What is the most important thing for freshman to do, not do, to remember in high school?
Establish yourself and how you want to be seen by others. The first impressions you leave on others will follow you throughout high school. Also, this is the year to set a standard for yourself in the coming years.
Focus on your classes and have fun. Join clubs and participate in any sports if you can.
I think the most important thing is finding a good friend group. It’s easy to get caught up with the wrong people and have bad influences. You need to surround yourself with people who will push you to be the best version of yourself.
It is important that you start off your high school career strong. Don’t slack off, work hard to do well in your classes. Find some good friends with the same values as you. And, DON’T get into drugs.
What do you wish you knew or were ready for as a freshman?
I wish I was ready for the change in course work and the amount of studying outside of school. You need to be ready to study and work hard outside of school, which is an important skill for the rest of high school, for college and in life.
I wish I understood that once you get used to being in class with people from different grades, high school really isn’t that scary. It really allows a lot more freedom to pursue classes you’re interested in.
I wish I knew/understood that there would be many different types of people and groups. Not everyone is going to be like you. Don’t make a hard push to “fit in” or be the most “popular” kid in school – you will end up walking over people and it won’t be fulfilling.
What is your best advice for Sophomores?
Explore your surroundings, join new clubs and organizations, and test yourself academically. This is the year to explore things and test your limits. Discover who you are, who you want to be, and plot a course towards your destination, whatever that might be.
Enjoy your Sophomore year. Go join clubs and be involved with school activities. It’s pretty much the last year that you won’t have to worry about standardized tests or the pressure of college.
Continue to work hard and keep up your grades up… don’t slack off.
Junior year – it’s a big year. What would you tell Juniors to do? What would you want their Parents and School Administration/Counselors to know and do?
I would tell Juniors to focus on their classes and course work, but also begin actively studying and preparing for the ACT and SAT by taking practice tests, studying English and math. This is the year to really focus on your academics.
Parents should continue to support their children, but don’t make them more stressed than they already are – because then they can make bad decisions in an attempt to deal with that stress.
My advice is to start making a list of colleges you’re interested in and do some tours to see if you like them and can see yourself there.
I wish counselors would meet with their students more intentionally during junior year to help keep them on track.
Take at least one ACT/SAT class or get a tutor to help you study. Take a lot of ACT/SAT practice tests. Start your college essay and start looking at the colleges you’re interested in, take some tours. Take a look at the Common App too.
So, for Seniors… another big year. What should they remember? And then for their Parents, what would you ask them to remember and do to support their Senior students?
The important thing for Seniors to remember is that they will most likely be entering college next year and that this year can be great preparation for college. Also, it is important to maintain your work-ethic and focus until the end of the year. Don’t let “Senioritis” set in. J
Seniors should remember to really have fun and make the most of their Senior year. Although college apps are stressful, they don’t shape the rest of your life.
Remember not to give up at the end of the year. I would ask Parents to remember to help and guide their Student to maintains a good record so colleges don’t revoke their decisions.
Start your college applications and letters of recommendations early. Keep working on your college essay. Don’t get “Senioritis” to early – finish your GPA and all your hard work strong!
Anything else you think Students, Parents, Schools should think about for the school year?
Each year the difficulty steps up. Be prepared for challenges that will come up. Parents and Schools should help students cope with those challenges.
Let students have a bit of freedom and responsibility.
Understand that ANYONE can get involved in drinking and drug use – even if they don’t seem like they would – it can really be ANYONE. And, a lot of kids are vaping – it is out of control.
Teens are really struggling with all the pressure that is put on them. We need Parents and our Schools to be supportive and help us cope.
What’s your influence to be substance free in the midst of so much self/parent/school and peer pressure?
In this day and age, it’s no challenge to get your hands-on substance. I am inspired by my future to keep me away from those things. I have dreams and goals.
I strive to make my family, my friends and myself proud J
My influence is school and my future. I have seen too many of my peers give up good grades, college and their intelligence for drugs and alcohol.