Entering high school can be scary and confusing at times. It can often be stressful to balance homework and extracurriculars. However, it is also exciting. High School is filled with fun opportunities to start off your high school experience, such as meeting new people, attending school dances, and hanging out with your friends at football games. But in time, as you learn to build a solid plan to manage these tasks, meet new people, and stay away from negative energy, you will be sure to survive high school! So on behalf of QuaranTEEN, I have developed a list of tips that will help to navigate high school more accessible.
1. Take challenging classes!
I would highly recommend taking challenging classes your freshman year. Although it can be stressful, this is a great opportunity to test out how you will like these classes and how well you will do in future classes. It can be a time to determine what works for you, and whether you want to continue on the rest of your high school career with Regular, Honors, or AP/IB classes. But be careful not to overload yourself with these classes, and make sure that you know an advanced course comes with more work. By taking classes that are challenging for you, you are preparing yourself for success for the rest of high school,as you will learn how to manage your time better. Initiating your high school experience with tougher classes also provides an excellent “stepping stone” to other Honors and AP/IB classes in the future. It also displays to colleges that you were challenging yourself early on. On this note, don’t worry too much about college in your freshman year: it’s definitely a good thing to keep in mind and have in the back of your head, but don’t stress yourself out and take things one at a time: you have four years! And take classes that are out of your comfort zone and challenging for YOU personally: Whether that’s AP classes, Honors Classes, or Regular Classes, everyone is different, so don’t feel the need to compare your definition of “challenging classes” to your peers, and do what’s best for you!
2. Get involved!
Joining different extracurriculars such as sports, clubs, and participating in volunteering can be an excellent way to spend your extra time in your high school. In these extracurriculars, you can make lifelong friends, create fun memories, and give back to your community. Sports especially, are a great form of extracurricular activity, and can be a very enjoyable experience! Sports are a great way to maintain a balance between activity and school, so you do not feel like you are slaving over schoolwork all the time. Sports can make you become more active and more involved in your school too. I joined my high school’s competitive and sideline cheer team, and it has been one of my best decisions yet. I have made lifelong memories, such as traveling across the country to Walt Disney World to compete for a National title. I have also made some of my closest friends in my cheer team. Joining a club can be super fun too, you can experience what you like, and you meet many other people who have the same interests. By volunteering, you can give back to your community and volunteer in something you love, such as coaching a youth sports team or volunteering at an animal shelter. In participating in these extracurriculars, you are showing colleges that you can maintain a healthy balance and display that you are active in your school and community.
3. Do not procrastinate!
Procrastination is one of the largest limiters to achieving success. To combat procrastination, I highly recommend buying a planner. Planners are the best for making sure you are getting your tasks done, and you feel so accomplished after you cross out or mark your job done after completing it. If you prefer a digital form, I recommend setting up reminders on your phone or Google Calendar. I also recommend doing your homework as soon as you come home. I know it is incredibly hard sometimes, as you would rather watch Netflix or take a nap. But, you will feel so accomplished by the end of the day because now you have more time for yourself, and your homework is out of the way. By doing this consistently, you are creating a routine for yourself that will put you into the mindset for success.