How to own Freshman Year
By James Baratta
So you’re a freshman? I remember my first year at LBHS and felt the same things you're feeling right now. Classes, people, homework and school itself can be overwhelming. Also --if you’re wondering -- Freshman Friday isn't a thing… at least not anymore and high school is only as scary as you perceive it. Hopefully I can alleviate some of the worries and anxiety you’re currently having by sharing my experience in a way that'll help you. Even if you are confident, the tips below don't bite!
Every year is important, even this one
You may think that freshman year doesn't count, but I assure you it does. Your Grade Point Average (GPA) is the accumulation of your grades throughout your high school career. This is the first thing colleges look at and very much the defining factor as to where your future will take you. College? Yeah it may seem like jumping the gun a little bit, but deciding on which one you go to comes sooner than you think. Don't stress over the college search now, but keep the idea of preparing/attending in the back of your mind.
Experiment with different clubs
This is how I discovered my desired major. Try a little bit of everything! Definitely join Freshman Class, it's a great way to meet your classmates, participate in your school and have fun. The Tide Newspaper helps you to express yourself and build your writing skills which comes in handy all throughout life as does Fragments, LBHS’s literary/art magazine. Maybe join ASPIRA or Builders Club to help others. There's a great variety of clubs at LBHS, I've barely scratched the surface on the amount of great things clubs enable students to do!
Your character is extremely important! The way you treat others and the aura you display in the halls or in class becomes part of your reputation. It's best not to harm it if you'd like an enjoyable high school experience. However, that doesn't mean it's okay to accept issues that are hurting you. Your guidance counselor is there to help you as is Reach and the Dean’s Office, no matter the situation.
Remember to stand your ground and preserve your character when need be it. It's a new year, new school and new opportunity for you to be you!
You don't have to be Einstein to do well in school. There are many ways for you to be successful as a student and person. Math was always a difficult subject for me and still is to this day. When I realized I was having trouble I attended extra help; which didn't help so much. So, I used my head and thought it would be a good idea to try another teacher’s extra help. This worked! My grades went up and I passed my Regents Exam. All you need to do is put the effort it and build a template for your situation. In other words, develop a game plan. Work with teachers, your guidance counselor or even friends to create the game-winning play!
High school is all about getting out of your comfort zone. Whether you like it or not, there will be times where you have to make bold moves. To be able to make those moves before you have to helps out a great deal. For example, joining a club and participating in an event gives you more notoriety. The more of this you have, the higher the chance you have to become known in school by your friends and teachers. If you like sports, LBHS is the place for you. There is a massive variety of athletics to choose from. In my freshman year, I made student of the month for September. I managed this by becoming involved in clubs, using my voice at meetings and staying on top of my grades. I highly recommend you try Model Congress, LBHS’ debate club. You don't have to go away on weekend trips or anything (feel free to do so they’re very fun) just try to give input in meetings when topics are being discussed. It’s a great opportunity to improve your public speaking skills and meet new people.
Overworking yourself and isolating will without a doubt hurt you. Manage your time between extracurriculars, homework, and free time by using a calendar or one of the thousands of apps available to you! Make reasonable to do lists and definitely use your agenda, it helps you organize life into a bite-sized package. Most importantly, remember to seize the opportunities that make living life as a teen memorable. High school flies by faster than you think and before you know it you'll be graduating. So, with these tips, go ahead and own your freshman year!