While walking around the campus of San Dieguito Academy (SDA), it is rare to hear the term “freshman” in the hallways. This isn’t a John Hughes film in which two underclassmen get taunted by upperclassmen because they aren’t popular. Neither are there football players and cheerleaders who might provoke those in the band.

SDA has developed the reputation of being an artsy, diverse school. It is home to eccentric artists, fashion-forward designers, aspiring writers, enthusiastic thespians and science lovers. Whatever the Mustangs aspire to be, SDA assists in making dreams become reality.

During the first month of school, students will have the opportunity to learn all about SDA’s clubs being advertised at the club fair. Topics range from food, sports, visual and performing arts, academics, human rights, foreign languages and so forth. Some well-known clubs at SDA are Juggling Club, Fashion Club and Creative Writing Club. Students are even offered the opportunity to form clubs of their own if they are unable to find one that fits their profile.

This being my fourth year at SDA, I cannot stress enough the importance of involvement. I can assure you that once a new student steps on campus, they will feel at home. I advise the incoming Mustangs to take chances throughout the year. Try out for a play, learn Japanese, write poetry, become involved in student council or even create a new club. There are endless opportunities to allow for a fantastic high school experience. And remember, nothing is too weird at SDA – even if you sport a Pokémon costume!

There’s a question of how students can balance clubs with homework and extracurriculars. A schedule is important for organizing activities and, of course, taking time out for friends is essential. Also, SDA’s National Honor Society offers after-school tutoring. A must to take advantage of!

Finally, did you know that lunch at SDA is a step up from what middle school provided? At SDA, students will experience the Mosaic Café, where students will enjoy listening to bands perform, while dining on delicious cuisine and soaking up the sun. As an added perk, students can walk to El Nopalito since SDA allows for off campus lunch to relish the tastes of this local gem.

In a nutshell, freshman, or shall I call them “classmates,”, are destined to have an incredible first experience as a Mustang.