What I wish I knew as a High School Freshman (Part 2)

Angelique Gingras, Author, Editor

I’m back with some more advice for your freshman year. High School can be a lot of fun, and it helps if you have some prior knowledge on how to navigate it. I have listed some tips that I have recently come to understand, and I hope it will help you with your productivity.  

  • Start saving your money now. It may seem far off, but in just four years you’ll be starting college or a career, and you’ll need money to support yourself. I’m sure by now you’ve earned money in some way, whether it’s been through a job or an allowance. Don’t spend it all now, save someyou’ll be thanking yourself in the future.  You’ll have to have money for college, buying a car, or maybe even a place to live. Don’t wait until your senior year to start thinking about these things.  
  • Don’t forget everything you’ve learned in math over the summer. It’s the annual routine. Summer vacation is just around the corner and what you’re probably looking forward to most is a break from schoolwork. Summer goes by, and you walk back into to your math class, and the teacher starts talking about factoring polynomials or taking derivatives; you have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Don’t let this be you. It’s not just math, this goes for any subject. It’s okay to have a break from schoolwork sometimes, but don’t go an entire summer without studying, because you will not have a good start to the following school year. Now you know why teachers assign summer homework! 
  • Dedicate time to look good in your school photosThis may not apply to all of you, but if you’re like me and cherish your school photos, you know what I’m talking about. Picture Day as a student is important because those photos show how you’ve grown and represent that year in your life. If you choose to buy school photos and show up on Picture Day in a t-shirt and sweatpants with unbrushed hair, you’re probably not going to be happy with the way they turn out, and you’ll be looking at those photos for the rest of your life. Do yourself a favor and spend a little extra time getting ready on the morning of school photos because they all lead up to the most important one of all- your senior portrait.  
  • Don’t expect people to always to be honest. This has been one of the hardest lessons for me to accept. Many of you may already be familiar with this, but for those of you who are naïve like me, high school will be a rude awakening. There will always be people who don’t like school or learning, but there are some who go as far as to lie to teachers and their peers just to get out of work, they are only hurting themselves. My best advice in this case is: stay true to yourself, know what’s right from wrong, and you’ll be more successful because of it.  
  • You don’t have to jump at every opportunity that comes your way because trust me, there’ll be plenty more. High School is full of opportunities: clubs, leadership positions, internships, etc. There will be one time or another that you’ll get the chance to take on a bigger responsibility, especially if you are already involved a lot, but don’t think you always have to say “yes.” It’s important to remember that your academics come first, because if you can’t keep your grades up, you can’t participate in extracurriculars. So, if you really want to be exposed to new opportunities, try something new each year, but don’t push yourself so hard that you become stressedOf course, you need time to relax too. 

Throughout my high school career, I have been introduced to new experiences that I never could have imagined that I would have taken interest in, playing golf, choreographing musicals, and even writing for the Courierto name a few. The last three years have been full of my toughest challenges and my most successful accomplishments, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

I hope this series will help you navigate your way through high school in the way that my experiences have taught me something new.