Back To School: Advice for Freshmen

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As someone who’s pretty much been awkward my entire life, I feel like I’ve learned a couple of helpful lessons along the way.  So,  in an attempt to save others from that awful awkward stage, I’m going to share five of  my best tips for freshmen. Truthfully, I’m gearing this more for high school freshmen because it’s much larger of a transition, I think (and I never went to middle school!), but I’m guessing these tips will help if you’re about to start middle school too!

Stay Organized

One of the first thing’s you’ll notice as a freshman is that your workload will be a massive jump from what it was previously.  Use an agenda to keep yourself organized, and schedule as much as you can ahead of time. If your school doesn’t provide students with an agenda (or you need more space) you can get cheap ones from Walmart or even the dollar store. I credit my agenda for me being able to make grades while still figure skating, running the school newspaper and yearbook club, designing clothes, teaching learn to skate, and working a part time job. I’d also recommend using a binder for each class, and using a notebook for each class instead of loose paper for note taking (you’re less likely to loose your notes that way).

Introduce Yourself!

As freshmen, a lot of the time people go into the new year thinking that they’re going to stay best friends with the people from their old schools. And, while I can say personally that a couple of my best friends from elementary school are still some of my best friends today, I’ll also say that I met the majority of the people I’m close with now during freshman year! So, while you shouldn’t forget about all your elementary or middle school friends, it’s a good idea to be open to meeting and hanging out with new people too. Don’t close yourself off, because you might miss some great opportunities for friends that way!

Join a Club or Team

I know that this is common advice, but it’s probably some of the best I can give. Joining a club or a team that you’re interested in is probably the best way to meet people who share the same passions as you do. What about all the homework you’ll have? Check out tip #1. With organization and god time management, anything is possible! Plus, a high school-long commitment to a particular club or team (or many of them!) looks amazing on a college or university application. Future you will thank you (and me).

Don’t Kiss-Up to Teachers

Okay, I don’t even know where to start with this one. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Teachers in high school don’t want to see kids try to work their way to the top through flattery- actually, it usually makes them have a poor first impression of you! Be kind and respectful of course, and having a genuine concern and interest in their life outside school is always nice (read: genuine), but no need to ask about every detail, or rattle off your accomplishments to every teacher in a 50-mile radius. Humility, respect, and hard work goes a long way in earning the respect of a teacher. And, if it doesn’t, why would you want to be that teacher’s “favourite” anyway?

Seniors Don’t Care

One of the main concerns my friends and I had going in to high school was how the upperclassmen would react to us being there. But we quickly realized the same thing that every group of freshmen realized before us and that pretty much every group will realize after us. Seniors don’t care. We really don’t. Actually, the chances of a senior actually speaking to you except if you ask us how to get from one place to another are very slim. Not because we hate you (we don’t), we just do our own thing and kind of expect you to do yours. Talk to us if you want to, don’t if you don’t want to, it truthfully doesn’t affect us either way.  If you’re really concerned about what the seniors will think of you though, here’s a little bonus tip.

Don’t Be Obnxious

In other words, don’t walk around acting like you’re better than everyone or thinking that you rule the school. There were plenty of students before you and there will be plenty after you. Be nice to everyone, don’t be rude, and the rest of the school will do the same to you, I promise.

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