How to accomplish high school: my freshman year bucket list

Going into high school I wanted to join everything. Picking between which clubs and sports to join was a small decision that led to a big part of my life. I hope that everyone finds their happiness in high school. These are activities and events that I felt drawn to freshman year, and I feel that others would gain from as well. 

Join a sport

Athletics have always been important to me. I grew up with two athletic older sisters and parents, who always pushed me to join new sports. I knew going into high school that sports were going to be a big part of my life, happily anticipating the camaraderie team sports always inspire. During freshman year I joined the tennis team. I grew up surrounded by a family of tennis players, so this was always a sport that felt natural and comfortable to play. I remember walking out to the courts on the first day of tryouts with two of my childhood best friends. As I walked past girls standing helplessly alone, I was happy to know people on the team already.  I introduced myself to some of them and of course as the weeks went by we played name games, and all got to know each other. Year after year, we played together and grew closer, and soon, I found myself not only calling these people my teammates but lifelong friends. I found the support I needed throughout high school, along with coaches that taught me life lessons I will always keep close to my heart. Joining tennis was a perfect example of a small decision that will positively affect my life forever. Even if you don’t find sports to be the center of your life, find a friend and join one that looks fun, I promise it will be worth a shot.

Go to a school dance

I grew up watching every single high school Disney movie, I can’t help that I’m a hopeless romantic! I watched my older sisters go off to school dances and felt utter happiness knowing that one day I would do that too. Sure, you’ve probably seen me wearing sweatpants most days in the hall, but if there is one thing to know about Ingrid Halverson, it’s that I will never turn down an event to dress up for. Some may say I’m over the top, personally, I would say I appreciate the art of looking exactly right for the occasion. During freshman year I was beyond excited to go to Homecoming. When I found out it was an event aimed towards freshmen that were a tank top and jeans attire I was quite literally flabbergasted. Never had I seen a star on Disney wear jeans to a dance! The night was fun but I still never really got over that fact. Flash forward to sophomore year when the winter formal was canceled. Again, devastated. Finally, senior year people were talking about dressing up for homecoming, and when the final survey announced that the theme was “A Night of Luxury” I knew it was going to be an extravagant way to end my not-so-Disney high school experience. Some people say that dances are lame, but they really are all about the people you go with and how fun you make yourself; live through all of high school with that motto. 

Join a club

Along with my strong desire to join a sport, clubs were equally important for my extroversion. Freshman year I decided to join the ETHS community service club and wildkit buddies. Both of these clubs are extremely popular, most people I know have been in one or the other. I have always appreciated the Community Service Club because of its flexibility. Going to one meeting a month and participating in at least one community service event is most definitely attainable for almost everyone. I would also highly recommend Wildkit Buddies to anyone who wants to join a club but may have a busy schedule. Wildkit Buddies pair ETHS students with special education students in order to create friendships through activities. I have loved my years on Wildkit buddies, and this year I am a peer leader! I have always thought that it is important to get involved in clubs as well as athletics: the best of both worlds. Though sports make you feel physically good, the clubs I chose to join have made me learn to stretch my brain and feel good about myself. 

Football games

Let’s be clear, ETHS majorly lacks school spirit. Maybe our sports teams aren’t the greatest, but the lack of students at sports games is even more of a letdown. The only, maybe, one exception to this is football. Though I can confidently say that ETHS students do not deck out in gear and support their team as other schools do, there is generally an almost full student section at Lazier. I remember going to football games as a middle schooler and seeing all of the ETHS students paint themselves for the games, admiring the school spirit that Haven Middle school sure lacked. I was sad when I arrived at ETHS realizing people didn’t wear ETHS gear often, and not every football game included body painting. This year, the seniors all painted for the first home game of the season. Seeing the majority of the senior class get together with enthusiasm and spirit was a thrill to see. 


I have always enjoyed writing though I was oblivious to the idea that journalism could be a school and career path for me until I began high school. During freshman year I took the course “Introduction to Journalism” with Ms.Delacruz. In this class, I became intrigued to write about topics that mattered to me and found a deeper love for writing than I had in restricted academic essays. Freshman year was all about finding my way through high school, balancing friendships, sports, and academics was my top priority and I didn’t think of joining the newspaper. I regret not joining the Evanstonian in the fall of my freshman year, but near the end of that school year I decided it was time to join, and test out the waters of journalism. I remember writing my first article with Jojo Wertheimer and for the first time truly understood the significance of information skills. For four years I continued to write about topics that I felt needed to be shared with others. During junior year I was in the position of Assistant Features Editor and senior year Co Digital editor. While I had been a staff writer for two years, these positions showed me a deeper understanding of online journalism and the editing role of journalism. In the Evanstonian I learned my love for journalism, as well as a group of amazing and intelligent people who are there to help each other succeed to the best of their abilities. 

As high school comes to a close, I reflect on my choices. I’ve learned to appreciate the art of involvement, and have come to the conclusion that who you choose to surround yourself with makes high school what it is. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed my time at ETHS. Sure there are hard mornings in AM support where I question my courses, but there are also times of unstoppable laughter and friendship that I will cherish for the rest of my life. The people I have met in Evanston have molded me into the person I am today, and I will forever be grateful for my time at ETHS.