Freshman Advice: Don’t Make It Harder Than It Needs To Be

Your freshman year of high school can be daunting and rough, but only if you allow it to be. While in reality it won’t be full of rainbows and puppies and lollipops, your freshman year doesn’t have to be the worst year of your life, either. As a student who was in your shoes last year, I’m going to give you, the incoming “freshies”, five pieces of advice that may or may not help you throughout your year:

Intro to Journalism Freshman Year!
Intro to Journalism Freshman Year!

1.) READ THE BOOKS THAT ARE ASSIGNED TO YOU! This one is a biggie, let me tell you. If you are enrolled in an accelerated class such as Accelerated English 1 and/or Accelerated U.S. History, there will be novels assigned for you to read throughout the year. Here’s the punch line: Read the books! I promise, if you read the books, you’ll do fine on quizzes, tests, and other assignments related to the novel. If not, then you can kiss your grades good-bye. Many of my classmates last year (including myself) learned this lesson firsthand, so please don’t make the same silly mistake.  So again: Read the novels! It will save your life!

2.) Get involved in clubs, sports, and activities that may interest you. As one of my teachers told me last year, getting involved is a really good start at finally figuring out what you wish to pursue later in life. If there is a club and/or activity that may even somewhat interest you, such as DECA, Student Government, Choir, or Mock Trial, do it! If you happened to consider something, chances are that you will end up liking it. There are plenty of activities, clubs, and sports available at Pueblo West High for one to choose from, and freshman year is the time to start putting pieces together.

3.) Have you ever been told that your eyes were bigger than your stomach? This next piece links to that saying. While yes it is great to get involved in activities as I’ve mentioned in number 2, try not to get involved in more than you can take on at a time. This can really put unnecessary stress on one’s mind and body. I had done this last year and my grades began to slip because I had spread myself too thin. Really get to know your limits as to keep yourself sane and prevent your grades from meeting the depths.

After the Pigskin Classic 2012
After the Pigskin Classic 2012

4.) Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Presenting speeches and projects in front of your peers can be quite nerve-wracking, but don’t let this fear get in the way of your success. Speech class is a great time to get rid of this fear, so really open up when taking that course. Stepping out of your comfort zone can also apply to making more friends. Remember that there will be tons of other kids coming from other schools that will be in your class, so don’t be afraid to branch out.

And finally:

5.) Have fun! Don’t forget to be a kid, but still do well in whatever you do.

There you go. These are five pieces of advice that I wish that I was given last year to prepare me for freshman year, but had to learn firsthand instead. You, incoming freshman, have a chance to make your freshman year bright by following these tips, even if you take just a few. I promise, high school isn’t as terrible as it may seem. Good luck and welcome to Pueblo West High School!