A Freshman Guide to High School

Nia Orakwue, Entertainment Editor

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High school is a difficult time. There will be sleepless nights, and for many of us, stress induced tears. We all know that high school will prove to be a significant time period in our futures, not only for future careers and long-term goals, but also for us as people and the habits we bring into adulthood. Below is a list I’ve compiled of the very best high school advice I could muster. Keep in mind I am not a professional, just another kid like you. I hope it proves useful and helps someone take control of their high school experience in a way that I haven’t yet been able to.
Learn to study now. Many LASA students fly through their middle school years without having to put in any effort, which is great. Some students even find that they barely have to put in effort their freshman year. While it’s cool that some of us are lucky enough to not have to study most of the time, that doesn’t mean it’s a good habit to start. Not learning how to study when the material is easy for you can often lead to issues later when classes begin to get more difficult. Whether you like it or not, studying is an important skill that you won’t succeed without. Don’t be the kid who fails an important test before they learn that lesson. LASA kids don’t have super powers. We do need to study eventually, and I’d suggest figuring out how to do that earlier rather than later.
Use your resources. Going to office hours isn’t always glamorous, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I know sometimes they can be inconvenient because no one likes sacrificing their free time, but they are there when you need it. It’s a great opportunity to talk to your teachers, ask questions about topics you went over in class and get extra help. Don’t wait to start going until the end of the six weeks either. By then it’ll probably be too late for you to salvage your grade. I’d recommend making a habit of going so that you can always stay on top of things. LASA isn’t easy, and taking advantage of office hours is the key to success.
Take advantage of your peers. Your friends are not a substitute for office hours, but they can often be helpful if your teacher is unavailable, which happens somewhat often. Having a friend explain something to you can sometimes feel more comfortable than going to the office hours of that one teacher who scares you. Friends can be especially helpful when you just need someone to quickly explain one topic right before a test. Don’t be afraid to be the friend giving out help either. You’ll be grateful one day when your friend returns the favor. No matter how you choose to do it, it’s important to help and support each other here.
Find a great group of friends, but also know that your friends will change. Freshman year is the year to stick together, however, people change and grow. It’s extremely unlikely that all your best friends in freshman year will still be your best friends in senior year. I’m not saying a couple people won’t stick around, but it’s inevitable that your relationships will evolve. Stay open to the idea of new friends and possibly saying goodbye to your old ones. More importantly, remember to always be kind to people. We’re in this together for 4 years. Freshman year is not the time to burn bridges.
Have fun! No matter what the culture of LASA leads you to believe, high school isn’t meant to foster anxiety and depression in young people. Take care of yourself and pay attention to your mental health. This doesn’t mean you have to go take a bubble bath, although feel free if that helps. Sometimes it means that one night you decide you can’t do your algebra homework, and you decide to take the late grade. It doesn’t hurt every once in a while. Believe me, I’ve done it quite a few times and my GPA is just fine. Going to an academically focused school is a marathon not a sprint. So, give yourself a night off if you need to. You’re in this for the long haul, and if you burn out halfway through the year you may cause damage that’s extremely difficult to repair. Take a breather, be a kid, have fun (within reason). We won’t be young forever.