By Tarushi Sharma                   

Welcome, year of 2016! This year marks the official start of your transition into the real world. High school won’t be sugarcoating anything anymore — you are in charge.

Bored in class? Go take a lap. Hate doing homework? Don’t do it. Don’t like school? Don’t even bother showing up.

Keep in mind, however, that independence goes hand in hand with responsibility so be prepared to face the consequences of poor decisions. Enjoy your freshman year, but understand that this year counts. How well you perform during your first year of high school will be a determining factor of your future. Before you know it, you’ll no longer be the “babies” of Andover High; you’ll be strutting down the hallways, getting ready to finally escape into the real world. So get ready to experience the best — and the worst — times of your life. In the end, it will all be worth it.

Things you don’t need to worry about this year:

  • The “dreaded” Environmental Science class. Personally, it was my all-time favorite class, but incoming freshman won’t be taking the AP version of it until junior/senior year (if you want to). Instead of E.Sci, you freshman will be doubling up on English…Write away!
  • Having chocolate milk thrown at you by some obnoxious upperclassmen. Thanks to new regulations on food services, chocolate milk has been eradicated due to its ungodly sugar content. Watch out for pudding though — it might still be on the prowl.
  • Stressed, dissatisfied, and irritated teachers. Unless you cause them to be otherwise, teachers should be, overall, in higher spirits after finally agreeing on a contract with the school committee.
  • Fighting to be the “leader of the line”. No more lining up for ANYTHING. Ever. You are free to exit the room as you please. *Does not apply to cafeteria lines — it’s a dog-eat-dog world at lunchtime.
  • Dealing with jittery nerves due to too much caffeine. Coffee will no longer be sold in the mornings — sorry caffeine addicts. Little tip: apples are great alternatives. Oh, and so is sleep.
  • Aimlessly searching for a pool all the upperclassmen insist exists. Take it from me. It doesn’t. Sorry to disappoint. Now go to class.