Some Tips to Ease
Your Freshman Fears
Transitioning to high school is daunting. I remember walking to my very first high school class when – hooray! – I saw a friendly face in the sea of upperclassmen. I stopped to give them a quick, nervous hug, only to hear someone yell, “MOVE, FRESHMAN!” Ah, those were the days. Aside from figuring out the basic things, like how to open your locker and find your way to class, there are a lot of other things to figure out. While I can’t lay out a perfect roadmap for you, because I certainly didn’t do everything seamlessly, I can tell you a few things that I wish I knew during 9th grade.
Get involved. If you’re already involved, stay involved.
I know, it’s the advice you get from everyone, but let me explain my reasoning. It’s not just about pursuing a passion or exploring an interest. It’s a fantastic way to expand your social circle, and get the extra support that can be wonderful during this rocky time. I ran cross-country in middle school and decided to continue it into high school. My new teammates were welcoming, familiar faces in the hallways, I had upperclassman to go to for advice, and my teammates made transitioning to high school a little less scary.
On that note, embrace your fellow freshmen too!
The only great thing about ninth grade nerves is that your entire grade is experiencing the same thing. Bond over the new, exciting stuff. Help each other out. Nurture your supportive and encouraging friendships. It can be tempting to get in with the “older crowds,” but don’t neglect your peers. They’ll be with you all four years!
Work on your time management.
Seriously. If you want to make the most out of high school, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to figure out your perfect balance of academics, extracurriculars, and social activities. If you have a big game on Thursday night, make sure you get your studying in on Wednesday. If you’re a social butterfly on the weekends, work hard during the week to keep those grades up and keep you from being grounded. You can do everything you want in high school, but try to perfect that time management right off the bat to make things easier.
Remember, everyone isn’t doing it.
I’m not going to give you the peer pressure spiel, because you’ve certainly got it. What I will tell you, simply from personal experience, is that everyone isn’t doing it and you won’t be judged for sticking to your morals. While you're transitioning to high school you’ll be presented with a lot of new opportunities, both good and bad, but you’ll never be completely alone with your decision. Most importantly, be safe. I have a lot of wonderful, fond memories of high school that stay with me to this day, but I have no consequences that stay with me to this day. Basically… make good choices. Love, Mom.
Your first major break-up, romantic or friendly, is not the end of the world.
It feels like it in high school. And it’s okay for you to feel like it’s the end of the world, because your sadness is legitimate. However, I will tell you this great piece of advice that my mom gave me once, while I lay crying facedown on my bed believing that the love of my life had just dumped me. She told me, you can feel however you want. However, you don’t need to go overboard showing it. When involved parties think back on this *tragic* event, let them remember how gracefully and maturely you handled it. To sum it up: you’ll get over the heartbreak, anger, or sadness. You’ll have a harder time getting over the embarrassment of sending someone 17 crying selfies and posting a Facebook rant.
The harder you work, the more doors will open.
When you’re a freshman, senior year seems forever and a day away. Trust me though, it’s so much easier to keep your grades up now rather than trying to pick up the slack later. When college application time rolls around, it feels great to look at a transcript filled with grades you’re proud of, rather than trying to just, you know, brush those freshman year grades under the rug. The harder you work while you're transitioning to high school, the more options you’ll have in the future.