Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Love the Class of 2023

Advice from the Seniors to the Underclassmen


Freshman year is rough socially, academically, mentally but hindsight is 2020. As seniors going into their final year at magnet, we and our fellow peers have gained some insight that we could’ve used in our first year. There are too many things we wish we learned sooner and the class of 2023 feels compelled to help guide Magnet’s underclassmen, so here is some advice from Magnet seniors who’ve managed to survive the past three years (and some cringey pictures from their freshman year).

Branching Out:

One widely agreed upon piece of advice from seniors is to branch out. While we are sure your old friends are swell, making new friends will greatly improve your high school experience. Willa Jones wishes she could tell her freshman self “Don’t be afraid to talk to new people, branch out beyond your middle school friends.” You are surrounded by so many new people and will probably regret not getting to know any of them (and maybe regret getting to know some of them but don’t let that stop you). 

Enjoying it while you can:

McRae Wallace, Turner Orvin, Cooper Mitchell, Walker Bauknight, Chase Roberts, Ransome Hudson, James Pagel, and Will Siegling their freshman year

High school goes surprisingly fast and it’s very easy to get caught up in the stress and worry of academics. A lot of seniors said they wish they knew to stop and have fun instead of spending their freshmen year stressed out. Mary Blake Hand said “Have fun and don’t get so stressed out.” We promise your grades are not as important as they seem right now. By Senior year we can hardly remember our freshman year grades (and any bad ones we do remember make us laugh). 

School Spirit:

A big part of Magnet is the school spirit especially during football games and Spirit week. Try to participate in as much as you can/want to. Emily Byrne advised freshmen to “Move back at football games and don’t be afraid to cheer loud.” If you don’t lose your voice at a football game, did you really even attend? Senior Sarah Baer wanted to warn freshmen to “Help with Wall Day because freshmen walls are usually a complete fail.” It’s ok, you’ll get better(hopefully). Also, just a warning, magnet students go all in for spirit week. This isn’t your middle school where only two people dress up. Seniors will basically function as a cult, and there is a large possibility you will get teased for not dressing up (as you should be). Shop for themes early, especially if you live in Mt. Pleasant, those Goodwills will be wiped out within a week of spirit week themes being announced.

Throwback to Seniors at their first freshmen football game


Senior thoughts on using focus were mixed. Sarah Baer recommended you “Get as much work done during freshman study hall as possible so you can do sports and chill out at home” but Lizzie Murray wanted to remind everyone that “study hall is for networking.” If you are a student who chose to drop study hall, please make sure you ask your friends what you missed because you don’t want to miss information on field trips and other grade events. Especially ask about due dates for forms, I know a couple people who learned that the hard way.


Alec Early, Andrew Nichols, Jack Houseal, Shane Hoffman, Irene Liu, Emma Hsu, Dakota Hasty, Jordan Hill, and Cat Clyburn all wide eyed and innocent

Sports and clubs are a great way to meet new people and get involved with the school. Ransome Hudson said “play every sport to make friends faster.” Club hub can be overwhelming for some freshmen but don’t let that stop you from signing up for clubs you find interesting! Even if you don’t plan on joining clubs, attend club fair because you can pick up some fun things like candy and cookies. One year a club even brought in a cake.


First of all, don’t be upset if your grades aren’t as good as they were in middle school, and don’t let your English summer work grade get you down (we’ve all been there). Ellyse Ramos reminds everyone “Don’t get caught up on one bad grade. Everyone fails their summer work and that first bio test is rough.” We assure you people can come back from them. Personally, I (Lilly) memorized the Spanish countries and their capitals in English and completely flunked my map test, but now I just think it’s funny. Secondly, don’t be afraid of “sounding stupid.” As Summer DeSouza says, “Don’t be afraid to ask a stupid question because someone will always ask a stupider one.”

Don’t be afraid to ask a stupid question because someone will always ask a stupider one.

Lily Coulter, Emily Byrne, Emily Pilla, Annie Cagle, Nanya Ayaz, Anna Hope Jordan, Sophie Taber, Kate Geig watching Bubble Soccer in 2019

Sleep Schedule:

Academic Magnet students could serve as a case study on sleep deprivation, and many of us have learned the importance of sleep the hard way. However, Magnet seniors have some advice to help beyond just telling you their favorite energy drink (a former talon article claims Red Bull: Blue Edition is the best). Summer DeSouza says “prioritizing sleep over academics actually helps academics,” and Ben Cuff offers an alternative solution for when that ship has sailed: “sleep in class.” Speaking from personal experience, napping during study hall might be embarrassing, but I never regret it. 

Jack Houseal, Alec Early, Caleb Anderson, Kofi Ayiku, Carter Griffin, Hadley Shaw, and Grayson Gregg all baby faced

Miscellaneous advice:

With the seniors great advice also comes some random but handy suggestions. A lot of seniors cringe at their freshman fashion choices (I know I do) and Lily Hutson wishes she could tell her freshman self to “Have better style because you’ll look back and regret some freshman looks.” Willa Wiley warns that “It’s only harder from here.” And our own student body president, Vishwa Verswany, offered the wise words “Live it up and drink water.” 


We hope this advice from the class of 2023 serves you well. The next four years are going to be an emotional roller coaster filled with joy, tears, and sleep deprivation, but don’t forget to make the most out of it. This year and the ones that follow are gonna be great and as Harrison Biddle said when asked what he would tell his freshman self “It will be okay.”

It will be okay.