My Advice to Incoming Freshmen as an Upperclassman in High School
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My Advice to Incoming Freshmen as an Upperclassman in High School

Student Life

August 10, 2019

Summer is nearing its end and school is right around the corner. Can you believe how fast time has flown by? 

Well if you were an 8th grader last year, you're probably nervous and excited about the new adventure you're about to start, highschool. High school can seem like a huge monster with four giant eyes that are staring back at you. After all, the four years you spend in high school can determine the college you go to, who you are, and who your friends are. 

Pretty scary, right?

Well, don't be afraid because, in this post, you will be receiving some advice on how to make your transition from middle school to high school the smoothest it can be. 

1. Don't Be Afraid to Make New Friends

In elementary school, there's a chance you only hung out with a certain group of people. Perhaps you called this group your closest friends or besties. Well, in middle school you were probably faced with the realization that your elementary school friends have changed and that's okay. Did you hear me right?

It's okay.

Not only did your friends change, but you changed too. Going into high school is no different. You are going to meet so many new people in high school. You are going to meet people that are older than you and people that have similar interests than you. 

So don't be afraid to make new friends because there is a chance that you're not going to have every single class with your middle-school bestie. If you're lucky, you may have at least one class with them. 

This happened to me with my friends. I only had a few classes with them because we were interested in different things. I took a foods class because I wanted a chance at learning how to cook.

One of my friends took an art class and the other took a Spanish class. We were all over the place.

But then when we were together, we got to talk about the different things we did in each class. Trust me on this one, don't be afraid to reach out to new people. There's a chance they want to talk to you too. 

2. Take Classes You Are Interested In

I think I did a pretty good job at this. When I was in middle school filling out the schedule I would like to have, I was beginning to put down classes I thought I would like, but in the end, I changed them to classes that I knew I'd be interested in. I'm glad I did this because then I started figuring out for sure what I liked and didn't like. 

After taking Foods, I knew I didn't want to do that again. So I didn't.

Don't be afraid to take classes that you like even if your friends don't think they're cool. 

In middle school, I had taken an online World History course. I was definitely the worst student. I procrastinated and forgot to turn in my assignments or failed to take exams. 

For my second semester in high school, I took an online Psychology course and I'm really glad I did. (I learned from my past experience with an online class that I needed to be more organized and stop procrastinating.) Most of my friends thought I was crazy taking an online class and at first I thought so too, but in the end, I had been very interested in psychology so it was something I enjoyed learning about. 

If you want to take a class in Agriculture or Political Science, go ahead. Perhaps you realize that farming isn't really for you or maybe it is. How will you know if you don't try it?

3. Don't Fret Over a Bad Grade

Okay, I get it. You don't like getting bad grades. Same here. But everyone has the occasional slip-up and that's okay.

You did hear me right? That's okay.

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It can be stressful transitioning from middle school to high school especially when exams roll around. But even when you first start classes it can be an adjustment to have multiple classes which means lots of homework and more exams. 

That being said, you should always put a lot of effort into studying and doing all of your homework each night. This way, if you do get a bad grade, you can easily bounce back and make it up with all of your other good grades. 

Don't be afraid to ask for help on your homework or an assignment in class. The point of school is to learn and to understand what you're learning, so make sure that you do. 

Also, make sure to ask the teacher if there are any extra credit options and do the assignments. That will definitely help your grade even if it's only by 5 or 10 points. 10 points is an entire letter grade. 

4. Study. Study. Study.

I cannot emphasize the fact that studying is crucial to your entire high school (and college) career. In the last section, I mentioned that it's okay to get a bad grade and it is, but you want to make sure that the rest of your grades balance out that bad grade. How do you do that?

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Simply put, by studying.

A tip from one of my teachers in middle school is to study in increments. If you study a little bit each day leading up to an exam or test, you'll be much more prepared than if you were to just try to cram an entire study session the night before. It actually works extremely well and helped me get through Earth Science and Civics. 

5. Get Your Sleep.

I remember that when I was a freshman, it was cool to stay up until 5 o'clock and then get up at 7. I never actually tried it because I actually like my sleep, but I did stay up to 1 a couple of times and I would usually wake up around 6. I was extremely tired those days, so I can only imagine the exhaustion those other people felt.

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Make sure that you're getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I swear you won't regret it. You'll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Besides getting 8hours of sleep is essential for your health, mood, and overall well-being.

6. Do Your Work!

Always make sure to do your homework, your summer work and summer reading. Don't procrastinate or wait until the last week to do your summer reading or work. 

You will not be happy having to spend the last week of your awesome summer vacation doing school work. Instead, you should try getting most of your work done quickly at the beginning of summer so that you can enjoy the rest of your summer without having to fret about your work. 

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Also, if you do your work at the end of summer, it will most likely look rushed and won't be the best it could be. So make sure to do it with enough time so that it looks good and makes sense. 

7. Don't Slack Off

I get it. It's freshman year. You have three more years to actually focus on school. 

Uhh... no. Don't do that to yourself.

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Save yourself the huge headache of trying to fix your GPA in the upcoming years just because "you're a freshman". Just think that freshman year is as easy as it gets. After that, high school is just going to get tougher. Use your freshman year to get ahead and have high grades. This will ensure that your high school career will be the best it can be. 

Janelly Cabalceta
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Writer since Jun, 2019 · 9 published articles

Janelly is currently an 18 year old college freshman. She is working on acquiring her Associates of Science before transferring to a university where she plans to study computer science. Janelly enjoys writing and reading as well as learning new things. Feel free to check out her social media below.