15 simple tips that all high school freshmen should know:

  • Be on time. It shows teachers that you are ready to learn and care about your education, and more importantly, respect them and think their time is worthy.
  • Participate. Again, it shows teachers that you want to learn. It helps others learn when they hear what you have to say, and vice versa. It also shows that you are paying attention.
  • Ask questions. Chances are, someone else has the same question and will benefit from you asking it. You will always feel more confident that you know what you're doing, as you will understand it all. Also, teachers like when students have questions, because it may be something the teacher didn't talk about or clarify.
  • Befriend an upperclassman. They are not scary, and are in fact very helpful. They can tell you about classes, teachers, time management, etc. Bonus, they can even offer advice or knowledge on non-school related things such as driving and relationships.
  • Don't procrastinate. Even if you think you can put something off, don't do it. Due dates come much sooner than you'd think, and you do not want to be rushing to get something done, or turning in sloppy work that you did the day before.
  • Do your homework. Some teachers may say that homework isn't for a grade, but you should still do it. Homework is ultimately practice for you so you're prepared for tests and quizzes, which are graded.
  • Branch out. Talk to new people. You can still keep your old friends, but it's good to meet new people, especially if they're in your classes or extracurriculars. And, you sometimes grow apart with old friends when you get to high school, which is normal. Something that can help with that is having other friends to spend time with and talk to.
  • Don't overload yourself. Give yourself time to get used to school and your new workload. Don't sign up for all advanced classes and a bunch of clubs. If anything, take freshman year to focus on schoolwork and join clubs as a sophomore when you're more comfortable with your school and classes.
  • Have school spirit. You may think it's dumb or embarrassing to show school spirit, but take part in it. This is the time to have fun and make memories, especially with your friends who most likely won't be with you at college. Taking part in spirited activities like dances and football games are fun things to do with your friends and remember later in life.
  • Don't make yourself uncomfortable. Whatever situation you may be in, don't stay in it if it makes you uncomfortable. At the end of the day, it's much better to feel safe and secure than to be in a situation you aren't comfortable with, no matter what people may think about it. Absolutely don't give in to peer pressure because it's "cool" or whatever someone may say.
  • Manage time wisely. Do not try to cram in studying for finals or midterms in one day. Spread out your work so you aren't overwhelmed with too much information at once. Even if it means spending less time with your besties or being in less activities.
  • Make good decisions. Doing drugs/alcohol, plagiarizing a paper, or even posting the wrong thing on social media is detrimental to your future. Colleges and jobs look at your record, and are unlikely to consider you if you've gotten into trouble in the past.
  • Find your passion. Having something that you love to do is great for relaxing and taking a break from everything else in your life. If you have a passion that you want to pursue, you can take classes in high school that fit in with that passion, and it can even help you when looking at college majors and careers.
  • Talk to teachers. If you don't understand something, or are unsure if you can finish something on time, talk to your teachers about the situation. More often than not, they'll be understanding, and may give you a time extension on that assignment. Just don't try to overuse it.
  • Go to class. And if you absolutely need to miss, talk to or email the teacher and make sure you know what you're missing. If you come back to school with absent work ready to turn in, or at least know what happened while you were gone, it's much easier to catch up. Teachers also appreciate when you work to keep up with your absent work.
  • Find what works for you. Studying, doing your homework, socializing, and meeting for a club/sport is a lot on your plate. Find the balance between it all that's easiest for you and stick with it. Manage time and figure everything else about school out as you want to, because it's most effective to help you if it's personally something that works. You are most important, so whatever works for you is the best thing for you.