I’m jazzed to be able to introduce a new blogger — and her first guest post — today. Keira Jett is a junior in high school and she has a great set of parents and a good head on her shoulders. She’s also a terrific writer. I asked her for her advice for incoming high school freshmen, and she was kind enough to share some great tips that can only come from having been there — recently. (She even has a pensive “writer” headshot.) Take it away Keira!
10 Tips for High School Freshmen
1. Find a balance. I am sure you’ve all heard that countless times, but it’s essential to be balanced. You shouldn’t be sitting at home all day doing nothing but homework, but you also shouldn’t be doing extra-curricular activities instead of homework, either. If you can’t find a balance, you’ll end being pretty stressed out.
2. Be careful with your classes. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to talk to your teacher and your parents. If you wait too long, it will be very, very hard to save your grade(s). Trust me, I know this from experience.
3. Remember that the best thing about high school is the number of options you have. If you see something you like, go for it! If you like music, you can be in choir or band or orchestra. If you like sports, go out for soccer or baseball. If a club sounds interesting, join it.
4. MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR STUDENT ADVISER. When things get tough at school, your advisor is your greatest ally. Go in and meet with him or her during the first few weeks of school. Introduce yourself and take the time to get to know her or her.
5. Find your comfort zone. High school is all about pushing yourself, but you can’t push your limits if you don’t know what they are. If you find yourself in any position where you don’t feel right, leave. Change the situation so that you’re not uncomfortable. If you don’t like how things are with your friends, take a break from them for a while. Sit with other people for a few days; you might find you like your new friends better. If you find yourself tired or unhappy with your sport or extra-curricular activities, find out why that is and change it.
6. Be friends with your parents. I’m sure you’ve heard that many times, but they do want to help you. I know that sounds strange to some of you, but it’s true. They want your high school experience to be as rewarding as possible. And here’s a secret: They went through school, too. They know what’s it’s like to be stressed out by everything, and they often have good advice to give you.
7. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get caught up in crazy drama. Don’t play the games. Don’t gossip, don’t encourage rumors. Don’t spend all your time and energy thinking about a boyfriend or girlfriend, or the boy/girl you like, or your friends’ relationships or any of that. You can pay attention, you can be involved, but don’t let it take over your life. I promise, it will not turn out well.
8. Find what you’re good at. Then excel. If you like writing, sign up for a creative writing class. If you’re good with numbers, take the advanced math class. If you’re a great singer, set your goal to be at the top of the choir department. Just go for it.
9. Find a balance with schoolwork and Facebook. Maybe you shouldn’t go on Facebook until your homework is done for the night. If you find that you’re checking the clock and it’s already nine and you only have one assignment done because Facebook is on your computer screen, then maybe you’ve got a bit of a problem. I know that finding out what’s going on can seem super important, but when you have to walk into class without your homework done, or with it done but with only three hours of sleep, you’ll regret being online for so long.
10. Settle in. Don’t think you have to change yourself at all to match what other people want. Don’t take ceramics because all your friends are taking it if you really like wood shop. Take wood shop, and you’ll find friends there with similar interests. Don’t try to fit in. Just be you, and the right people will find you.