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An Open Letter to all GCHS Freshmen:

The+high+school+pain+train%2C+depicted+in+its+entirety%2C+running+off+the+hopes+and+dreams+of+fallen+high+schoolers.+
The high school pain train, depicted in its entirety, running off the hopes and dreams of fallen high schoolers.

The high school pain train, depicted in its entirety, running off the hopes and dreams of fallen high schoolers.

The high school pain train, depicted in its entirety, running off the hopes and dreams of fallen high schoolers.

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Dear GCHS Freshmen,

Greetings! I write to you not as a Senior who is just a few months away from exiting the doors of this high school, but as a concerned friend, who earnestly desires to warn you, as any good friend would. I have been through a lot in my high school career: good grades, bad grades, good friends, bad friends, ups and downs, but, what I want to warn you about is academics, plain and simple. In the years leading up to high school, friends that had lived the life of a high schooler told me it would be a breeze, and that I “need not worry,” but believe you me, I needed worry. I want to take you through the roller coaster ride of my academic career as a high schooler, and let you see for yourself why you need worry about your GPA.

Freshman Year:

Ah, Freshman year. The year of ease. The year of new horizons. The year in which I had not discovered proper anti-perspirant and still used Axe body spray (Phoenix scent, for the gents reading this who are wondering). This year was heaven. My classes were easy, my life was easy, the whole year was, well, easy. I had let my guard down, and next year would be “ouch time.”

Sophomore Year:

Going in Sophomore year, I was riding the cloud of a 4.0 GPA. Nothing could stop me! After all, I was no longer “Fresh Meat,” I was a Sophomore! I was practically a man! I had starting shaving (granted, I shaved weekly, and I merely had to tame peach fuzz rather than real-live man hairs, but shaving was shaving), I started using Degree and had left my days of Axe body spray in the dust, and I was wearing button-ups to school and not hoodies. I was  beautiful, or at least I thought I was, but boy, was I wrong. Looking back at my Sophomore pictures, I resembled a pre-pubescent 5th grader more than a high schooler, and my brain was the intellectual equivalent of a 93-pound pipsqueak in the football team’s locker room. The teachers kicked copies of classic novels in my face, clocked me in the jaw with mathematical equations, and swiftly beat me down with foreign languages, laughing while they did it. When God? When would it end? I prayed for mercy, never to find it. That leads us to:

Junior Year:

Coming off a losing streak in Sophomore Year, I figured, “I’ve been through the ringer, and I came out triumphant. This year will not contain me!” But Freshmen, I was wrong again. To make this long spiral staircase of a story short and sweet, I will use a word picture to depict my Junior year:

Imagine me as a drifter in the early parts of the morning in a rough inner-city neighborhood. As I stumbled upon a gang of misfits (in this story, the misfits resemble my Junior year). The gang screamed to me, “Hey, you! Stop!” And I said, “Who, me?” To which they charged at me and mercilessly pummeled me into submission. As they punched and kicked, I cried out, “Junior year! Junior year! Why hast thou forsaken me?” Its response? More beatings, most of which involved a baton, multiple pairs of brass knuckles, a belt, and raw insults thrown in just for fun. I was unconscious by the end of the year, most of which was a blur. Now, I have regained consciousness, and am in my Senior year. I want a smooth coast to the finish line, but I also want a summer home in Nantucket and the respect of my peers, but hey, we get what we get. And what I will most likely receive is one more year of merciless beatings that will once more claim my non-existent self-esteem and make me feel like less of a human being.

That brings me to this piece of advice: Freshmen, get ready. If you do, high school will be a breeze. Take it seriously, not lackadaisically. If you do, then it really will be a breeze. If you don’t, then you will suffer my fate. Choose wisely.

 

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