A Freshman Survival Guide


Amanda Anzaldo and Cassandra Servitis

Starting high school is a difficult time in a person’s life because it is a new experience for everyone. High school students are expected to have more responsibilities since after they graduate, they will enter the “real world”. New students typically have a lot of questions about the next four years of their lives. Since high school is completely different from middle school, there are a lot of surprising things that students will learn. High school is demanding, which takes a while to get used to. As two upperclassmen who have made mistakes, here is some advice for the ninth graders. 

As a freshman, there is a common misconception that your first year is a breeze. No matter what grade you’re in, your classes are important. Colleges like to see students that are involved in their extracurriculars, but that does not mean that you can neglect your grades either. Make sure you participate in class and manage your time wisely. Planners are especially useful for writing down assignments that are due or other important tasks – this will help you stay organized and know what needs to be done. Keeping your notebooks, binders, and folders neat and in order is also important, as well as making sure you’re studying and understanding the material. There’s no point in taking notes if you won’t study and learn the material. 

All  students should also take the time to get to know their teachers and other staff members, such as the guidance counselors, nurse, principal, vice-principal, and coaches. Not only will they be the ones writing your letters of recommendation when college season rolls around, but they are also present to help you learn and grow. If you have a question or do not understand something, you should always email teachers and attend the after school sessions. Additionally, since high school is a time where everyone begins branching out, you should too! Make new friends by joining clubs and sports or by striking up a conversation with those in your class –  maybe you’ll find people who are interested in the same things you are! 

While high school is demanding, it is imperative that you are taking care of your physical and mental health as well. While it may seem appealing to stay up all night playing video games or watching videos, it is vital that you are completing all of your work and getting at least the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Moreover, you should be speaking regularly with your guidance counselor or a trusting adult if you encounter any problems at home or at school. A healthy body and mind allow you to be more productive than a stressed out and sleep-deprived one. 

In the end, your time in high school will become one of the most memorable parts of your life. It is the time when most people decide what they want to do with their lives. It may seem hard at first, but after you adapt, the rest of your time in high school will fly by, and you will graduate before you know it. So enjoy your time at NAHS and make the most of it!