Seniors pass on advice to freshmen

Peer mentors share their tips, tricks


Katie Sage

Senior peer mentors prepare to greet members of the Class of 2021 during freshman orientation. As the first quarter comes to an end, senior offered freshman advice for experiencing a successful first year.

Erin O'Neill, Reporter

The initial weeks of school are often filled with new stresses, challenges and countless unknowns, such as trying to adapt to the ever-changing schedule or finding new classrooms. While no group of students on campus is as familiar with these feelings as the Senior Class, many freshmen are likely experiencing similar emotions as they wrap up their first quarter.

Senior Aurora Huff offered advice on how to thrive socially during the first few months on campus. She said, “Try to make as many friends as possible, find those certain people who you really connect with.” Huff added, “Try to join as many clubs and get involved in as many things as you can.”

Senior Alan Johnson suggested that students shouldn’t be afraid to look outside of their class to meet people. He said, “A great way to feel comfortable here is to get to know your peers. Get to know students in other classes, especially the sophomores, because they will be here with you the longest.”

To be successful academically, Johnson suggested that meeting with teachers is crucial. He said, “If you’re struggling in a class, don’t be afraid to come in before or after school to receive help. Doing this allows your teacher to see that you’re willing to understand the material they are teaching.”

Senior Ann Mammen said, “Talk to your teachers and your counselor. They will try to help you, they’re on your side. Definitely talk to your teachers if you are having trouble in a class; it will do wonders.”

Mammen also said that students should try to stay organized. She said, “Don’t procrastinate on homework until the very last minute or the night before it’s due, because you’ll regret it. Also, write all of your homework in a planner; it helps a lot.”

Johnson described that many tools are available to help students to be successful. He said, “Use entertaining techniques or ways of studying for tests and quizzes. Try using apps like Kahoot or Quizlet to bring some fun into studying. Most importantly, never feel discouraged if you fail a test or quiz. Failure is only a reflection of how well you studied, and not a reflection of you. But if you study hard, your academic career will be great here.”

He added, “Don’t forget about Math League, too; you will always need that extra credit.”

Outside of the classroom, Mammen said that football games create a great atmosphere to make friends and meet new people. She said, “Try and go to as many football games as you can. It’s the best part of fall. My favorite part of freshman year was getting ready with people before the games.”

Johnson also expressed how football games became a huge part of his freshman year experience. He said, “I remember my first football game. It’s weird to think about how the people who were sitting in the freshman section at that game were so unfamiliar to me, but now they’re some of the people I’m closest to in my life. Attend any sporting events that you can and cheer on your Irish athletes.”

Huff would agree. She said, “Go to all possible sporting events, even if they are far away. The game and the experience are worth it.”

Mammen also suggested that assemblies and spirit weeks provide a positive way to form new connections with classmates. She said, “Participate at assemblies and have fun, otherwise you’ll regret it. Also, make sure you participate during Winterfest.”

Johnson said, “My favorite part of freshman year was my first Winterfest because of Paul Zerr’s golden pants.”

Huff expressed that one of her best memories from freshman year was also Homecoming, but the tradition didn’t come without some disappointment. She said, “My favorite part of freshman year was almost winning spirit stick, but not winning the stick would be my least favorite part.”

Johnson added, “Get involved. There’s something here at Cathedral for everyone, whether it’s a club activity or sport. Getting involved and learning more about the things that go on inside of Cathedral will definitely help you succeed your freshman year.”