Tips for Incoming Freshman
If there's one post you all want, it's this one. The influx of emails and messages about this post has been so insane that I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't write this post for you guys. So many of my readers are incoming freshman in high school and to be quite honest, you can apply this to being a college freshman in some circumstances.
The transition from middle school to high school is a huge one. For many of you, you are entering into an entirely different school and completely different people. When I went to high school, I left a 52 person class at a small Catholic school. I went to school with the same people for nine years in a row. I went to a huge public high school and on my first day of school I literally didn't know a single person. My high school class was eight times the size of the middle school class and I was terrified. If a very socially awkward Lucy can make friends in a sea full of strangers, so can you! I also wanted to say a quick thank you to my mom who helped me brainstorm this post. She has helped all four of my siblings and I transition to high school and did a great job each time! Go mom!!!
Socialize -- On your first day of school, socialize with as many people as possible. No, you're not going to be best friends with all of them but you'll at least get to know someone. For some people, as you get to know them you might find out they are into things that you don't care for (drugs, alcohol) this is high school and you'll come across these people. It's up to you however, to be responsible and make the decision to follow in their footsteps. Introduce yourself, don't be shy. Most everyone is in the same position in you where they are nervous about their first day of high school. Just act natural and don't be afraid to jump into a conversation or show your personality.
Be Kind to Everyone -- I went to a tiny Catholic school where everyone that attended there came from a family with money and a roof over their head. Everyone gave for money for tag days and donated to cause known to man and we all gave in collection at church. In middle school, I didn't know anyone that was struggling with hunger or with paying their electric bill. Going from a Catholic school to a public school, I went from donating to the "elusive" hungry to sitting next to someone who was taking home the food in the donation box. You never know who is around you or if your comment or joke will offend someone nearby. Spread kindness like confetti, truly live those words every day. One of my friends lost her father and lived in a duplex with her mom and sister and her mother was an Uber driver to make ends meet. Another boy I knew was living in a hotel room with his four other family members because his father lost his job. He couldn't complete his project because he couldn't afford the supplies to complete the assignment. Two experiences I had never know before, just always keep that in mind when you are talking. Always show kindness -- it will get you far.
Get to Know Teachers -- Almost all of your teachers are willing to help you. You'll get an unhelpful vibe from a few because they're lazy and are just waiting out retirement, but most of them are going to help you at the drop of a hat. Get to know your favorite ones and maybe join the club he or she sponsors. I spent lunch senior year in my favorite teacher's classroom tutoring underclassmen with my friends and it was such a blast. We are all super close with that teacher and we still email her. One great reason to do this is to have someone vouch on your behalf if you ever need it and two, they can write you recommendation letters as you near time to send in your college applications!
Don't Be Afraid to Have a Tutor -- I had so many tutors throughout high school. I had a math tutor every single year and Miss Joan honestly should have been a favorite in my phone because I was always texting her with questions. Know that you should never be embarrassed to have a tutor. Sometimes the smartest kids have a tutor because they just want to keep practicing. Some kids who make D's and C's want the extra help because they're determined to make that B. I had a tutor in French, Geometry, Trig, Algebra 2, Calculus, and Physics. The amount of money spent on tutoring throughout my high school career scares me a little. If you can't afford a tutor, most high schools have free tutoring sessions that you can go to during lunch or before and after school. Like I mentioned, I was a peer tutor as a senior and I helped freshmen and sophomores with algebra, english, french, history, and science. It was an extra 23 minutes a day that a kid could ask questions and not feel embarrassed. The dumb kids are the ones that are too afraid to ask for that help.
Grab that Front Seat (or second) -- Freshman, especially freshman boys are annoying. In class they'll mess around and just pester you and the entire class. I remember a group of boys in a few of my classes that did that. I'm one who can't focus if there are a ton of distractions around so I grabbed the front seat it class or the second row seat. Also, if you have the front seat, scientifically, you will be much more alert.
Everything Counts -- It's such a misconception that your freshman year doesn't count. Your freshman year of high school absolutely counts. From the first day of class until midterms of senior year count towards college applications. Put your best effort into everything that you do in high school. Whether it be in sports, drama club, academics, student government -- remember that you get out of it what you put into it. You will reap the rewards of both poor effort as well as exceptional effort.
Go to that Football Game -- As much as pretty much every high school says at some point or another that they "can't wait to get out of high school" they're all lying (at least a little). For four years you get to wear your high school colors as a student, you get to stand in the student section at basketball games, win championships with your teammates, go to prom, and walk the halls as a student. Now, when I go back to high school for whatever reason, I have to check in with my license and wear a visitor sticker. You'll be 40 and wish you could go back to your high school days where all you had to worry about was your math quiz not paying the electric bill and your car payment.
Save the Drama for Your Mama -- Drama is the biggest waste of time. It took me about two and a half years to realize this but once I did, I enjoyed high school that much more. I was involved in a very dramatic friend group most of my sophomore and part of my junior year. I didn't realize what a toxic friend group I was in until I removed myself from it and found an entire different circle of people to associate with. Just know that drama isn't worth anything and in the end, once high school is over, nobody even cares anymore so save yourself the time and just don't get involved with it.
Play a Fall Sport -- Fall sports start earlier than the actual school year does. Tryouts are usually beginning of August and the season lasts through October. I say to join a Fall sport because you'll make friends before your first day. At my school cheerleading, volleyball, cross country, dance team, and Golf were all possible women's Fall sports. I joined volleyball and was so happy that I did. I at least knew 13 people in my grade before even stepping into school on my first day. If you're not sporty, you can always run. If anything you'll get in shape and make friends. My best high school memories took place on the tennis court and although it was a Spring sport, I really encourage you to join a team sport. My best friends were my teammates and I would do anything to go back to a state championship with them again!
Be Involved -- In addition to joining a sport, join some clubs too! I joined student government and key club -- a women's service club. I was freshman class president and had a lot of fun in that position. When you hold a position in student government it really helps you meet a lot of members in your own class, grow your confidence as well as your social skills. Not only that, but you can start adding these activities to your college applications.
Grades are a Work in Progress -- We all strive for straight A's but know that nobody will get absolute straight A's in everything. You might bomb a test and then get a perfect score on the next. You should always be striving for excellent grades but know that everyone does poorly every now and then. Use your low grades as motivators and use the pride from high grades to remind you to keep working hard. Grades are averages too, everything will average out so if you do poorly on a few grades, know that you need to do extremely well on a few to help balance you out. If you get an A on one test and a C on another, odds are, you're going to get a B test average. -- We all strive for straight A's but know that nobody will get absolute straight A's in everything. You might bomb a test and then get a perfect score on the