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Carnegie Vanguard High School students (from left) Garrett Holmes, Sebastian Brau, Viviana Collymore, Ana Gonzalez, Naomi Sierra-Gomez, Cameo Brown, Anuj Jajoo, Cason Hancock, Lily Salazar, Aarohi Sheth, Erik Lopez and Gabby Keene were 2017 Fish Camp counselors for incoming freshmen.
I was super nervous for my first year at high school, but after a while, I learned how to manage and realized that I was worried for nothing. Freshman year is unnecessarily hyped and has such a reputation of intimidation, so here are some tips to make it go by smoothly:
As cheesy as it sounds, you have to be yourself. You can’t care what everyone thinks so much because you’re just going to end up unhappy. This is the time to learn who you are, so you can’t let other people ruin that process. Figure out what you like and what you’re good at because once that is out of the way, everything else about high school will fall into place.
Join clubs, try new things, speak up in class. Everyone is so scared to be the first to join something or say something, but don’t be! Like I said, this is a time to figure out who you are, and you can’t do that by sitting back and watching everyone else. Having things to look forward to (like a fun club or exciting activity) will just make the whole high school experience better.
Do not slack off.
I really wish someone would have had a “GPA talk” with me freshman year. Be aware of the differences between 4 and 5 point classes; don’t stress about it too much, just be aware and pursue your interests. Remember that you come out of all this with a transcript, so make it count.
Take classes you know you’ll do good in, but also challenge yourself and take courses that genuinely interest you. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
I cannot stress this enough. You won’t look dumb if you ask for help, everyone in school (including the teachers, principal, etc.) want you to succeed, but no one is going to put in the work for you. If you know you’re struggling with something, get help. High school is filled with resources, and you shouldn’t be afraid to use them.
School is super important, but don’t let it overtake your life. Join extracurriculars, hang out with your friends, and go to new places. This is four years of your life, and you’re only going to be this age once, so just remember to have fun, and stay balanced.