite your Gym class. In freshman year, you will take Freshman Seminar which will help prepare you for your first job interview or college applications. This is currently taught by Mrs. Lawton and other teachers in the English Department fills in when need be.

During your sophomore year, you will take Health. This is a new required course starting with the class of 2022. You will become more aware of health issues and safety concerns. We currently do not know who exactly will be teaching Health, as it has not yet been introduced, but it will be taught by teachers from the Physical Education Department.

For junior year, you will be required to take Personal Finance. This will teach you about banking, loans, credit, resumes, and other business-to-consumer transactions. Mr. Ward and Mrs. Nickel will teach this and are often assisted by the Social Studies department.

There is so much more to high school than friends, classes, and early wake-ups. It is more than what is just in this letter. High school is whatever you make of it.

Whether you turn it into the best or worst experience of your life is up to you. You decide the outcome of what this becomes. The choice is yours whether to exceed in your classes or fail, to date someone, to join extracurriculars, to make friends, or to not do any of that. Your high school experience is exactly that. It is your own. Welcome class of 2023, the future is yours.