Advice For Incoming Freshmen

by Ingrid Pan (Saratoga High School, Saratoga, CA) on 2014-07-22 22:50:11 PDT
Dear incoming freshmen,

Do not be alarmed. High school is not going to be the death of you - not yet, anyway. Freshmen year is the easiest year academically, and as long as you do a little more than what got you through eighth grade, you should be fine. The social part is probably what you're worried about. I completely understand where you are coming from, as I was once not only entering high school, but also entering the district. So, as an incoming junior, here are a few tips that I believe are helpful for a balanced school experience.

1. Get involved soon. Join a club or a program (drama, sports, etc.) that you honestly want to be in and find people you connect with. Even if you are with people you've spent middle school with, this is a new start because there will be people whom no one knows. Joining a group of people with similar interests to make quick friends makes your life a lot easier. You'll also have friends in other grades because  upperclassmen are usually club officers. I joined Speech and Debate at the first chance I got because I wanted to be around a group of people who were willing to discuss current events and social issues, not just Kim Kardashian's hair being blown in the wrong direction. As a freshman, two of my best friends ended up being seniors, and the team has become a second family to me.

2. Stay completely out of drama. As much as you think you need to take part in the craziness that's going on, don't. Maybe you won't hear the latest gossip and fall "out of the loop" once in a while - no big deal. Personally, I stay away from the people who cause drama, and I haven't had to deal with certain unpleasant things some of my friends have had the misfortune of coming across. If you don't do anything to hurt most people, most people won't purposefully go after you. I've been able to focus on extracurriculars instead of spending time doing damage control for a rumor.

3. Don't look for romantic relationships. In high school, boys have finally gone through puberty and may be taller than you or girls are looking at you differently. That does not mean you should start looking for love. I'm not saying wait until college to go on a date. I just feel strongly that you should seriously consider what you are getting yourself into. A relationship that you don't want to last a few weeks will take time and effort. It means consistently taking time out of your schedule to spend time with that person inside and outside of school as well as remembering birthdays and Valentine's Day. It seems like a little when you get into it, but when school picks up  - especially sophomore and junior years - it's extra effort you may not have.

If there are any further concerns anyone may have about going into high school, don't hesitate to comment down below!

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