Advice for Freshmen from a Senior
From a high school veteran to a rookie freshman, here are some tips that I hope will help you make the best of your high school years.
What’s the point of high school?
First of all, let’s establish why high school is important. Yes, high school must prepare you for college and the real world, but I believe that the true point of high school is to discover your interests, your your strengths, and your weaknesses. So if you remember nothing else from this list, remember that the most important thing to do in high school is to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.
If a club sounds even remotely interesting, join it! You don’t have to attend every meeting, but clubs are one of the best ways to meet new people beyond your immediate friend group. I’ve become friends with some amazing people through clubs, while learning plenty of interesting new things.
If clubs aren’t your thing, join the tennis team, learn how to play the trumpet, run for student council, or volunteer with a non-profit organization. There are so many ways to get involved in your community. A common regret amongst seniors is that they didn’t join clubs or other organizations sooner, so start early on.
Remember that academics are important.
As a freshman, college is probably far from your mind. But it’s very important to get good grades and to try in your classes. Freshman year is the perfect time to discover how you learn best and to develop good study habits. Are you a visual learner, do you benefit from flashcards, do you prefer making a study guide before tests? Figuring out how you learn now will help you throughout your life.
Test your academic boundaries.
Consider taking hard classes. One of my regrets is not trying difficult classes during freshman year, because I thought I couldn’t handle it, and then being stuck on a slower track. Get out of your academic comfort zone and you mind find you enjoy the challenge.
Ask for help. Remember that your teachers, parents, and peers are there to help you - you don’t have to do this alone. The smartest, most effective students ask tons of questions in class, schedule tutorials, and study with their peers. You can also ask for a tutor if you need one.
Everyone wants to make friends.
One of people’s biggest fears about high school is how they will make friends, and if they will be happy socially. This is understandable, and it can be scary to make friends, especially if you’re new to the school. But it’s important to remember that everyone is nervous and in the same boat. All of your peers want to make friends, so chances are that people will be welcoming, friendly, and open to being friends with you.
How to make friends.
The best way to make new friends is to be kind and welcoming to everyone. Don’t try to be cool, or act like you’re too popular to be someone’s friend.
Don’t act like you’re someone else just because you think you’ll seem popular or get friends. Hiding who you are is not sustainable, and will ultimately make you miserable. Just be authentically yourself. Be open about your interests, however nerdy and awesome they may be. Get involved in whatever you care about and I promise you'll meet people who will accept and appreciate you.
Be grateful, and enjoy high school.
Always remember that you are lucky to have such a great education and so many people to support you. High school is what you make it, so maintain a good attitude, work hard, and try new things. I hope you have an amazing first year!
Want more buzz like this? Sign up for our Morning Buzz emails.
To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or you may post as a guest.