This specific blog post is dedicated to all of the freshmen out there who will be starting high school in the next couple of days. This is a huge step and signifies a brand new chapter in your life. In high school, you will experience every emotion possible: stress, happiness, sadness, and loads of excitement. I think a lot of students come in feeling a mix between extremely motivated and also a ton of confusion, which are both completely normal! I think it is extremely important to share advice about high school as it can be an extremely difficult experience to navigate on your own, especially when the space is bigger, teachers are new, and you are starting to feel some pressure. However, I think that high school is the best time to adapt, learn, and grow not only as a student, but as a person as well.
In the spirit of learning and growing, I wanted to share some advice that I really wish I had heard as a freshman, and did not have to learn through trial and error. Take this advice with a grain of salt, and try to observe for yourself where you can implement these in your life as you move through high school.
#1: Friends will come and go
The biggest thing that I came to know about high school was that people change! It is just how life goes. People grow up and personally find who they want to be in high school. The person you met in middle school is someone who is still finding their way and honestly, is still a kid. The freedom of high school allows people to explore who they truly are. In the process, people will change and become who they want to be, whether that be someone who is more quiet or a party animal. This new person may or may not be your tribe, and that is okay! Distancing yourself from people who do not make you happy is super important in high school, as it allows you to open yourself up to people who are your tribe and make you really happy!
#2: You have to put yourself first
I know that this may be a cliché, but you must put yourself first in high school. No test, quiz, or extracurricular is as important as your mental wellbeing. Personally, my parents have agreed that between the two semesters of school, I am allowed to take two mental-health days on any Friday of my choosing. Taking time for yourself will allow you to become even more motivated and maintain your momentum instead of becoming the victim to burning out. As you progress in high school, the workload increases, try to really take everything one step at a time and give yourself grace! The jump is hard, but taking advantage of your resources will really help you succeed.
#3: Competition is not worth it
When you begin high school, the concept of AP classes will come up. I am not going to sugarcoat this: APs are hard. Even if you are taking what are known as “easy” APs, it does not take away from the rigorous workload that goes into the class. Take APs with caution, and take them in subjects you have true passion for and want to learn more about. Don’t take an AP if you simply want to tell someone that you are taking four APs and for them to say to you, “WOW! I don’t know how you do it!” Because that conversation will end, but guess who will still have to balance four APs? You! The competition of AP classes is not worth it. If you like science but not history, take AP Chemistry but not APUSH. It can be tempting to try to take on a ton because you feel you need to, but you really don’t. You want to make high school as interesting and less stressful as possible, so take the classes you want and don’t focus on what others are doing; their paths and interests are different from yours!
#4: Freshman year is really, really important
Freshman year in all practical purposes, is like another year of middle school. There are no APs in the mix yet and you can still be stress-free. However, this is the year to take the most advantage of! Work hard in your classes, make connections with teachers and peers, and be a part of clubs that interest you. This way, your GPA is in good shape, which is SUPER important. A good GPA freshman year allows you to have a good foundation, so you do not have to dig yourself out of a hole later on when classes become difficult. Additionally, if you begin taking interest in clubs freshman year, you can have leadership positions lined up for yourself starting sophomore year. Finally, try to take freshman year to immerse yourself in what interests YOU, so that you can learn your likes/dislikes for the future when you begin to build on them in your extracurriculars.
#5: Independence is KEY
I cannot emphasize this enough: you need to know who you are to have any fun in high school. You may come into high school thinking you know who you are, but trust me, it will change. As you try to approach social situations and deal with trying to find the right group of friends, who you are looking for will change as you begin to discover who you really want to be for the next four years. In the process, there may be some dry spells where you will feel very close to anyone, and that is okay! That is the time where you need to take a step back to understand firstly who you are, and secondly, who you want around you. Additionally, there will not always be a time where you have a study hall, class, or lunch with a big group of your friends. This means that you have to get comfortable being on your own in social situations. Become your own best friend, it will help you be a happier version of yourself throughout every moment of high school, good or bad!
Please let me know what you think of this advice and if you found any tips helpful! DM me @eviespaceblog on IG! Most of all, good luck to all incoming freshmen, you got this!!