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High School Freshman Tips: What Every Freshman Should Know

Trapped in the demands of school, teenagers anxiously anticipate the freedom of summer. After what seems like eternity, it finally arrives. We indulge ourselves in good books, Netflix, family vacations, and summer BBQ’s. And then BAM… we get the dreaded school letter in the mail reminding us that the start of school is only a few beach vacations and bad sunburns away.

For some, going back to school is exciting. While for others, like myself, the start of school is cause for anxiety and restless nights. And few transitions create more anxiety than freshman year of high school.

There was so much to fear: a big school where I would get lost, loud hallways where I would get trampled, and harder classes that “counted.”

Looking back, I can tell you that there is no need to worry. Everybody else in your grade is also new to high school.

Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me Before Freshman Year:

1. If you are an overachiever, know that getting a B is acceptable.

I thought that A’s were the only thing that mattered when in fact getting only A’s made my head spin and my parents crazy.

2. Know that your elementary friends may not be your high school friends.

Be prepared to change friend groups, but hopefully your high school friends will remain with you.

3. High school doesn’t last forever.

Four years might seem like forever but it isn’t. And if your high school doesn’t seem like the right place, know that it will be over soon.

4. Join sports and clubs.

By joining a fall sport you get to meet the team the summer before. It’s nice to see familiar faces on your first day. For me, nothing was nicer than being saved by my cross-country team captain the first day of freshman year. I was lost and panicking when she came over, looked at my schedule and walked me to my class.

5. Make relationships with your teachers.

This is important advice. Not only does it help you get to know the way they operate, it also helps them recognize your hard work and desire to learn. If your school has a conference period, your teachers will notice if you come. Teachers are people too; they can help you with more than biology and history, and some may even become a friend.

Good Luck!

Erin Cullen will be a freshman at Loyola University.

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