My Freshman Year Experience and Advice
High school: the thing we have been preparing for 14 years has finally caught up to us. When students enter high school, some will smile, some will cry, some will believe high school is just like the movies. However, my experience in high school was nothing like the romanticized version of high school.
When I went to high school, I came in believing that making friends would be so much easier than in middle school and that with a little hard work, I could get good grades. However, when I actually started high school, the harsh reality of high school slapped me in the face. I was completely wrong. However, with a lot of hard work, supportive friends, and a few tips, I believe that it is possible to survive high school.
I asked friends for advice and what they struggled through the most in freshman year. Making friends in high school can be difficult, especially if you are a new freshman going to a completely new school where you know few or no people. Don’t feel down if you don't make friends instantly. In fact, I didn’t make a single friend until about three months into my high school career. My advice for making friends is to just talk to random people in class. If you talk to at least one new person in each of your seven classes, you will eventually meet someone who likes the same things as you and will want to be your friend. If that doesn’t work or you’re just an introvert like me, joining clubs that you find interesting might just find you some lifelong friends.
So after making friends in extracurriculars, you have to learn how to balance your extracurriculars with your schoolwork. My friend, Selina Huang, told me that balancing her extracurricular, theater, with school work was challenging, She told me, “During times when I had theater, I would stay after school late, come home late, finish my homework late, sleep late, and be tired the next day. The cycle would continue over and over again.” This challenge will be seen by almost every new freshman. Whether being on the swim team, going to math club, playing the piano, or do all three like me, balancing your extracurriculars with your schoolwork can be almost impossible. The best way to balance between both is simply to manage your time. Use a planner, a calendar, anything that will help plan how to use your time can tremendously help you. Using bits of time like reading your assigned English book on the car ride home from school or using part of your lunchtime to study for your test, can truly help you find a balance in your high school career. With this method, you’ll find out that you will have more free time to do the things you love.
Lastly, sometimes during your freshman year, you will experience a time where you experience a huge amount of stress. Usually at the end of the cycle where teachers' grades are due. There will be projects, quizzes, tests, and all your extracurriculars. It will feel like the world is crashing down. Believe me, I’ve been there. When this happens, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and take a walk. Remember that at the end of the day, your grades aren’t worth stressing over and try your absolute best to do all the work you need to finish. If you can get through this, you can get through anything, including freshman year and the rest of high school. Good luck, I’ll be rooting for you!
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