To the Freshman…


If you’re an incoming freshman reading this, welcome to the West Morris Central community! If you’re not an incoming freshman, you know the drill by now.
Many consider your high school days the “best days of your life”, but are they really? I think it’s what you make of it. Sure you can have a really awesome high school experience, but it’s what you do everyday to make it good.
Throughout my four years at West Morris, I learned a lot. So, here are some of the most important things I learned and took away from my time at West Morris Central (these are in no particular order):


#1 – Don’t Procrastinate

I’ve always had a tendency to procrastinate…basically everything. Depending on the level you’re taking and the teacher you have, homework can pile up fairly quickly if you don’t keep up. I was always one to say “Yea, I’ll get to it tomorrow”. For me, tomorrow turned into the night before the assignment was due. It’s better to do the assignment the day you get it so you’re not pulling all-nighters like I did.

Bonus: Do not procrastinate an essay. I don’t know how many times I did this, but every time it was always a race against the clock. I always did my essays the night before and would do “decent”, but it wasn’t always the “A” students want. So, learn from me and don’t try to clutch out an essay due at 9am and you’re up at 4am thinking of a thesis.


#2 – Do Your Homework

I get it. Free periods now, you want to talk to your friends. So you say you’ll do your homework at home…only to realize it’s 1am and you haven’t started. Homework may not seem as important because some teachers might only check for “completion”, so you can get away with writing whatever you want. But, it actually does matter because it reinforces what you do in the classroom. Homework might also count as grade and those zeros definitely can add up in the long run. If you forget your homework, be honest. The old “my dog ate my homework” or “It’s in my folder somewhere” doesn’t really work (I tried a lot of excuses so I know what work and what doesn’t).


#3 – Try New Things

I think high school is the best time to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. If you’ve wanted to try something new, go for it! Want to get into a hobby? Talk to new people? Try a new sport? Try all of these! It’s better to try it now rather than 10 years down the line and you can’t anymore. Push yourself to get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. You won’t regret it because you might find something you enjoy so much that you turn it into a career.


#4 – If You Find Your “Dream Job”… Turn it into a Reality

I did this (to an extent), and I have no regrets. Junior year I knew I wanted to do something in the broadcasting field, so I went for it. Taking journalism was one of the steps to realizing that I wanted to do some sort of communications in the sports field. I still haven’t decided whether or not it’s the journalism or broadcasting part, but had I not taken the opportunity to, I wouldn’t have had the experience that I do.
If your dream job is something you can do as a high school student, get the job and the experience. There are plenty of places willing to hire high school students and you benefit it in getting the experience and some money. And think outside of the box on this one too! I went online and found a sports writing company and now I work for them. There’s opportunities out there for everyone, so do some research and apply to places.
If you’re interested in what I do, check out our website (no, this is not a paid-promotion) :


#5 – Take the “College Process” Serious

The college process is a long and for some, stressful one. You have this huge list of colleges you applied to and still can’t decide which one is best for you. And you can’t just throw a dart and say “that’s the one!” because you’re going to be there for the next 2 or 4 years depending on the path you choose. This isn’t a time to procrastinate as well. Deadlines are a thing, and when you miss the deadlines it could lead to some issues. The best advice I can give you is: when you find the college you love, don’t second guess it. When I went on a campus tour to my college, I knew that this was the one. Yes, I applied to other colleges because you’re not guaranteed anything so it’s best to have a safety net. I got into the one I wanted to go to, so it was a no brainer to enroll. I would also say take your ACT/SAT serious, but even those are up in the air right now. But, if they are back take them seriously because it is a factor colleges look at.
On top of that, when you get accepted to the college you want to go to, reach out to fellow classmates to make new friends. A majority of us are going to be attending a college where we’re the only ones from West Morris Central, so it’s key to reach out and find your roommates and new friends. Don’t be shy too! The people I have met so far are all nice and you begin to build a circle for yourself.
When it comes your time to begin looking at colleges and you’re confused, go down to the guidance office and ask questions. They are the ones with all the knowledge and will help you each step along the way.


#6 – Enjoy Yourself

In the end…high school is what you make of it. Take risks, try new things and explore the world around you. There’s plenty to do and see here in Long Valley and the neighboring towns, so get your friends and go enjoy life. Make it the life you’ve always wanted to live, I know you won’t regret it.
Hopefully my message sticks and you try to do some of the things I did because I was one to do it all. It made me the person I am today, even through the ups and downs in life tossed my way.
Trust me, you’ll get through it.