Welcome Class of 2021: Advice for incoming freshmen from Dillion Riggin


Alex Ismael

Dillon Riggin.

by Dillon Riggin, Guest Contributor

Dear incoming freshmen,

There is no doubt that you have heard an array of horror stories about high school. Your last year of middle school was filled with tales of harsh punishment, repulsive amounts of homework, and threats levied against freshmen. While high school certainly isn’t a cake-walk, it also isn’t a medieval dungeon like some claim. I’m going to give you some advice that will alleviate some stress and put many rumors that you’ve heard to rest.

First of all, Linganore is not Alcatraz. Students come to learn. The goal of a teacher is to give you knowledge that will help you throughout your life; not to give you detentions and referrals. I have been attending Linganore for three years, and I have only seen two detentions and one referral given. Teachers don’t enjoy punishing students. It takes time away from their class and it could harm the student’s desire to learn. A teacher would only punish a student if they are harming the ability of the rest of the class to learn. If you aren’t jumping on desks and causing other major disruptions, chances are you will be fine.

Another constant source of concern for new freshmen is homework. Many freshmen expect to be bombarded with assignments and essays from day one. That isn’t even close to the truth. Don’t get me wrong, there will be more homework than middle school, but the stress-induced visions containing mountains of homework can be put to rest. The amount of work will depend on your classes. I’ve been in classes that’ve had homework every night, and I’ve had classes where homework was non-existent. During freshman year, there aren’t many classes that will give you heavy amounts of homework. However, on nights when you don’t have lots of homework, studying should be your priority. It’s good to establish study habits early in your high school career. If you have a system that you know works early on, you will find studying for large exams to be much less stressful.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, I’m going to discuss bullying. Television shows and movies have painted pictures of hazing and merciless bullying when it comes to freshmen. Most students can recall at least one show or movie that contains a freshman being picked on. These shows are unrealistic and laughably inaccurate. Still, you may have heard stories of freshmen being bullied at pep rallies or sporting events. These are also untrue.

You will not be bullied just because you are a freshman. You will probably not be bullied at all. Upperclassmen have other things to do besides picking on younger kids. It’s reassuring to remember they were once freshmen as well, and guess what, they survived! I cannot recall a single instance when I was bullied during my freshman year. The only bit of discrimination that I received was on my sports team. Freshmen were assigned menial tasks such as looking for stray balls and transporting water jugs. It was nothing seriously harsh and the sophomores had done it as well during their freshman year. For all of you who fear being bullied or singled out, just relax, you will be fine. Surprisingly, you’ll find most upperclassmen to be friendly and helpful. It is a very good idea to ask a junior or senior any questions you have about school. I guarantee that they will know the answer and are more than willing to help you.

So just to re-cap, respect the teachers and follow their instructions; no matter how pointless they may seem. Always do your homework and don’t worry, you will not be overwhelmed. Study hard and establish study habits for yourself early on. When it comes to bullying, don’t sweat it. Nobody will target you because you are a freshman, and most students will be welcoming and helpful. If you remember my advice and just relax, you will have a blast in high school. This is the biggest part of your life so far, enjoy it!