Do’s and Don’ts for Freshies

Casey Nguyen, Managing Editor

Freshmen year is infamous for being a year filled with fear, shyness, curiosity and obvious awkwardness. Not only are you in an entirely different school, but it feels like you are on an entirely different planet: high school. Say goodbye to your pre-teenager middle school days; you are finally a high schooler!
Sadly, movies and the media hype high school up to be a place filled with vampires, werewolves, cliques, mean cheerleaders, and love triangles. In reality, high school is much different than how the entertainment industry projects it.
However, this does not make high school any more comfortable. Four years can come and go in a blink of an eye. But, when you are always making mistakes left and top, high school can feel like it lasts forever. These are a few of do’s and don’ts for freshmen year that will hopefully get you by.
1 Don’t sleep late
Staying up late and pulling all nighters to talk to your friends or catch up on the latest shows on Netflix may seem “cool,” but it is not. In future years, you will have a horrible sleeping schedule, even if you do not procrastinate. Especially for the people who want to take IB courses or take an attempt for the IB Diploma, be prepared to run on four hours of sleep every day. Before you have to face that horrid tragedy, you might as well get as much beauty sleep while you still can. What is so “cool” about dark circles and acne? Nothing at all.
2 Do be open minded
Just because you were in a particular ”posse” or ”squad” in middle school does not mean you cannot make new friends. With your arrival in high school comes new opportunities to meet people with similar interests as you. A great way to meet new people is by joining clubs and sports. Do not build up a particular viewpoint or perspective of the activity before joining. Just give it a shot. Most things are as they seem. You might find yourself surprised when you enjoy yourself at a Key Club event or during the Swim & Dive team practices.
3 Don’t make a wrong first impression
Do not try to start drama or beef your freshman year because it will follow you for the rest of high school. You will be known as the girl or guy who did this or said that. The safest option is to try to be helpful and friendly to everyone. This tip not only applies classmates, but it also applies to teachers as well. Teachers talk, so if you do something horrible in one of your classes this year, most likely all your teachers next year will know about it. So, try to be on your best behavior.
4 Do make an upperclassmen friend
Making a friend who is in a higher grade than you has many benefits. Not only can they inform you about the insider secrets of certain classes or teachers, but they can also give you fantastic guidance. Everything that you are going through now as a freshman, they already breezed through. Thus, they can provide their wisdom on specific problems that you might come across during the year.
5 Don’t slack off
College applications may seem to be in the distant future now, but it closer than you think. Make sure to raise and maintain a high GPA your freshman year. This is a critical year where colleges can see just how much potential you have and what you can offer to them. For this reason, also join as many extracurricular activities as you can. Some great suggestions are Just World Interact Club, Key Club, Green Atoms and Mission Possible.
6 Do cash in on some helpful tools
There are many apps on your phone, some free and some that you have to pay for, that can assist you in the long run. A high recommendation goes out to Grammarly, which is an editing tool for your essays and other assignments. It is a fantastic application and will ensure you both a good grade and better writing skills. Another great tool is SpanishDict, an app that can be purchased with no cost. On this app, you can look up Spanish vocabulary and verb tenses. There is also a website. The last recommended app is Quizlet. Making flashcards may seem outdated and an extremely long process, but Quizlet allows you to test your knowledge and learn your tenses.
7 Don’t forget to study
As every school year progresses, the harder classes become. Studying will help relieve the stress and will make classes become a breeze. Getting into this habit will set you up for future classes if you are thinking of taking any advanced or IB classes. But, this isn’t just useful for high school, this will help you in College also. Studying with a friend will also help you and they can encourage you to do more and on the bright side, it won’t be as boring.
8 Do be prepared and organized
Always make sure that you have the things that you need. Bring everything with you in your backpack. Homework, supplies, a snack, a water bottle, lotion – you can never be too prepared. You should also make a schedule of what you’re going to do everyday. Include homework, staying after school, practices, any meetings, and any places that you’re going to go to. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you never forget to do anything.