by Roxana Moazami and Maya Razmi

Hello future freshmen and welcome to the high school. You may be nervous to finally enter the world of a high school student, but don’t worry! Here are some things you should know to help you survive freshman year:

  1. Don’t crowd the student center or the halls; leave a path for people. One of the most frustrating things is when people are crowding in the halls or in the student center, not leaving any room for people to pass. It makes it difficult for other people to get through and sometimes people get shoved. It also makes the upperclassmen agitated…beware!
  2. Be nice to the upperclassmen, especially the seniors. At the beginning of the year, the seniors are busy applying for colleges. They are usually extremely busy and really stressed out, so try not to get in their way, and don’t take anything personally! Usually, its tradition at the beginning of the year to be teased by the upperclassmen, so just bear with it. Some nicknames you may hear in the hallways are, “freshmeat”, “frosh”, or simply, “annoying freshmen”.
  3. Lunch: Starting at 12:40 (during X period) high schoolers begin to go down to lunch, even though lunch officially starts at 1:00. The cafeteria is the most crowded at 1:00, so if you get the opportunity and have X free, go down early, especially before the orchestra people. Usually, people in orchestra class get down later than everyone else, and there are a lot of people in orchestra. Also, it won’t be long until you find out that the lunchroom almost never has any forks or normal water. Instead, there’s always fruit infused water—anywhere from strawberry to jalepeno water. So, try to get down early, you might have better luck finding a fork or getting normal water!
  4. Lab and Breakfast: Unlike middle school, high school has a lab period, which is the half hour after second period. You’ll have class during lab only once a cycle, which, for freshmen, is usually an extra half hour of biology. Unless you are in math lab, all the other days you will have a free, during which time you can go down to grab breakfast. Whether it’s a bagel or fruit, there’s always something for everyone! Even if you have lab, your teachers will sometimes let you go down for five minutes to grab a quick bite to eat.
  5. Use your free periods and study halls wisely. Don’t use your free periods to watch Netflix because your workload will pile up. You will find it much easier to manage your work if you do it during school so you won’t get stressed! Freshmen have study halls for the first part of the year, so that will make it easier to get used to the increased workload.
  6. Try new things! Try different things such as clubs, classes or sports. At the very beginning of the year, you can drop an elective or a class if you don’t like it or if it isn’t for you. If you try different things, you can make new friends and you never know what you will like! At the end of September, the school holds something called Club’s Fair in the atrium, where you can learn and sign up for different clubs. One example of a popular club is Speech and Debate. Also, there are many leadership opportunities available in the high school. You can join Gold Key, become a Senate representative for your class, or apply to be a part of the Honor Council. Elections are at the beginning of the year, so get excited!
  7. Stay organized. One of the main differences between middle school and high school is that teachers give you a lot more freedom to choose how you organize your school supplies. Some people like to have a binder for each class, whereas others simply choose to use folders. Although each class has its own requirements for supplies (which you will learn about in the first few days), it’s important to keep all of your papers organized so you have them later for tests, midterms, and finals.
  8. Backpacks and lockers: Every student is different. You can chose whether to keep everything in your backpack or go to your locker as often as you want, like me. Personally, I find it easier to use your locker; it can be a useful resource and you won’t have to haul a heavy backpack everywhere you go.
  9. Don’t stress about your grades! Don’t worry if you don’t get the grade that you expected for the first couple assignments—high school is difficult, and it definitely takes a little getting used to. If you don’t understand something, go and talk to your teachers! They love to meet with you and go over anything you don’t understand. You can arrange to meet with them during a free period, and you’ll find it very useful.

So, in conclusion, we hope these tips help you breeze through your first year of upper school! Although middle school is very different from high school, it won’t take long to adapt to the new environment.