Student Life

Things I Wish I Knew as A High School Freshman

The shift from middle to high school can be extremely difficult and stressful. There are, however, ways to make it easier.

Student Contributor, Piper Mcguffey

June 24, 2024

Things I Wish I Knew as A High School Freshman
A student shares what she wishes she would have known her freshman year of high school.
As you begin your freshman year of high school, everything seems so out of reach. What classes should I take? Who should I become friends with? What extracurriculars should I be involved in? All these questions come with the new and scary territory of high school. By understanding the following things, however, you can more successfully adapt to your new surroundings.

Things I Wish I Knew as a High School Freshmen

Take difficult classes such as AP or Dual credit in during high school.

Though it may be intimidating to choose college level classes for your schedule early on in your high school journey, it can be beneficial for you in the long run. By participating in these classes, you not only have the chance to receive college credits but are surrounded by other determined and high-achieving students. Given that you either pass your dual credit class or your AP exam, you will be able to propel yourself forward academically while paying half of the price that college classes would be later in college. These classes also look good on resumes for careers and scholarships and are good evidence for those writing your recommendations for things like college applications.

Your grades do matter.

Although grades don't seem like such a big thing, they are responsible for many things that determine your life after high school. An example of this is scholarships. While there are some scholarships that look past grades, many don't. If you are planning on getting scholarships to pay for college and to avoid student loan debt, it is pertinent to keep up with your classwork, tests, and overall GPA.
Another example is college admissions. Many colleges have their own base requirements for GPA for those applying. If you have plans to further your education after high school at a trade school, community college, private college, or public university, it is likely that you will need to have a certain GPA. By keeping your grades up, you can have a greater chance to go to the school which you want to go to.

Popularity does not equal success.

Though it may seem like popularity is everything during your time in high school, it isn't. While it is beneficial to branch out and make friends, focusing on becoming popular can distract you from your current responsibilities. From personal experience, I can say that often those with all eyes on them are less likely to be the ones successfully preparing themselves for the future. In fact, it is often those students who get involved in trouble during their time in high school. Make as many friends as you'd like to, but make sure that gaining popularity is not the only thing you think about during your time as a student.

Doing stupid things gets you nowhere.

Though you might not plan on doing things that may harm you or those around you, it can happen. It is important to consider your actions beforehand because of this. For example, though it may seem harmless to go to a friend's party without adult supervision, it could end up with you and/or those around you being harmed. Additionally, surrounding yourself with individuals who partake in unintelligent and harmful behavior can lead you to do so yourself. Doing these harmful things does not only look bad on your record, but often leads to worse things happening later. So, for future reference, do what you think is best and make the best decisions you can for both yourself and others.

Participate in things you enjoy as well as things that will benefit you in the long run.

Being involved is something that every student in high school should do. While you may be predisposed to doing things on your own, participating in clubs and extracurriculars can be beneficial to both your social and mental development. What you choose to do after school as a part of a club can range from athletics to art. No matter what you choose, it is important to participate in things that positively affect your future while also pertaining to your interests.

Don't overbook yourself/balance is crucial to your success.

Though being involved is important, so is taking care of yourself. When you begin participating in things like advanced classes and extracurricular activities, it is important to make sure to keep your schedule in balance. One way to effectively do this is to keep a planner. Planners let you stay up to date with what you have coming up and provide you with a space to keep track of all the things you are a part of.

What to Consider Before Freshman Year of High School

Overall, it is important to consider these factors before your freshman year. While you may think you know everything at this time, you don't. There are so many things that even I don't know, and I will be a college freshman in the fall. So, before you’ve made it through your first year of high school, make sure to take the time and think of what things will be most beneficial to you in the long run.

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