When I was a younger lad, I had my fears of high school and my first day as a freshman. Various movies had prepared me for a long year full of wedgies, swirlies and the joys of complete embarrassment. Alas, none of that happened, though I did end up making my fair  share of trouble. Whoops! In that spirit, it is with great joy that I present the five biggest lessons I learned during my stint in high school.

1. Pizza is not a vegetable… ever.

This one should be fairly obvious, but the government has decided to share the same opinion as that of a fat 14 year old with an appetite for grease. On the outside, a pizza roll is hitting on all four food groups – it’s got some cheese (dairy), pepperoni (meat), “sauce” (vegetables) and a delicious dough wrapping (grains)! What an extravagant deal!

Of course, if you ever want a girl to look at you without complete disdain, you should probably stick to salad and whatever the main course for the day is. It’ll just be easier. Plus, you won’t have a catastrophic colon blowout all over the gym during an extra tough game of dodge ball.

2. Gym class isn’t nearly as hard as it looks.

Speaking of gym class, it’s not all that hard. Throw a ball here, haphazardly jog over there, pretend to stretch a little bit and BOOM! You get your C+ and you’re on your way! Besides, if you’re really into studying for classes that five years from now won’t leave you saying ‘I coulda gone pro,” they don’t actually count gym as part of your GPA. Or at least they didn’t when I was going to school.

If you do really want to try, though, pick one type of sport and be really good at it. I chose every sport that required accuracy. Handball, Ultimate Frisbee, and kickball were my sports. Swimming… not so much.

3. Study Hall is no place to use words that sound like they’re dirty but aren’t.

Rasterbate. Cumquat. Philatelist. Fallacious. Angina. Need I say more? I served several stints in detention for using these words, but being that I am a wordsmith, I was able to argue my way out of… none of these. It doesn’t help your cause when your study hall teacher is trying to will you to choke on your completely unnecessary Spiderman pencil top eraser. I once saw her do half a fist pump when I almost swallowed it. Never again.

4. The bassoon is an excellent instrument choice when you don’t care about band class or the people in it.

I played it for six years and still don’t know what it sounds like.

5. Ninety percent of success is just showing up.

Just like the real world, most of your job is just going to school and not falling asleep when the boss is looking. Homework is usually something that gets done in class, and outside of the Hemmingway and Salinger books that you’re forced to read, it’s not all that bad. Most of the classes you’ll take freshman year will serve as a preview for all of the cool stuff you’ll do in a couple years. But, in order to get to those classes, you’ll have to hold it together for approximately 10 months and at least look like you’re trying.

The only real foreseeable problem for an incoming high school freshman is the ever-present essay. They usually fall into two formats; standard and those based on ethics. Ethics essays are easy because they have no wrong answer and even if you say something crazy like Chernobyl is the next Disneyland, you still win because who can argue a moral? Standard essays, though, prove tricky because they rely on things like facts, analysis and a general, if vague, knowledge of the topic you’re trying to pass through your disgruntled and underpaid teacher.