Dear Underclassmen…

The (Unofficial) Student Handbook


@thetonic_co via Unsplash

Going into freshman (or even sophomore) year can be a daunting task. But don’t freak out too much! The upperclassmen are here to help.

In high school, there are all the rules you have to follow (you know, to not get expelled or anything). Everybody knows those rules—we have to sign off on them very often. Then again, there are also those unwritten rules of high school, ones that you just know and learn along the years. 

When I spoke to Capri Indrizzo ‘26, she had one question on her mind that I know so many other new kids on campus have too: “How will I learn to fit in at high school?” 

Coming from a senior, there are a few ins and outs and unspoken rules of Notre Dame that you sort of just know to follow. Like Anais dHerbecourt ‘23 said: “By the time you get to senior year, you learn the rules no one teaches you.” 

So here they are: 

  1. KNOW YOUR PLACE. You will be upperclassmen someday too. While that doesn’t mean that all upperclassmen will eat you or be rude, it’s just the high school food chain— everyone gets their turn. Basically, you’re just beginning high school. That doesn’t give you any power. It doesn’t help to act like you are the best. 
  2. If an upperclassman cuts you in line, let it happen. Upperclassmen get to cut in line. That’s just the way it goes. That’s a half-joke. But seriously—if an upperclassman cuts in front of you, just let it be and go on with your life. 
  3. Don’t take up so much space in hallways—or any walkways for that matter. Walking and talking with your friends is cool and all, but just keep it going. No one likes a hallway hog. 
  4. Drama isn’t cool. I know. High school drama can be interesting. We all feed off it. But the biggest secret you learn? IT IS NOT COOL. Starting drama isn’t cool, participating in it will not make you more popular, and making up rumors is definitely a no-go at all costs. 
  5. Don’t snitch ever. What happens in high school stays in high school. We sort of have that implicit respect where we all know to keep our mouths shut. You didn’t see anything. 
  6. No senior line ever. Never. There’s nothing more to say. Doesn’t matter what the context is, there is no reason anyone who isn’t a senior should EVER be in the senior line. 
  7. Caf seating is strictly for seniors. Period. Yes, I know it’s been under construction for the duration of the first semester, but once the second semester hits, it’s for the seniors. There aren’t any free hand out invitations to get in—it’s just seniors, no one else. End of story.                
  8. Why are you running to class when there is still three minutes left before class starts? Our school really is not that big. Three minutes is a lot more time than you think! And yet, people are still sprinting at FULL SPEED with four minutes left. 
  9. You got this! High school is not as scary as it is perceived. No matter what you hear, enjoy it and be yourself. I promise you that you can do it. 
  10. Finally, we upperclassmen got your backs! Aside from everything stated above, we upperclassmen still don’t know what we are doing either. We are always here to help. We have been through it and would be more than happy to support you in absolutely any way possible. We ❤️ you guys always and got your backs. 🙂