Now before you get all salty and say, “High School isn’t going to be that hard,” put that sentence right back in your mouth because I said the same thing and, spoiler alert, high school is hard. I know you don’t want to listen to an upper classman, but let me drop some advice onto you.

High School seems like a fun new adventure at first and you might think that, “Wow this is going to be fun.” Well, after three years of high school, I can tell you that it’s not as magical as they make it seem in the movies. If I could describe high school in one word it would be “stressful.” The first piece of advice I’m going to give you is do your homework. Now you might be like, “I know that already.” Yes, you might know that already, but do you do your homework at home or in homeroom? Do you maybe do your homework in spare time in another class two periods before it’s due?

If I just cracked the biggest secret ever and you’re wondering how I knew that. It’s because I used to do that as a freshman. Let me tell you right now that is the quickest ticket to Stress City.

Make time for homework. I know it’s boring and you think you don’t need it, but I promise you it will help you learn better. Also, it is less stressful doing it at home than two class periods before you have that class.

Next piece of advice? Pay attention and don’t fall asleep in your classes. As a freshman, I found my science class incredibly boring so I didn’t pay attention and I would fall asleep. I regret that now as an 11th grader, because I needed to know some of that stuff for this little thing called the ACT. You don’t have to worry about that just yet, but it’s important to pay attention so you don’t fail the class.

I was super duper lucky that I didn’t have to retake that science class. Every class you take is important, no matter how boring.

My third piece of advice is don’t say, “I will always be like this.” Life goes through phases, and it takes awhile to find who you truly are and there is no rush.

Pay no attention to the upperclassmen who call you annoying. We are all crabby, stressed and probably out of coffee. Some bonus tips before I get to last piece of advice —you can’t do every activity, get enough sleep, breakfast is important, study and make sure you’re balancing your work.

Now my big piece of advice for any freshman reading out there is popularity is overrated. Looking back at my freshman year I sat with people who I thought would make me cool and popular instead of my friends.

That’s my biggest regret I could’ve sat with my friends, but I didn’t.

I know that life feels hard with all the changes you go through as a freshman, but make sure you stay true to yourself. What I’m saying is just be proud of what makes you, you. Don’t let anyone tell you who to be or what you like. It will be your biggest regret not doing what you love because other people think it’s weird. One day — and I promise you will figure it all out, but it doesn’t have to be today, tomorrow or even next year — it takes time, and in the end it’ll all be worth it. You’ll leave high school a different person than you were freshman year, but you will have the experience that got you there. High school might knock you down and stress you out, but take a deep breath and don’t forget to buckle up for the ride.

In other news

A video doorbell is one of the top items that people place on their Christmas list. I’m actually surprised there are still people who don’t own this doorbell that records every movement near the front door and sends it to the owner’s cell phone.

The following area bankruptcies were filed in U.S. Court, District of Nebraska. Reprinted by permission from the Daily Record of Omaha.

CLARKSON – Class C No. 3 Oakland-Craig held No. 4 Clarkson/Leigh to just 13 first-half points en route to a convincing 55-31 victory in East Husker Conference action here on Tuesday.