Friday, June 6, 2014

10 Tips for Surviving Your Freshman Year of High School

Friday, June 6, 2014
Image Source: ABM

     So. Freshman year, huh? After getting used to the whole Middle School environment, high school can seem daunting. But do not fret! I have rounded up the best tips and advice that will make your freshman year of high school a breeze.

1. Take a deep breath.

*cue Fifteen by Taylor Swift* With all the new changes (bigger classes! More teachers! Lunch lines where you can't skip!), your anxiety levels sure can rise. But the most important tip of all, in my opinion, is to just breath. Take a minute to do deep breathing whenever you start feeling stressed, and imagine all the bad vibes leaving your mind! This is especially useful before a big test, essay, or presentation.

2. Realize that other people do not care at all.

You might feel like you have to be that perfect person with the best grades, significant other, and awesome clothes, but in reality, you don't have to be! Nobody else is thinking about you in a judging manner, in fact, they're just worried about themselves. Focus instead on being the best version of yourself. Whatever you do, do it with passion!

3. Take appropriate classes.

Okay, so in ninth grade, I had five advanced classes available: AP World History, Honors Geometry, Algebra Two (as an elective), Honors Biology, and AP Spanish Language. Out of all those options, I ended up only taking two: AP World and AP Spanish. Why? Because I knew I would excel in those classes and get bored in the regular path. If I had taken Honors Geometry, a meltdown mid-year would have been expected. AP classes are a lot of work, but if you chose ones that interest you, then you can succeed. The same thing goes for Honors classes and electives. Chose electives that you are interested in, not that everyone else is taking!

4. Get moving.

Something that is so so so important for me is to find a way to exercise. Most people I know hate PE class, but adore things like gymnastics or track team. This is because they chose an activity that they are passionate about, taking the work out of workout! (Pun intended.) Ask your parents/guardians for help with finding classes for whatever you like, from soccer to yoga. Then stick to a routine and go for it! Exercise is a great escape for when you are feeling stressed out.

5. Stay on top of everything.

High school is full of activities and schedules and confusing meetings, but by making or buying a planner, you can remember all that you would forget! Print out a simple monthly calendar, fold it in four, and use it as a bookmark for your planner. As the month goes by, write down due dates, fun dates, parties, practice, extracurricular activities, service hours, and anything else that comes your way! In your planner, write down all homework assigned when the teacher tells you. That way, you won't forget anything that was due tomorrow.

6. Create a Google Drive Folder labeled 'high school' and make some documents on it.
#1: Transcripts.
These are super duper important for college applications, and if your school does not make it for you, or just to be safe, write them down like this:
Because I'm transferring schools in the middle of high school, I have to write down my transcripts- aka grades. In order to do so, I just created a a simple spreadsheet with the order of my schedule and any grades received that year, including midterm/final exams. At the bottom of each Quarter, I added any awards. Finally, don't forget your GPA!

#2: Service Hours.
Yet another spreadsheet!

In my old high school, we are required to have 150 service hours to graduate. Chose things you enjoy- for example, tutoring or building houses- and they won't feel like a chore. In addition, track them! Just jot down the hours spent, when they took place, where, and what did you do. Ask your counselor for any help.

#3: Resumé.
Something else required for college apps! Basically, a list of all special things you did over high school that say why you are the best choice for them. Since remembering all this in three years will be impossible, keep a running list. I recommend following prepofthesouth's resume for a better example, since she already graduated!

7. Find new people!

Take it from personal experience, new people are awesome. That girl with the awesome space buns in art class? She probably wants to talk to you too. If just straight-up talking to new people scares you-- like me-- find an older acquaintance, like a cousin or family friend, and hang out with them. You expand your horizons and know how to get to the cafeteria, with an all-new lunch table to sit with!

8. Power off your phone and disconnect.

Okay, not just your phone, any electronic device. While doing homework (unless absolutely needed, while at a birthday party with friends, while eating dinner. Just be in the moment, and oh, while you're at it, backup all your pictures.  I recently lost mine and it sucks. 

9. Find what you like to do.

It's cliche. I know. But really. Take that interesting class, YouTube DIYs, learn to play the tuba, anything you fancy! High school is all about finding your interests and turning them into a potential career. There are so many options out there and you only have to go and get 'em!

10. Take care of yourself.

Don't drink. It's against the law and really really bad for your brain. Cut negative people out of your life, even if you knew them for fifteen years. Wear that cute button-down. Drink a ton of water. Pugs, not drugs. Join a club or two, or maybe even a fandom. Nourish your body with yummy clean food. Do not stress out, because this will be over before you know it!


  1. Heyy :D
    I found this extremely helpful. And it gave me a piece of mind since I'll be graduating middle school this June.
    You said in your post that you had transferred schools in the middle of high school, and I was wondering if you could tell me/us what that process was like?
    Thanks a ton! (hopefully you'll see this >-<)

    1. Hey, sorry to not reply until now, things have been really hectic! Transferring in the middle of high school was really nerve-wrecking, I had to re-take some classes and adjust to a completely different environment. The process was pretty easy, mainly due to the fact that I transferred to the same school my mother now works for (the school saw my most recent MAP test scores, transcripts, and asked for a recommendation from a teacher). If you'd like, I could write a post on my experience, because there's so much to talk about!

  2. Thank you so much, these tips really helped. I'll be graduating middle school this May, and to be honest I had some anxious thoughts about high school but these tips relieved me. Thanks again:)

    1. So glad this could help you! I checked out your blog by the way-- keep on writing, and if you need anything throughout the school year, just write to me and I'll help as soon as possible.


isabel in disarray © 2014