For incoming freshmen, the best advice I would give is to build a wide web of connections. It might sound difficult to find friends when it is your first year at a new school, but it’s nothing like that at Venice. Through joining clubs, joining sports and being open and friendly, I have had an amazing high school experience. I have been a part of the Volleyball team since my freshman year and those friendships I have made are the strongest I’ve had to this day. Through my friends in volleyball I have made even more friendships, made connections to staff, grown as a person, and held myself as a person on and off campus. Although I joined Sports Medicine my senior year, it goes to show that it’s never too late to make new friends and learn new things all while having fun and growing along with others as well as helping your community flourish. Listening to the announcements is very key, many clubs introduce themselves and their event through there and you never know what might come on through the intercom so listen up! The Boys and Girls Club of Venice is highly involved in our school, it’s even free for highschool students. How amazing is that! They have so many programs: tutoring, job opportunities, sports, music, and art! Many of the students are highly active at the club which is walking distance so you can also make new friends there you wouldn’t notice before! Joining Leadership, ASB and Student Body allows you to connect with ongoing events on campus and make friends in your grades. Also having School Spirit, attending sports games are the best, cheering for your teams and your classmates on creating long lasting memories, the ones we see in movies and always want are in the palms of our hands! So really stay engaged with school activities and make Venice look the best! Overall being a part of a community within Venice(regardless of it being a sports team or academic or whatnot) and through that you can grow as a person and enjoy your high school experience like I did. On a quick note don’t disregard the the lesser known staff that you see on a daily, thank the lunch personnel, Custodians, T.A’s, Bus Drivers, and Directors because they work behind the scenes and allow venice thrive, to function in a way that will make you feel like you are safe, protected, and home.
Academically speaking I would try to reach out to upperclassmen regarding AP courses. Everyone tries to pressure you into taking these AP courses just because it’s the norm, but my biggest suggestion is taking a class only if your heart’s in it, trust me. I learned my lesson when I took double APs as a sophomore (AP Chem and AP World). Just rethink your decisions when it comes to taking difficult subjects, because they do affect your grades. It’s not like middle school where you fail a class and that’s that. you have to complete the class with a passing grade, meaning you will have to take summer courses if you fail (been there done that, no thanks!). Don’t let your GPA slip too low, and if you are having trouble in a class teachers are always willing to help and there is tutoring available in the library afterschool, so make sure to really take advantage of what’s in your available to you (we really are privileged in the fact that we have resources all around us for free). One thing that people disregard and forget about is their past teachers. Your teachers end up helping you into the next level of education most of the time through college applications, always be kind to your teachers, be a good student and make connections with your teachers and have real one on one conversations with them! They really listen to you and give you amazing advice, since they too get to know you on a more personal level when they hear about opportunities you’re usually the first to know. Not only school activities but outside activities as well, teachers are really amazing and are so underrated! When it comes to counselors I would say to get to know them very well, because they should know you enough to let you know when a class might be too difficult for you (shout out Ms. Simon Meyer!). You should feel close enough with them to not only talk about academic subjects but when there is something going on at home or at school and regarding anything that is worrying you, they are your shoulder to lean on in times of need because I know Ms. Simon Meyer was that to me! Regarding college counselors, don’t just talk to them when it’s your final year of high school. I’ve been going to Dr. Scott since I was a freshman, and just like I said about the counselors, get to know them as well. They would be able to help you reach your goals for your dream school, and if you don’t have one, they keep you on track to the point where when college applications season comes you are set and not stressed about ONE thing! Reach out to them as early as a freshman and ask them to let you know about any college events or programs you can join that can help you better understand which road you want to head towards in the future! Joining the Delphians Society also keeps them on track with a reward at the end, as well as Jackets of Excellence!