Friday, September 18, 2020

Andy Young: There's hope for the future

By Andy Young 


Every September on the first day of classes where I teach, I give a short writing assignment to my Grade 12 English classes. Most kids want to make a good first impression on their new teacher, and as a result do a pretty good job. The (relatively few) slackers? They represent job security.

This year’s task was to write, in essay form, some thoughtful words of guidance regarding how to succeed in high school to my 14-year-old son, who is starting 9th grade. I figure he’s more likely to heed good advice from folks younger than his father, who he thinks graduated when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Judging from some of their responses (below), I think I’d say my designated panel of experts did a great job. Here’s some of their wisdom:

Stay organized, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Make sure to keep your computer charged; it’s a hassle if it dies when you’re in class.

Treat your peers with kindness and stay away from needless drama.

Don’t show up late.

Listen to your teachers. They aren’t lying.

Never let one person ruin your day.

Think about the way you want to be treated and give others that same kind of respect and attitude.

Start thinking about what you want to do after high school NOW!

What happens off campus when you’re in high school is where the fun really lies! Go out on the town late at night and take a drive with your friends in your car!

Try to enjoy school while it lasts, because once you have to work full-time and raise a family, it won’t be easy.

What you’ll get out of high school will be exactly what you put into it.

High school is absolute chaos, but in the best way.

Don’t let the bad days stop you from becoming your best you.

High school is like playing a board game. Once you figure it out, you’ll cruise through to the end, and you’ll have a blast with your friends.

Get ready for boring online class and getting called a freshman for every dumb thing you do.

Don’t take science. Learning about mitochondria doesn’t help you in life.

English class is useless. If you can use words properly and have correct grammer you’ll be fine.

Procrastinating puts you where you don’t want to be.

You’ll make new friends in high school, but you’ll also lose some old ones.

High school can be one of the most enjoyable or one of the most miserable experiences you’ll ever have. It’s up to you to choose which of those two things it’ll be.

Remember to eat. Your brain and body need fuel to sit in class all day, believe it or not!

Some people think being popular is important, but to tell you the truth, it’s overrated.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

Don’t slack on school work. Challenge yourself with tough classes, but keep things manageable.

Take extra classes during your first three years; your senior year will be less stressful that way.

Don’t lie. When someone finds out you did, you’ll lose their trust for a long time.

Don’t give in to peer pressure. Be who you are, and don’t let people walk all over you.

High school is your time to shine. Make as much of it as you can!

Some people knock youthful Americans, but I won’t. Their generation’s knucklehead percentage is no higher than that of the general population. I can see them accomplishing a lot.

Hey, they’ve already written 72 percent of a column for me! <

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