Open Letter to the Freshmen Class

Departing seniors offer advice to the rising freshmen

Open Letter to the Freshmen Class

Grant Huebner, Staff Writer

Dear Freshman, 

As the trees slowly begin to show their fiery colors once more, it feels crazy to realize that my high school career is almost over. With winter coming ahead, for the first time I truly understand what an extraordinary experience high school really is. Years of football games, late-night study groups, and unique classes have made me nothing less than who I am today. And yet, there is so much more that I wish I would have done, and so much I wish I would have known about high school as a freshman. 

Although your first year in high school may be the most unique in our school’s history, it’s remarkable circumstances only adds to your own extraordinary experience. I speak from my heart when I say that this is the beginning of one of the best four years of your lives. 

For the opening of your four year journey, my fellow seniors and I wish to offer some pieces of advice on resources, sports, and everything in-between. Consider it as an open letter from the senior class to you, the rising freshman. I think I speak for all of us when I wish you all the best, and I’m looking forward to all of the amazing things that you all, the Class of 2024, have in store for the LFHS community in  the next four years.  


Learning is central to high school. For eight hours a day we sit in classrooms (or at our computers), listen to teachers, and do our classwork. The balance between school, homework, extracurriculars, and other responsibilities is often a tenuous one, but through it all we expand our horizons and grow as people. Here is some advice on academics: grades, resources, and everything in between. 

“Grades don’t define you at all. People often treat high school like a competition instead of simply an experience. Word hard, play hard, and don’t worry much about what PowerSchool says.” – Bridget Seymour 

“Don’t be afraid to go in and see your teacher! Last year, I used to see my AP Environmental Science teacher — Ms. Nawor — to ask her questions I had from my homework and classwork! If you do this, you will gain a stronger connection with your teachers, which ultimately helps you understand the material better!” – Daphne McGarvey

“Use the Resource Centers!” – Madeline Medica

“Our school has a strong student support system between teachers, counselors, and social workers. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and schedule a meeting with them. Utilize your resources. The adults in the building only want to help you. Seek out help when you need it, and don’t try to manage all of your anxiety and stress on your own.” – Carley Walker 

“Make the most out of high school and try not to focus on the negative things.” – Rina Biancalana


“While high school is a great opportunity to try new things and to explore your interests, it’s also a time to learn. No matter what path you decide to follow in life, you will never regret having taken time to build effective study habits. You’re going to be learning new things for the rest of your life. Develop a system that works for you; the single most important thing you can do right now is figure out what works and what doesn’t. Find a balance, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.” – Andy Wehmeyer

“Freshman year, World Civ PLT was really helpful because it gave me extra time to get a head start on classwork. My teachers would help me with any questions I had, and also had review sessions for written tests. I’d say definitely go to the PLT. ” – Skyler Kreunen

“In my opinion, finding your own way to stay focused and study is so important for anyone coming into high school — especially with all of the technology that surrounds us. My biggest advice is to find a way you can focus, whether it means putting your phone in a different room or turning off your music.” – Jerry Kelly


Many of us find ourselves in the hard work and teamwork of sports, and LFHS has more than a dozen you can choose from. From field hockey to League of Legends, there is a place for everyone in the athletic department. Here is some advice on sports.

“Put in effort and hard work into your sports but don’t forget to put that same effort into things that really matter too. Don’t make your high school experience just about sports; believe me you’ll regret not becoming more involved.” – Jacqueline Richer

“Lake Forest High School Friday Night Lights” Painting by Mark McMahon

“Freshman year, I started playing two sports: field hockey and lacrosse. More than anything, I am very grateful for these experiences as they allowed me to start the year off knowing a good amount of people, and definitely helped me become more social and outgoing. Having these sports also helped me form a good schedule that kept me busy — but not overwhelmed!” – Avery Ellis

“Always be prepared to get better at your sport. When I tried out for badminton my freshman year, I made the freshman-sophomore team and was really discouraged because I wanted to be on Junior Varsity. However, this setback made me strive to be even better, and through my hard work I was eventually moved up to the JV team. It was so rewarding to see that all my hard work paid off!” – Kaylie Gottshall


The clubs at LFHS are as diverse as they are numerous. Many people stay long hours after school to engage with like-minded people in things they enjoy, and some people do so simply to meet new people. Whatever the case, clubs will always be in the heart of high school. Here is some advice on clubs.

“Don’t be afraid to try new clubs and activities that you might be interested in. Try to fill up your time with things that are meaningful to you.” – Jad El Halabi

“Get involved in extracurricular activities because it makes it way easier to find new friends and makes the transition from middle school not as difficult.” – Madeline Medica

“Join as many clubs as possible because it is the best way to get involved and make new friends! There are so many opportunities in high school. As an example, last year was my first year being the assistant coach for the Special Olympics. We have an amazing team that is filled with talented and amazing athletes which keep our team and club going. I always have so much fun at practices, and it’s an amazing group of people who are simply there to have fun!” – Emily Bertram 

“Looking back on freshman year, I think that it’s important to put yourself out there. Join a club, do a sport, and — most importantly — engage with new people.” – Miki Boveri

“Don’t take high school too seriously, and try to do new things; eventually you will find something new that you never thought of before that you love to do.” – Nick Tegel

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to do volunteering clubs such as Big 2 Little, Scout Buddies, and Special Olympics. High school is stressful and getting to have such rewarding experiences like these take your mind off of the stresses of school for a few hours! It also gives you a chance to meet people in other grades which is always fun because it’s good to branch out. These clubs are always the highlights of my week!” – Sydney Rubenstein

Everything In-Between

There are so many things to experience at LFHS that there simply cannot be categories for all of them. Here is some unique advice on all of the unique things students can experience at LFHS. 

“The one big piece of advice I would give to the incoming freshman is to relish the moment! As my senior year approached, I felt as if I had taken my three other years for granted, putting off experiencing new things until my senior year. As generic and cheesy as it sounds, the best advice I can give is carpe diem! Seize the day! Make it yours.” – Margaret Jemian

“Don’t look at this remote learning as a loss, look at it as a way to experience new and different opportunities. You get to tell people you went to school during this pandemic and you get the opportunity to have a positive experience.” – Celeste Tomaselli

“Don’t take any experiences for granted, and never say ‘it’s okay, we can go next year,’ because there may not be a ‘next year’ or opportunity.” – Payton Marzella

“Don’t be afraid to branch out. At the end of the day, your mistakes are not your identity, so make them and find yourself.” – Lauren Fabbri

High school for myself and so many people has been an extraordinary experience. But everything good must end. As my fellow seniors and I look back on our high school lives, we hope that you — the Freshman — will have a great high school experience just like we did. We hope that our advice will aid and guide you on your journeys, and we all are looking forward to all of the incredible things that you will achieve. Change the world, Class of 2024. Go Scouts.