Advice for a Successful Start to High School
The first year of high school is a tremendous learning experience with lessons that will extend until graduation. It is a significant change from middle school but a great environment.
“High school has been different [than middle school] for me, in many ways, but the biggest surprise was the caliber of the courses. They require another level of commitment than middle school,” explains David McKelvey, Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School class of ‘22.
Below is some helpful knowledge that a few students from our freshman class have gathered during our time as high school students at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School, regarding how to make the most of your first year in high school.
- Include a study hall in your schedule. A study hall always helps as it is a useful time to study or do homework. I recommend, if it’s available, to have a study hall at the end of the day as this will help get your homework done and provide time to look ahead at assignments throughout the week.
- Always ask a teacher. If you are confused about homework or a subject that you are covering in class, always email or come early to school to ask a teacher. Sophia Ortiz ‘19 who has committed to Baylor University in the fall, adds, “Embrace the transition from middle school to high school. While the academic challenges are greater, there is a rich community aspect at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal and teachers are more than happy to help you if you need it. My teachers deserve a big thank you for helping me feel so prepared for college.”
- Keep a planner. If you keep notes of things going on that week, you will be prepared for what is ahead. Even if you follow a schedule that teachers post online, it’s always a good idea to have a copy of your own.
- Focus on time management. Managing your homework and allocating study time for the week is a great habit to develop so that you don’t have to cram everything in to one night. If you have sports or extracurricular activities, plan ahead for homework so that you aren’t under any pressure. A planner always helps with time management.
- Have a binder with organized folders. This is the best way to keep your papers neat and organized. Have folders specific to each class. Over the weekend, always empty the papers that you don’t need for the next week into a file folder so that your binder isn’t overpacked.
- Always get enough sleep. If you don’t have enough sleep, you won’t be able to understand much of what you are learning. Also, your ability to study and focus will be negatively impacted.
- Write notes. Always write notes as a supplement to classroom instruction and the textbook, because it will help you remember information about the subject.
- Enjoy the experience. High school is a short-lived experience and you can make many lifelong friendships. Take a break on weekends, holidays and hang out with some friends!
Kat Chan ‘22 sums up her first year in high school by saying, “It has been a whirlwind from start to finish. You meet so many people, and there are so many things to do in such a short amount of time. High school is when you start appreciating things like going home early or having a day where there’s nothing to do.
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