from WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD: A FRESHMAN’S GUIDE TO PRINCETON HIGH SCHOOL a.k.a. How To Get Into College, Part I, Presented by THE FREE PRESS
“Freshmen are vegetating blobs of protoplasm.” —E. Buckley
Mr. Buckley, the author of the pithy quip quoted above, retired folllowing the 1989-1990 school year. The reknowned World History teacher/freshman-basher’s departure is yet another symbol of the exciting new feeling around the high school: A suburban version, if you will, of glasnost. (“Glasnost” is Russian for “a melting down;” in this case, a melting down of older customs. If you had been watching the MacNeill/Lehrer Report instead of that Nelson video on MTV, you might have known that.) The mild lipstick attacks that formerly erupted on the first day of school have all but disappeared, and hazing is nonexistant. The Peer Group system, under which groups of freshmen meet with senior leaders, is thriving. (Well, sort of thriving. More on Peer Group later.) To be short, the mentality that freshmen are somehow inherently inferior is now considered gauche.
So don’t be nervous. The high school may look a little bigger than the middle school that you’ve come from. It is. (Though not by much.) So what? A great excuse for being late to class the first couple weeks is that you “got lost.” If you ham it up a little more and break down into tears, no teacher would be cruel enough to mark you tardy. Still, after half a day you’ll probably be able to navigate pretty well—then, the long learning period will have to begin.
Did you know that, according to USA Today, as an average American freshman you should have already recorded your top ten college choices, as well as your intended college major? Well, PHS, long recognized as an above-the-call-of-duty kind of place, refuses to settle for the asinine drivel that such throw-away journals tend to spout. As an average PHS freshman, you should not only know all that stuff, but you should have already applied, early action, to Harvard or Yale. We are not joking. Don’t try to check on your friends in a meager attempt to attain reassurance: They all lie, and you are the only freshman in your whole class who has no clear career goal. Where is my life heading, you cry in terror, Is my entire life down the well? Do I have a fighting chance?
Well, maybe. What you are holding in your hands could be the most powerful device ever endowed to a ninth-grade student. This packet, prepared dutifully by THE FREE PRESS, PHS’s completely independent, student-run newspaper, will tell you everything you really need to know in order to survive in this school. Sure, you may not be able to discern Britania from Britny Fox, but this guide will make you wiser in ways you never knew possible. So read on.
Attention: Director of Admissions
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138