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Get involved right away
By Jason W., Grade 12, Port Hardy Secondary, Port Hardy, BC

Now that everyone's back at school, after a safe and relaxing vacation, let's make this year a happy, productive one. I'm addressing this mainly to the new Freshman Class to PHS and other freshman students across Canada. Most freshmen entering high school tend to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of their high school compared to the home they've had for the past eight years of their life. You've probably noticed the lockers are bigger, the cafeteria has more meal options and a lot more students than junior high. Overwhelming? Yes. Stressful? Certainly, it can be. However, these next four years of high school can be some of the best times in your life as long as you choose to make the most of them.

The best advice I can give any freshman is to get involved while maintaining high academic standards. Grades must come first because it's an important year to start off right. The marks that you're working for now will set the groundwork for your high school career and you will be sending to colleges during your senior year.

At PHS, so many students come to school in the morning and leave on the bus in the afternoon. That's the extend of their involvement in school. Your teacher has probably told you ‘you will only get out of this school what you put into it'. Take that statement seriously. Whether students join clubs, participate in the yearbook committee, play school sports, intramurals or contribute in the fine arts, they should do something that instills a sense of ownership in their school.

There are so many clubs to choose from. There are groups ranging from the math club, the UNICEF club, the Recycling club to the news club. If you don't find one that interests you, find a teacher to sponsor you and create your own.

Getting involved will make high school seem so much smaller. You will meet new people, make new friends and most importantly enjoy yourself. The key is finding what you enjoy and to go with it.

Besides joining one of several clubs offered in your school, attending sporting events and performances is another way to gain a sense of belonging. Supporting the talented athletes, actors and musicians we have will create a sense of pride within the school and will consequently cause school spirit to sky rocket, which will make your school a better and more fun place to be.

Imagine if just 5 percent of the student body showed up at a basketball game or a band concert. It sounds so simple, but students have to care. The students have to want to be involved. Even if a student is the star athlete of a team, he could try supporting others like he wants to be supported. It sounds like the golden rule from kindergarten, "Treat others as you like to be treated," but there is so much truth in those simple words.

In 10 years you won't look back on that one English paper you had to write or that one specific homework assignment you had to turn in. You will remember the times you spent with your friends at the basketball or hockey games on Friday nights. You will remember the times you spent with your peers at club meetings, and hopefully you will remember how these were the best years of your life.


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