I am no expert at high school. In fact, I’ve only been in it for a year. But I do know a little bit about freshman year, and I would say that I’m pretty qualified on this topic. As my freshman year of high school comes to a close, I keep thinking back to the beginning of this school year. I was a mess: scared out of my mind, my head filled with nothing but high school movie scenes. From what I had seen on TV, it was either going to be us singing and dancing, having a great time, or me being bullied and having my lunch money stolen. Which is funny because have never even eaten school lunch. As I think about my mindset now versus then, I have a list of things that I would want to tell my past self. I gathered my friends to help me put the list together as well, 5 girls, all 15 years old. Thinking back to her, in August, wondering how her first year of high school would go. I wanted to share 5 things that I would tell her, and in hopes help an incoming freshman about to embark on their first year of high school.
1. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Calm down, take a moment, and assess the situation. Most of the time, a B on that one math test isn’t going to mess up your ‘permanent record’. Dozens of people have told us their colleges aren’t going to look back on that 85 in Trigonometry and say, “we don’t accept people like this.” We’ve learned that if you are going to stress, make sure that it’s worth stressing over.
2. Find People To Trust
When it comes to friends- quality over quantity. If you have a really solid, small group of friends, you’re set. Don’t worry about being the most popular or having an abundance of acquaintances. If you have a quaint group of very trustworthy, kind, and caring friends, that’s all you need.
3. Nothing Like The Movies
When you think of your freshman year, you might think of something you have seen in movies. Trust me, it’s not. Whatever you do, do not think of High School Musical. Don’t think of some cool high school movie with a sugar-coated “let’s skip class and sleep whenever” storyline. You actually have work to do, and you are going to have to attend class sometimes. Also, skipping to walk around school isn’t very fun anyway- most of the time you just walk around quietly.
4. Pace Yourself
Pace yourself with your work, your ambitions, your goals, everything. Take it easy in the beginning, because it will be harder soon. If you learn to time manage now rather than later, you will find that it’s easier to get work done. So take your time now and appreciate the slowness of the first few days.
5. Find A Balance
Arguably the most important idea, find a balance. Find a path between life and school. If you don’t have a balance, you will crumble. Your social life will crumble. Your mind will fall apart. Yes, high school is full of important decisions and planning, but without a life-you will lose yourself. Don’t lose your identity in your academics. If you lose yourself in school, your time management will suffer, your experiences will suffer, your relationships will suffer, and your academics will suffer. In order to be happy, you must find a work-life balance that is right for you.
For more tips and tricks on surviving high school, read 5 Helpful Tips I wish I knew Before Entering High School