A Word to the Wise
We train for basket-ball, golf, tennis or for whatever sport we have the most liking. Is there any reason why we should not use the same intelligence in the approach to our general school life? Is there any reason why we should make an obstacle race, however good and amusing exercise that may be, out of all our school life? We don't expect to win a game with a sprained wrist or ankle, and there really is no reason why we should plan to sprain the back of school or college life by avoidable mistakes.
The writer believes in the girl who has the capacity for making mistakes,—that headlong, energetic spirit which blunders all too easily. But the writer knows how much those mistakes hurt and how much energy might be saved for a life that, with just a pinch less of blunder, might be none the less savoury. School and college are no place for vocal soloists, and after some of us have sung so sweetly and so long at home, with every one saying, "Just hear Mary sing, isn't it wonderful!" it is rather trying, you know, to go to a place where vocal solos are not popular. And we wish some one—at least I did—had told us all about this fact as well as other facts of school life. Anyway it should be a comfort to have a book lying on the table in our school or college room, or at home, which will tell us why Mary, after having been a famous soloist at home made a failure or a great success in chorus work at school. Such a book is something like having a loaded gun in readiness for the robber. We may never use the shotgun or the book but they are there, with the reassuring sense of shot in the locker.
It is something, is it not, to have a little book which will tell you how to get into school and how to get out (for at times there seem to be difficulties in both these directions)—in short, to tell you something of many things: your first year at school or college, your part in the school life, the friendships you will make, your study and how to work in it, the pleasure and right kind of spirit involved in work, the quiet times, as well as the jolly times, out-of-doors, your summers and how to spend them, what the school has tried to do for you; and, as you go out into the world, some of the aspects, whether you are to be wife, secretary or teacher, of the work which you will do. Of one thing you may be certain; that behind every sentence of this little book is experience, that here are only those opinions of which experience has made a good, wholesome zwieback.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank my friend, Mrs. Belle Kellogg Towne, editor of The Girls' Companion and Young People's Weekly, Chicago, for her coöperation in allowing me to use half the material in this little book; also Dr. C. R. Blackall, of Philadelphia.
Camp Runway. J. M.
I THE IDEAL FRESHMAN
Freshman year, the beginning year, the year of new experiences, new delights, new work, new friends, new surroundings; the year that may mean much to a girl, that may answer some of the questions that have lain long in heart and mind, that will surely reveal her more clearly to herself, that may make her understand others better and help her to guess something of the riddle of the years to come...!