Freshman Survival Guide

Freshman year. Class of 2018. Incoming freshmen are faced with maneuvering through unfamiliar hallways, adjusting to a 77-minute period, and managing far more difficult courses than in middle school. The transition between middle school and high school can be tough. Here are seven useful tips on how to survive the first year of high school.


  1. Focus on meeting your academic goals first. Setting goals at the beginning of the year is helpful and gives you something to work toward.
    “Freshman grades are the foundation on your transcript,” principal Mrs. Christine Siegfried said.  “You want to get out of your freshman year with a good solid foundation on your transcript so you’re not working your sophomore, junior, and senior years trying to recover from an awful freshman year.”
  2. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Teachers are always willing and happy to help. Although you may not have needed the help in middle school, coursework in high school can be much more difficult, and it is important to get help immediately rather than fall behind.
    “If you begin to struggle in a particular class, you need to get to that teacher and get some extra help,” Mrs. Siegfried advised.
  3. Take advantage of having two days to complete homework. Do not wait until the day before an assignment is due to begin working on it.
    “[Freshmen] have to learn how to manage their time in the A-B schedule, so it’s very important that the day they are assigned homework in that class to do it that night,” Mrs. Siegfried said. “The good part about that is that if they have any struggles with that homework, they can go to that teacher the following day before they have that class again.”
    Junior Madelynne Jameson agreed.  “Do your homework as soon as you get home,” she said. “Don’t fiddle around or play games on the Internet. Get [homework] done first. Be responsible, keep after your work, and don’t procrastinate.”
  4. Balance your schedule. Studying is important; however, it is also important to find the right combination of school and fun.
    “High school should be fun. It shouldn’t be stressful. Hopefully, freshmen have balanced their schedules to allow them to have fun,” Mrs. Siegfried said. “I don’t want to see kids stressed out about their academics. You want to make sure you’re doing what you want to do, but it shouldn’t be to the point where it’s all you think about.”
  5. Get involved, get involved, get involved. Being a part of clubs and sports gives you the chance to get to know people and is often a good way to maintain a balance in your schedule.
    “I want to see kids be in things that interest them. I think we have a lot of different opportunities here. If a kid loves to bake, cake-decorating club is it! It’s a way to get involved in your school,” Mrs. Siegfried said. “High school is a time to experience and explore those different avenues so that you find out what you really like, and maybe what you thought you like is something that doesn’t interest you anymore.  By getting involved, you’re meeting upperclassmen and you’re doing stuff outside of school.”
  6. Step out of your comfort zone. High school is an important time in building social skills and is far more enjoyable when you reach out and make friends.
    “You need to take that first step to go out of your comfort zone and sign up for something,” Mrs. Siegfried said. “I definitely think that kids who are more involved get to know more people and it’s an easier transition for them. If you have difficulty making new friends, if you find something small, it might be an easier setting to make friends.”
  7.  Some simple tips can make high school much more manageable.
    “If you carry your backpack around, then you’ll have most of your things with you, and you won’t have to get a pass to go to your locker and turn in your homework,” junior Brandon Backa said.
    “Use your agenda book,” Mrs. Siegfried said. “Write your assignments down to keep track of things. When life gets busy and hectic, keeping your assignments in your agenda book definitely helps.”

By considering some of this advice, freshmen can manage to succeed this year and throughout their high school careers. Let’s make this a good one!