View from the Top: Greg Barrett and Han Park

By Greg Barrett and Han Park
Published: September 2007

Really, really fast.The weather is getting chilly, the leaves are turning, you’re reacquainted with your longer pants, and school’s in session. It’s good to see our school full of determined scholars again, including the “newer, smaller ones.”Let us, Greg Barrett and Han Park, on behalf of our senior class, welcome everyone back to school, and also welcome the “newer, smaller ones” who are just starting their high school journey.

To the junior class– your year ahead is one of work, excitement, and a little more work. Just remember: Eating and sleeping is just as important as the SATs. 

To the sophomore class–you have the “invisible year,” where everyone seems to kind of, well…forget about you guys. So don’t try so hard– enjoy the time off.

Finally to the freshmen class– You’re finally in high school! We hope you are finding your place alright…but just in case you are feeling a little overwhelmed and clueless, we have provided five pointers for you to keep in mind while being at Newton South.

And of course, this is only meant to help you because in our opinion, as they say in HSM, “We’re all in this together.”

1. Get your license as soon as you can. And yes, this means signing up for driver’s ed, and spending Tuesday and Thursday nights with Dimitri and Yakir. Not old enough yet? That’s okay– just make friends with an upperclassmen that has a car. Just remember the general rule: don’t ask for a ride more than three times a week. If you do, make sure you give them some money for gas.

2. Speaking of making friends, try to become friends with not just the kids in your school, but with your teachers, the principal, and even your house secretary. They are here to help you and in our experience, having their support (Knoedler, DuBray, Salzar, Bloom, and Youngman to name a few) definitely made the past four years not only easier, but more exciting.

3. GET INVOLVED. Sports, theatre, art, Denebola , music…it doesn’t matter what it is, get involved. Just make sure it’s something you love doing. You will be able to adjust quicker if you get yourself involved, and will be able to take your mind off some of your harder courses. Again, get involved.

4. Don’t bring five notebooks, five binders, five textbooks, and 20 pencils to school. First of all, wow, if you can count that high, and two, it is way too heavy. In our experience, one notebook (the kind with the pockets inside) and a pen is more than enough. As long as you stay organized, you will be fine. Also this way, you won’t be diagnosed with scoliosis (it’s okay Maddie, we still love you).

5. Lastly, do not skip any classes. To help explain the reason why in the best way possible, we came up with this analogy: It is like eating cake. At first, you tell yourself, “Oh, as long as I just smell the cake, it’s okay. That’s not eating it.” Then you say, “Oh, but one bite won’t hurt right?” And soon enough, what happens to the cake? Oh right, it’s not there because you ate it all. See what we mean?

Honestly, freshman year is not as bad as people make it out to be. Sure, our school may be intimidating and confusing at first (don’t even get us started on the classroom number system), but really there is nothing you can’t handle.

And it might also seem like all the upperclassmen are scary, big, and out to get you (Greg, for example, is a whopping 6’3″), but we are all here to help you out rather than steal your money and tell you that your next class is on the fourth floor next to the pool because we know how tough it is getting into this new environment. We’ve all been there.

Also, enjoy high school while you are here. Meet new people, learn new things, and find new interests. And know that even though us seniors have been here for four years, we still make mistakes and get lost at times.

Take Greg for an example. The other day, he (just remember that he is 6’3″ as you read this) walked into a sophomore English class and sat there for about 20 minutes, not knowing he was in the wrong classroom.

High school is all about what you make out of it. It truly is a place where you will get out as much as you put in.

So why not do the best you can while you are here? You are only here for four years. Because trust us, those four years go by really fast. Really, really fast.

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