By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte
High school can be very intimidating. Stepping foot into the school on your first day as a freshman can be overwhelming and stressful. Here are some tips, coming from a Senior in high school.
The first tip I would give is to STAY ON TOP OF YOUR SCHOOL WORK! This may seem silly to many but this is what I think is the most important tip of them all. Falling behind will get you nowhere. If you stay ahead you allow yourself time to yourself to do things you enjoy. It also allows you to get ahead in most of your classes, especially if the assignments are posted days or weeks in advance.
Another important tip I have is staying organized. I know many high school students that struggle with falling behind and the main reason is that they are not organized. I have had a planner ever since middle school. I know planners do not work for everyone, but they work for some students. Writing all of the assignments due that week in my planner, and color coordinating the formatives and summative assignments, actually gave me a breath of fresh air in a busy week. It also helped me stay organized and on top of when my assignments were due.
There are many different ways to organize your planner. The way that I found that best suited me was writing out all of my classes that I had that week on each day, e.g. English, History, etc. Next, I would pick a specific color for formative assignments and a different color for summative assignments. I would write out all of the assignments, in the correct color code, due that week.
Finally, after every single one of my classes, I would write down next to the subject what I needed to complete before the next class, e.g. finish the worksheet, and complete the notes. I never knew that doing this during my freshman year would lead me to great success in my organization. I still use a planner and my color coordination method to this day. This healthy habit will follow me through college as well.
Adding on to the tips, another one that impacted me was joining clubs and sports after school. This is where I ended up finding most of my friends that still are with me my senior year. Yes, friends will come and go but the friends I made from sports never went, they stayed.
My freshman year I was super scared, I was starting high school with almost no friends/not knowing anyone. I thought I would try out for the volleyball team and I ended up making a team. I made amazing connections with every single one of the girls on the team, both freshman and older students. I stuck with volleyball all four years of high school and I have never been happier with my decision. I had the opportunity to grow up with these girls and spend most of my time with them.
If you are not a sports person, I would highly recommend joining a club or the theater program at Highland Park Senior High, or really any high school. Joining a club or program of some sort will help guide you through the ups and downs that high school gives you.
Another tip I would give is to go to those sports games. I understand that you might have a lot of homework, but try to finish it before you go. The high school sports games are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to really connect with your classmates and cheer on your school teams. I remember going to every single “musket” game all four years of high school. The energy, joy, and excitement can’t compare to deciding not to go. You only get to have four years of high school, enjoy it while you can.
I do regret one thing from high school. I regret not putting my full effort into every single class that I took during my freshman, sophomore, and junior year. This can have a great impact on applying to colleges and your GPA.
Overall, one of my most important tips is to stay on top of your school work, stay organized, join clubs/sports/programs, and go to those sports games.