Advice from a senior, helpful hints for incoming freshmen

Need help figuring out high school? With these pieces of advice, there will be no need to worry.


Persephone Means

The perspective of the school is different through the eyes of each student.

Persephone Means, Editor

The time has come. You are now a high schooler.

You are nervous about your freshman year. Will the classes be too hard? Will you be able to handle the workload? Will you find any friends?

Before we get started, my first tip is to not overthink or panic. I promise you that all of the horror stories you have heard are not true – mostly. These aren’t in order by importance, but make sure to take them to heart. Here are some tips and tricks from a senior.

Stay focused on grades. While it is important for you to try to do your best in school, the grades that you get in high school are even more important, since they are what colleges will look at when considering your application for their school. Do not procrastinate. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask the teacher or an upperclassman that may be knowledgeable on the subject.

Do not quit or not go out for certain sports because you think they’ll take up too much time. If you are interested in sports, try out. Having that network of teammates and coach may become crucial for the times later in high school when things don’t look bright. It will also give you a reason to keep your grades up – you can’t have any F’s or you will sit out.

Try out for the plays. Iola is an arts oriented town. If you are interested, even if it is just the tiniest bit, always try out. No part in a play is too small. Being in school productions will create a new friend group that will be able to teach you invaluable lessons about teamwork, communication, and self expression.

Start saving money early. When I was a freshman, I didn’t even think about money as something important. Any money that I got was almost instantly spent on food or something else for instant gratification. As a senior, I promise that not having ice cream everyday after school, while torturous, will be worth it. You will need that money for college, whether it be for dorms, books, other materials, food, or gas.

Plan all of your classes (freshmen through senior) ahead of time. Get your required gym classes out of the way early. If you do that, you will have more space in the future for make up classes and other classes that align with your passions. Doing this can help with furthering your college path and help you learn more about yourself.

Some advanced placement classes allow you to get college credits (dual credits) while still in high school. If you are interested in finding out more about dual credits for your sophomore through senior year, contact Melissa Stiffler at [email protected], or go visit her in the counselor’s office.

Don’t allow your friends to define who you are. High school friends may not be there forever, but your passions will. Also, you may get more freedom as a high school student. Do not break your mom’s, dad’s, or other guardian’s trust by making a bad decision. That can ruin your relationships for a long time after high school is done, and it isn’t worth it just to try to “fit in.” Smoking, drinking, and staying out late is not normal for a teenager. Make sure to use your brain.

Dress in somewhat of a presentable fashion as much as possible. Not only will this make you feel better about yourself, it will help others perceive you in a more positive way. If you are able to put energy into making yourself look decent, you will definitely be able to pull through in your classes and put more effort into them.

Make friends with upperclassmen. Do you have an older sibling, a neighbor, or a friend of the family who goes to IHS? This person may come in handy. Not only will you have someone to sit with at lunch, they will look out for you and your friends. Upperclassmen can also help you figure out how to act around certain teachers, find clubs or sports you are interested in, and how to be successful in more difficult classes.

Be prepared for class. While middle school classes might not have required you to prepare much, high school teachers will expect you to have everything you need when the class begins. That includes paper, a calculator, pens/pencils, notes, and a smile. It is also important for you to study for tests and do all homework that is assigned during class. Another good thing to do is, if you have time at the end of class, work on your assignment for that or other classes.

The best thing to do as a freshman is to remember that this is your high school career. Never sacrifice something you have always wanted to try because your parents, friends, or coaches think it wouldn’t suit you.

High school only comes around once in your life, so make sure to make memories, good grades, and good decisions.