If you're here you're most likely a high school freshmen (or someone who is reminiscing on that glorious year where you didn't have to do anything). I've experienced all the new stresses of being the baby and I have also seen all of the "new babies" come in. Trust me, high school is not as horrible as it seems. Granted it does suck sometimes, but there are also some amazing things about being in high school.
I have highly enjoyed my high school experience thus far. I've had very stressful classes and am going into a very stressful year of school, but there are so many more positives than negatives. I've made new friendships, I've found so many things I'm passionate about, and everything that I have experienced in high school has really shaped me into the person I am right now (good and bad).
Everyone has their own experience. Some people really, really love high school, some are just meh about it, and some do hate it. High school can seem stressful and daunting to all the new comers and that's why I'm here today to write this post. I luckily have an older brother who warned me of all these things, but I know some of y'all might not have that privilege of an older sibling. So I'm here to play the older sibling and tell y'all high school isn't as terrifying as you might think it is.
KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR GPA
Yes, this does deserve all caps. It's soooooooooo insanely important to keep track of your grades freshmen year because freshmen year grades are the base of your grades for the rest of high school. Think of it like a pizza. You have to have a base to put all the tomato sauce, cheese, pepperonis, onions, olives, mushrooms, etc. The base supplies for the rest of the additives. Same with your freshmen year. You have to have a solid base so all the other toppings wont completely fall apart.
I've always been one to keep on track with my grades and pride myself on my GPA, but I have seen it so many times. Upperclassmen trying absolutely everything to get their GPA up to a good college acceptance rate and usually they scrounge out a a pretty low GPA. Just trust me on this, your freshmen grades matter the most!
People have their own opinions.
This is more of a forewarning than a tip. I always say I am very opinionated about my sports and about my politics. I can't tell y'all how many times I've gotten into debates about politicians, laws, political parties, the campaigns, blah, blah, blah. BUT my friends will probably gladly tell you how many times I've gotten into debates. One thing about high school is that everyone is becoming an adult, and their finding their own beliefs, and going down their own paths, and forming their own opinions. You will 100% find someone who you don't agree with at all (I did in my Biology class... So, so many arguments). It's okay to voice your opinion, but keep it at a minimum. I hadn't learned that until the end of last year, and learning it sooner would've saved me a lot of frustration, and a lot of yelling matches.
Gearing on this topic as well, keep any and all political comments to yourself. I have been offended-not just because I strongly love my party, mostly because someone strongly criticized my values- countless times by some rude a** (pardon my french) pointing my beliefs out and tearing them to pieces. Don't express controversial beliefs or tear someone elses apart, it's beyond disrespectful.
It's okay if you get lost.
My high school is MASSIVE and very challenging to navigate if you haven't been there for two years. I'm an upperclassmen and just now I have my barrings. Trust me though, it is 100% okay if you get lost. I highly recommend turning to the nearest teacher and asking for directions. DO NOT BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT ASKING DIRECTIONS! Teachers on the first day purposefully stand out in the hallways to help kids with directions. No one should laugh at you anyways because they've been in the same boat as you.
Like I've said I lucked out in having an older brother and he helped me walk my schedule before school started to know where my classes were. If you don't want to be that kid not knowing where to go, go with your friends, or a parent to school after your schedules are released and walk it so you can find your classes much easier on the first day. I even walked my schedule this year, and like I said I'm an upperclassmen.
Don't people please.
I have not always been someone to stand up for myself, or my friends, and speak my mind when necessary. I used to be a big people pleaser, and after realizing it's completely bonkers to try and please everyone, I have been so much happier. Stay true to yourself. Knowing your likes and dislikes at that age can be a little tough, but try and be you all the time. Dress like you want, wear your hair like you want. Don't try to fit into the "popular crowd" because I can guarantee you, those people aren't happy.
You'll experience a lot of new things.
Again this isn't much of a tip as it is a forewarning. I was always warned about the drugs, the alcohol, the parties, etc. and I go to a pretty conservative school. You might think you're well prepared for all those things, but trust me, if you haven't been around those things before you'll get a slap in the face. I'm not trying to freak you freshmen out, but I'm just warning you those things are present. Just keep your morals in mind, and it's okay to talk about any worries about drugs, alcohol, etc to a trusted adult. I can't tell y'all how many times I can home stressed because I saw someone snorting in class. (Yes, that happened. Luckily though it was a required freshmen class where I was joined with everyone. Most advanced classes wont have that behavior.)
Spend time with your family.
You might feel like it's far away, but being an upperclassmen myself, college has come up fast. You will never ever regret spending some time with your family because you wont be able to spend that time with them in college. My brother is in college now and I can't tell y'all how much he misses us, haha. It's okay to hang out with friends, but make that extra time with family, the four years end pretty quick.
Have one person to lean back on.
This person doesn't have to be your best friend, it could be your mom, your dad, a sibling, or your counselor. Having someone to lean back on is essential. I always lean back on my mom and my best friend. They hear about all my complaints, all my worries, everything I'm excited for, absolutely everything. They're people I can talk to to get things off my chest, and going through a new experience, like a new school, there will be ups and downs you need to talk about.
Be open to new friendships and be open to leaving some.
I went into High School very open to new friendships, and I'm so happy I did. All the friends I have now are people I didn't exactly come into high school knowing/ knowing well. You have to be open to new friendships because you really don't leave high school with the same friends you had at the beginning. People grow and change and being open to new friendships will, well, help you gain friends.
Keep an open mind on electives.
This is something I really try to preach. Always take those electives you don't think you'd be too interested in but have some curiosity about. You're (technically) taking those classes for free, and who know, that elective could lead you to choosing your college major. Freshman year I was really not wanting to take my art elective and if I didn't take that class I wouldn't have met the friends I have now and I would've never found my absolute love for the arts. You always need to take risks and try something new.
You don't have to date.
You really don't. I haven't gone on any dates and am perfectly pleased with where I am right now. Going on dates can be fun, but it doesn't rank how pretty or popular you are. Sometimes being more focused on getting school work done can be so much more important.
Parties aren't as great as you think.
I have heard so many freshman for years talk about going to parties and how "fun" and "cool" they are. Seriously they aren't. It's a place for everyone to get totally wasted and it just is sooo not cool or impressive. It seriously makes you seem like and idiot for drinking underage.
DO NOT talk bad behind peoples back.
DON'T DO THIS. I have had plenty of friends be nice to my face and then talk so insanely rude stuff behind my back that wasn't true. I've obviously dropped those people. Just don't be that girl that talks behind someones back. If you need to vent then do it with someone you know for sure wont speak a word about it. All in all though, if you really feel the need to talk bad about someone behind their back, why are you still hanging around them?
Try the AP classes.
TRY THEM! I did my sophomore year and ended up getting the passing grade, landing me college credit. I'm making a whole post about why you should take AP classes and I'll post that sometime in the future!
Join a club.
Joining art club is where I found some of my really good friends and we did a lot of cool stuff in that club. Joining clubs also show that you're interested in your school and that is what colleges want to see on your resume. Sign up for any clubs you're interested in and go to their first meetings, you never know if you're going to make new friends or find something you're passionate about.