The Medieval Times

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The Medieval Times

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The Medieval Times

Freshman’s Guide to High School: Issue #1—Finding Your Way


To some students, this article may seem cliché. “I don’t need a guide to understand high school!” Sure; to those who have learned the true path on their own, I honor you. But everyone has to start from somewhere. Even if you refuse to imagine your younger self (the memories are too bitter to recall), there’s no denying that you were once in the same situation.  

The word “freshman” is uttered harshly, as if it were the name of a horrid disease. Yet, even if you’re trained in the rigors of high school, you can still find something new to take away from this guide. Be wise and heed the advice of the coming articles. 

Needless to say, high school differs from middle school in many ways. Essentially, if the distance between elementary and middle school could be measured by yardsticks, high school would be on a whole different planet. The first step to finding your way in this new world is to understand its size; try not to get lost. Here are some generally helpful tips— 

Step One: Determine the amount of time you need to get ready, arrive at school, and get to class: remember—estimate and evaluate. Time is of the essence, especially if you live a fair distance from the school. Leave the house at a decent hour and frequently check the clock to ensure you can still make it on time and won’t be counted tardy.  

If you drive, don’t forget to purchase a parking permit. If you arrive before 7:15, head directly to the gym; the proper bell will dismiss you to your SHIELD/WIN class. 

Step Two: Know what your classes are and how to get there. Chances are, you’ve chosen these courses intentionally, so you best know where to attend them. Whether you’ve had it figured out before school even began or are still struggling to discern the C-area from the D-area, there’s always more to discover.  

Practice the routes to your classes. Soon, the routine will embed in your mind and your daily schedule will slowly become more autonomous; the responsibility to head to class will be immediate. Maps are located throughout the school; they can be efficient guides. 

Step Three: Don’t stop in the middle of hallways or give in to unnecessary distractions. School is a social place, and the hallway is an opportune place for having conversations, at least, when you manage to be heard above the usual uproar. But do not stray from the path, especially as the tone of the tardy bell nears.  

Principally, use common sense: don’t stop in the middle of a trafficked hallway. Go with the flow, but if you do need to stop, step off to the side if possible so you don’t get trampled or obstruct others. If you see someone stopped, make space accordingly for those out of courtesy. Don’t pull out your phone, even if you are going to keep moving, unless it’s an emergency. 

Step Four: Know the location of important places. Granted, it’s unnecessary to fill your mind with irrelevant information: chances are you already have enough things to remember. You can try to memorize all the school’s locales, but I don’t recommend it, even if it is possible at all. But a couple important places to know include:  

-Your grade level’s office: There are two main offices, each concerning a given grade level: the 9th and 10th grade office lie to the right of the concourse (drop-off) entrance and the 11th and 12th grade office lie to the right of the main entrance. If you are tardy, sign in here. Any individual or administrative details are resolved here.  

-Bathrooms: There are bathrooms on both floors, typically in each wing. I recommend the restrooms located in the cafeteria: they have arguably shorter wait times and more privacy, while being generally clean.  

Other bathrooms can’t really say the same. They are smaller and less accommodative but can be opportune when you don’t have the time to venture all the way to the cafeteria. They’re accessible and usually located on the corner of each hallway.  

-Counselor’s Office: Whenever you’re struggling with understanding any information, the counselor’s office is a proper destination. Anytime you’re uncertain about your schedule, academic future, or just plain life, consult a counselor. The office is located next to the student store, in the hall adjoining the cafeteria.  

-Entrances/exits and staircases: Depending on your method of arrival, you should enter the building at a varying, specific location: bus drop-off at the main entrance; parent drop-off at the concourse entrance.  

Staircases are in the C and D Areas and bisect each hallway. If you ever wish to leave the building, always know the location of the nearest exit; whether it be predisposed or facilitated—just remember most high schools (including CMHS) are closed campus, meaning you cannot leave without an excuse during the day. However, you will frequently be advised to leave the building in accordance with fire drill routines. Understanding the necessary emergency pathways is crucial.  

Some other locations (you probably already know the whereabouts of): Cafeteria, Gym, Auditorium, Media Center, Courtyard/Concourse and Gymnasium. You will visit each of these places a varying amount, but they are of utmost importance to know compared to other subordinate locations.  

For any further reference, look to the student handbook (a digital copy can be found on Schoology.) Even if you don’t feel that this issue has served you now, perhaps you will next year. But hey; you can always rely on the tried-and-true musings of the great Roderick Heffley:  

“Don’t talk to anyone, don’t look at anyone, don’t go anywhere, don’t sit down, don’t raise your hand, don’t go to the bathroom, don’t get noticed, don’t choose the wrong locker…” Granted, this comment related to middle school, but that doesn’t mean it can’t apply to high school. Even still, that kind of advice is dated, and its vague direction can only get you so far in today’s rapidly changing schooling society…  


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