"Some Practical Advice to Younger Students" by Wilson Ashby McElveen, Jr., undated
[Handwritten on large tan paper with annotations from McElveen’s professor]
March 8, 1946
Some Practical Advice to Younger Students
It has been said that we learn by experience and I, having completed high school and one year of college, feel that I have learned by my experience what I should have done in my earlier school days. In this essay I will try to to [sic] pass to younger students of highschool some practical advice about this period of life.
The first and foremost thing to do in your younger days of high school is to have plenty of fun. I do not mean that books should be neglected but I mean that student [sic] should have fun while studying.
A student in his first years of high school should get a great deal of exercise. He should play all the games that his high school engages in and try to develop skill so that he can make the varsity team in the preceeding [sic] years. The student
Should also engage in all other exercises that he gets enjoyment from. These exercises should build muscles and make for coordination. Some of these exercises are fishing, swimming, hunting, and golf. In all sports the student should participate either from the side lines or in the game with the best show of sportsmanship.
Having fun does not consist of physical exercises only but also includes developing skills in certain things. The student should have a hobby such as tinkering with old Fords or radios which produce mechanical skill. If the students hobby is music or art he should take lessons and try to be profecient [sic] in them without fear of being called a sissy.
Other forms of fun are picture shows, camping, dancing, parties and such things that pleasure can be obtained from. Such things as these are fun and have a lot of educational value also. The student should enter into all school activities, [illegible] activities, and such things that his friends enjoy gladly because they make ones personality better and provide for what some call
A liberal education.
While at school in classes the student should pay close attention to the disscussion [sic] and ask questions about things he does not understand. If the student pays attention in the classroom there is very little outside work to be done. The time saved by paying attention int he classroom should be spent in reading books, newspapers and listening to the radio. All of these are educational and prepare one better for the future.
In picking his subjects in high school the student should take as many subjects as he can carry without bad grades. He should pick subjects that he likes but should also take some of the hardest courses which are good mind trainers. The student should try to take the courses that will give him a general knowledge on all subjects.
To sum things up in a compact form my advice to younger students is to have fun because you are only young once but also get an
Education because it will make things much easier and provide for more fun later in life.
I pledge my honor on a gentleman that this theme is entirely my own work.
W. A. McElveen