“Freshman Year for Dummies”


Ava Stathakis, Public Relations/Marketing Manager

Dear Incoming Freshmen,

Welcome to high school, the time that is proclaimed “the best four years of your life.” I remember as a freshman being so nervous about everything that had to do with school: the homework, social life, etc. I just wish I would have known some things beforehand, such as getting to school on time, how to handle upperclassmen, how to handle the homework load, and many other miscellaneous and unfortunate situations. Luckily, I had my older brother to go to for advice on how to handle high school. However, I know that not everyone has an older sibling to lead them through the experience, which is exactly why I am writing this letter.

1) Getting to school on time is actually pretty important freshman year because most teachers that instruct the freshmen are very strict about attendance, at least that’s what I have experienced freshmen year. Leaving on time to catch the bus is important, unless you’re one of the lucky ones that has an older sibling.  From experience, I would suggest leaving your house for the bus about ten minutes early or have a parent drive you to the bus stop if they’re available to. The first few weeks of school are of course going to be warm, but then it’s going to get very cold, so dress accordingly at the bus stop. However, if you would prefer not to ride the bus and you happen to be friends with an upperclassman, who can drive try your best to get a ride with them.  To have the ability to leave on time, I would suggest packing your backpack the night before, laying out your clothes, and having an alarm set, possible at 6 a.m. if you’re a snooze hitter. The longer you take to get ready, the earlier you should be getting up, but that’s kind of a “no brainer.”

2) Upperclassmen aren’t as scary as you think. Yes, some of the seniors and juniors tower over the tinier freshmen, but not all of the them are like that. If you happen to have an upperclassman in one of your classes, try to get acquainted with them. Honestly, they’re probably feeling just as awkward as you are being a senior or a junior in a freshman class.

3) Now, one of the most important things you learn in high school is how to manage your time. The homework load gets considerably larger and honestly rarely will there be a time in which you don’t have homework for the night. My suggestion would be set aside a certain time of the night for doing your homework. I’m not saying you have to do your homework right when you get home, but if that works for you then by all means do that, whatever is best for you. Most homework now is all online and it can either help you or obstruct your studies . I know that I,  personally get extremely bored and distracted easily, so make goals for each assignment. An example of that would be, “I’m going to finish my math homework and once I’m done I get 10 or 15 minutes to go look on Instagram..” Make sure to set a time though otherwise it’ll be 5:30 pm one minute and then 10:00 pm the next.

4) Having a quiet place to do your homework is another important factor to freshmen year, so wherever that is for you, go there and just focus on the task at hand. However, if you must have noise, try listening to music. Not the kind that’s going to get you all hyped up and distract you, but the kind that can just kind of play in the background. Your main focus is still doing your homework not listening to music. Another suggestion would be to start with the hardest subject first, and then work your way towards the next easiest and so on. Writing your homework down in a planner or a small notebook that you can keep with you all day is something you can do. Trust me, it’s a lot less stressful to go back and look at a list of things you have to do rather than remembering it off the top of your head.

5) Go to your locker as few times a day as possible. That being said, don’t stuff your backpack to the point that you think you’re going to break your spine. My suggestion for not overpacking is 1. Get a smaller backpack and 2. Only get a binder for class if the teacher tells you to. However, you want to use a binder maybe have one for first through third hour and then another one fourth through sixth hour. Having some sort of organization is important, so don’t just throw your assignment in the bottom of your backpack. It won’t turn out well.

6) Movies and TV shows are a lie; high school is actually nothing like that. There’s no mean girl group. Yes, there are jocks and there are nerds, but a majority of the time now people happen to be both. Also, don’t create drama, it’s not worth it. You’ve got enough things to stress about in high school as it is.

All in all, please have fun and don’t stress too much. As long as you stay on top of things, high school should be an amazing experience. There are going to be times that things aren’t great, but there are so many great situations and extracurricular activities that you can get involved in that will bulldoze over any negativity. More than anything, enjoy high school and everything that comes with it while it last.


Ava Stathakis, FHC Senior