Beginner’s Guide to Surviving High School

By Lily

If you’re an incoming freshman, this article is perfect for you. Transitioning to a new high school can be nerve-racking, but here are some tips that’ll prepare you and help you thrive in your new environment. I was terrified my first day and I wish I had known these things going into my freshmen year. So without future adieu, here’s everything you need to know when transitioning to high school and get the most out of your education.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

A New School

For most people, transitioning to high school means navigating a new building and meeting a lot of new people. Lucky for you, when you spend so much time in one place, you adjust easily, and most schools will have a pattern with their layout that makes it easy to navigate.

Look for similarities between floors and room numbers, or even at bigger schools some hallways will be marked with different letters to make them easier to find. Once you figure out the layout of your school, you’re set to find almost any classroom and the fear of getting lost disappears.

You’ll soon get used to the atmosphere and rhythm of your new environment and it’ll feel like you’ve been in high school your whole life. Most classes don’t waste time with getting to know you activities, and I remember feeling like I’d been in high school my whole life just by the end of the first day.

The hardest part of a new school is walking through the front door. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be surprised at how fast you adjust.

Extracurriculars

High school has a difficult dynamic of offering you unlimited opportunities, while forcing you to narrow it down to just a few. I went into high school already involved in lots of extracurriculars, and high school presented me with even more opportunities than before, making it hard to figure out what try.

Having so many opportunities can be overwhelming but, I say go for it. High school is full of different clubs and people to get to know. If you’re interested, just stop into a meeting and find out if it’s something you’re interested in. There’s no binding commitment to attending one meeting, and chances are the current members will be welcoming and want to show you the ropes.

Take advantage of your options and explore your interests. High school does a good job of guiding you towards your true passions and narrowing it down for you. The hardest part is just managing your time once you’ve picked what you want to do. You can stay tuned for more on different options for extracurriculars and ways to manage time and stress in the future!

New friends

Whether you’re going to a new high school where you know no one or going with all of your friends, you’re bound to make new ones. The first day can be confusing when you’re forced to separate from people you know and meet new ones, but the best part is everyone is in the same boat.

As a naturally extroverted person, making new friends came more natural for me than others but it’s doable for everyone. You’ll get thrown into new activities with lots of different people and take advantage of that environment. When you’re in a club or class together, you already have something in common, and that’s the easiest way to make a new friend. That’s actually how Elena and I met, and now we have a blog together! 

Many of you I’m sure have also heard about how people grow apart in high school. I’m sure tons of you have made pacts with old friends to never grow apart as you’re entering your freshman year, and while that’s great, know it’s ok to grow apart from people.

I have many friends I’ve carried with me since elementary school, but I also grew apart from one of my main friend groups my freshmen year. You can do a lot throughout high school and you’re not going to be the same person in 6th grade as you are in 12th.

Know that that’s ok and cherish all your friends and old. Who you choose as friends make up a bigger part of who you are in high school then you may realize. So remember, it’s ok to grow apart from people and make new friends. One of the best parts of high school is meeting new people and finding your group, so be confident and get to know some new people. 

Upperclassmen

As a freshman, you’re bound to hear from all the older grades how everyone hates the freshmen. And you’re going to go into the next 3 years and say the same things. Despite how much everyone claims they hate your class, chances are you’ll make friends with a lot of upperclassmen.

You’re bound to have one or two classes, especially your electives, with them and that’s a great time to get to know them. One of my favorite parts of high school is how many people you get to meet and have classes with that you would have never interacted with in middle school. An upperclassmen can be a great friend and guide throughout your high school experience, just don’t forget they definitely know more than you…. 

Choosing Classes

Finally onto choosing classes. Making sure you’re taking the right classes for your future and experiencing all the options is another hard part of high school. Your high school will give you a list of required classes and all the credits you need to receive to graduate. It’s important to make a plan for your high school experience from the beginning to make sure you can fit all your required classes as well as your wanted electives.

It’s always ok to change the plan, but a rough draft is good to have. Don’t restrict yourself to only taking classes your friends are taking in high school and make sure to do what you want to do. Make a plan to meet with your counselor freshman year to plan out your future, I guarantee it will be worth it. If you want to hear more about this stay tuned for plenty of future articles on it. Also check back on the 25th for an article on navigating high school as a music student.

With that, you’re prepared for your first year of high school! Remember to just go for it and be confident. I’ve had much more success over my sophomore year being confident and taking advantage of my opportunities then I did my freshmen year going in scared and lost.

For a lot of you, being confident, outgoing, and seizing the moment is a challenge, but another important thing to remember is fake it till you make it. Your success in high school depends on your choices and your willingness to work for what you want. So make every class, extracurricular, and friendship count. If you do that you’ll find yourself thriving in high school. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! Stay tuned for our next article on Thursday written by Elena to learn how to deal with toxic friendships. Also make sure to check back for more in depth articles about the high school experience! Feel free to contact us via the Contact page or the Comments Section with suggestions on articles to write, as well as any questions you may have and we’ll do our best to answer them! Thanks again for reading and I hope you thrive in high school!

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