Pres Declassified School Survival Guide: Freshmen Edition


Attention all freshmen! Are you confused by the brick walled maze that is Pres? Do you feel like somehow everyone knows you’re new? Never fear! Pres girls are here to offer advice to navigate your first year of high school.

From the get-go, Pres girls are assigned homework, essays, and future test dates. Block schedules allow for longer classes and two days for homework. However, more time to do work means more time for procrastination. Senior Chloe Isleta explains how procrastination affects her. She says, “Don’t wait until the last minute to do your homework. Do it right away when you get home. I’m not swimming right now, and I’m procrastinating. I notice that I’m staying up until 11 or 12 and I don’t even stay up till 12 when I have swimming!”

You’ve probably discovered by now that the workload at Pres is very intense. Senior Lydia Savelli gives some advice on test taking skills: “My usual rule for tests is skim all material T-3 days, go in depth T-2 days, and brush up on T-1 day.” And for those already thinking about finals: “ It’s not required to get an A on every final!”

In middle school, there are not many choices that you can make as far as what classes you are taking. As an underclassman in high school, your choices are a little more varied. You can either take a free period or choose an elective. Senior Kaitlyn Barnett advises, “Definitely try out extra art, PE, or other classes you think would interest you. Those are some of the most fun!”

Other students, like senior Shellsy Rizo, have more unique classes in mind. “Even though it is an upper division class, I would recommend taking [Into Narnia] because it’s super fun and different than any other classes offered at Pres.”

Need a good place to study? Sophomore Yasmine Ocampo and Rizo both agree that the library is a great place to prep for class. Ocampo says, “One of my favorite places to study is the library because it’s super quiet and there aren’t any distractions.” Rizo agrees, “I would say the best place to study is the library because Ms. Lemon is super helpful.”

Coming from the classroom, many Pres girls are extremely hungry. Where do they go? Apollo’s kitchen! He offers delicious cookies, Pres bread, pizza, pasta, soup and much more. However, Isleta comments on the wait to get into the cafeteria. She says, “If you don’t really want to wait a really long time, then bring your own food.” This is understandable, due to the huge line that goes out the side door every A day during lunch.

But before lunch, you have to worry about getting to school, and you may have noticed that morning traffic is crazy! Most students interviewed said that they would arrive around 7:30 to allow time to do other things. Ocampo says, “ It gives me 10-15 minutes to go to my locker, talk to my friends, and maybe even get a little breakfast without feeling rushed.” If you drive yourself, you may want to arrive earlier to get a good spot and park responsibly. However, parents need to listen as well. “Make sure that [parents] know the rules!” Savelli adds.

Cars or people, getting around Pres can be very difficult. “When you walk through double doors, you should use the door on the right, so that the flow of traffic is like that of a freeway,” says Barnett. Foot traffic can be very hectic before school and during passing period. If everyone moves in one direction, the flow of students will be a lot smoother. In the morning, Pres girls are especially critical of the hallways.

Sophomore Alex Fabiani adds, “Get from Point A to Point B. Don’t stop and chat. I mean, if you want to talk, walk along with your friend. Don’t stop in the middle of the hallway!”

Despite the challenge of being a freshman, high school is a great opportunity to meet new people and to get a fresh start. Remember to have fun here at your new home for four years, and they will go by fast. Good luck!