Fresh Start to Freshman Year

Congratulations! You’ve made it to high school. After many years in elementary and middle school, you’ve finally reached the last step before you go off to college. 

Looking back at it now, there are some things that would have been very helpful to know in my freshman year. If I could go back in time and suggest something to my 9th grade self, I would encourage her to be even more explorative! 

Your ultimate goal in high school is to get a few ideas about what you’re passionate about, and what you would be interested in doing in the future. It’s important that you participate in activities and meet people that truly make you happy!

Extracurriculars

  • Try out a lot of extracurricular activities
    • Narrow them down to be in line with your interests
  • Sign up for the email list of any clubs of interest
    • Show up to introductory meetings
    • Choose a few to stick with

When I actively participated in my extracurriculars, I was able to meet amazing upperclassmen who gave me great advice regarding surviving finals weeks and on what good restaurants were nearby. Because they had already gone through the whole process before, their experience helped make mine even better! 

High school friends can turn out to be lifelong friends. Making new friends and going out of my comfort zone to interact with peers led to a lot of personal growth for me. It is always easier to struggle through my least favorite class with a friendly face and get help on homework if I need it. 

Furthermore, it is important to establish yourself as a good student. Building rapport with my teachers really made my time in class more enjoyable, but also provided me with useful references.

Rapport with Teachers

  • Go after class/school for extra help
    • This shows that you care about their class!
  • Actively participate in class 
    • Engagement exhibits your enthusiasm to learn!
  • Do your best on your classwork/homework/projects/assessments
    • This will overall be beneficial to your learning of concepts!

In the short term, this has helped me build enough trust so that I could request extensions on assignments when I really needed to. In the long term, my familiarity with them materialized in the form of letters of recommendation for programs I applied to. The better a teacher knows you, the more personalized and genuine their recommendations will be!

On top of all of this, make sure to organize your time efficiently. It was helpful for me to create a chart/calendar with all of my weekly activities to visually display my schedule and keep myself on track. If you are having trouble making your schedule work, make sure to consult your family, friends or teachers!

Finding the perfect balance between schoolwork, friends and family, sleep and extracurriculars is essential to leading a healthy and happy high school life, and I wish you the best in doing so!

Emily