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The Campanile

The Campanile

The Campanile

Column: Life hacks for Paly freshmen


[divider]Get to know your teachers[/divider]

In the beginning, you may think that your teachers are scary demons who solely exist to ruin your chances from getting into [insert Ivy here] by giving you unthinkably low grades. They stand intimidatingly at the front of the class, scolding children who dare take their phones out.

However, outside of class, these teachers turn into friendly mentors; use them for help on academics, life advice or even just casual conversations about college admissions. In two years’ time, you’ll need these skills to ask your teachers for a letter of recommendation for college. Practice these skills now so they won’t copy and paste your name into a recommendation letter!

[divider]Surviving Flex[/divider]

Let’s be honest, you’ve used Flex productively maybe 50 percent of the time, at max. The other 50 percent of the time is spent leaving early to go home (shhhh… don’t tell admin), hanging out with friends in the MAC or watching movies in the MRC.

And, after four years of both Flex and Tutorial (Flex’s predecessor), I can honestly say nothing has changed from the unproductivity I had several years ago. If you do want to use Flex productively, make sure to understand all your teachers will be here, so this is the best time to catch up, ask them questions or take make-up exams.


Club Day may seem daunting, but behind the tables are a group of people just as desperate as you to either find a group of friends, boost a resume or find a fun extracurricular activity. Go around and talk to the different people at the booths; they will have a sales pitch and try to make you feel welcome.

And although the posters and trophies pose a daunting spectacle, these people were once underclassmen like you. Take their advice. Take the jump and join a club. The activities section of the Common App will thank you later.


Similar to clubs, publications are the main news reporters of Paly. Ranging from the Paly Voice, our online news source, to arts and culture magazines such as C-Mag, the Beginning Journalism class presents a great opportunity for students to delve into the world of journalism. From here, you get to choose which community you want to join for the next two or more years. Do you want to be in the midst of a  highly-competitive environment? Join Verde. Looking for an obvious divide among the leadership and other staff writers? Join The Campanile. If none of these appeal to you, start your own.

[divider]Studying, sleep, procrastination[/divider]

All these are covered in my previous columns. As a quick summary, restore your lack of sleep by taking naps. Procrastinate as much as possible while actually completing the work; this will teach you essential time management skills. Studying goes hand-in-hand with procrastination: if one goes up the other goes down.

However, you will soon find increased procrastination leads to more effective last-minute studying. Take these how you may, but these tips will ensure a successful 3.0+ GPA.

[divider]Navigating Town and Country[/divider]

Prepare yourself for the shortest food review ever. Lulu’s: cheap, filling, unhealthy. Gott’s: expensive, filling, unhealthy. Trader Joe’s Salads: cheap, not filling, healthy. Sushi House: semi-expensive, filling, unhealthy. Village Cheese House: expensive, filling, healthy. Asian Box (possibly not food): cheap, not filling, healthy. Kirk’s: cheap, filling, unhealthy. Howie’s: cheap, not filling, unhealthy. Tony’s Chicken: expensive, not filling, unhealthy. Pick two out of the three categories, then mix and match.

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