May 20, 2015

My freshman year of high school wasn't anything like I expected--it wasn't necessarily good or bad. I'm surprised at how quickly it passed by.  I blinked twice on the first day and suddenly it was March.

I cannot believe how much can be crammed into ten months.  I've learned many things, not all of which are pertaining to the ACT.  This year taught me some life lessons, too--and I'm grateful for that.

Prep For A Day

1. We're all going through adjustment periods.
We all remember the first days of middle school and puberty, which many of us refer to as "the most awkward stages of our lives."  Freshman year is like a repeat of that stage (minus the odd bodily developments);  everyone's back in the same boat, and everyone's just trying to adjust to the new environment.

2. Be open to change.
This new environment may be a bit different than the old middle school habitat you were accustomed to. Moving into high school usually means moving in with all of the upperclassmen and teachers that you've never met--and that isn't a bad thing.  Change can be good, if you're willing to take advantage of it.

3. We're all taking on more responsibility (regardless of whether we want it or not).
I've said it before, and I'll restate myself:  high school means more responsibility.  With all these new teenage activities to explore, you need to remind yourself why you're at school in the first place.

4. We're all just little fish in a huge pond.
No matter how superior the "populars" may seem, once they get to meet the upperclassmen, they won't be strutting around as much.  Besides, in a few years you'll be heading off to college, and popularity factors will cease to exist.

5. Be open to meeting new people.
I struggled with this at the beginning of the year.  I'd stuck to the same friend group since fifth grade, and when I didn't have many classes with those people, I was in for a rude awakening.  I had the same fears about who to sit with at lunch that everyone else does, but when I finally plucked up the courage to sit with some new people, I became a lot happier--and I ended up meeting one of my best friends.

6. Your friends will influence you more than you think.
Peer pressure isn't some work of fiction that adults like to lecture about.  It's very real, and it's very hard to fight.  Try to be around those people who emulate traits that you yourself would want to emulate. After all, if you swim with sharks you're a shark.

7. You don't need to have every minute detail of your life planned out.
My school makes us write "four-year plans" almost every semester, and while they can be helpful, they can also be stressful.  Don't be tricked into believing that you should have already figured out your major, minor, top list of colleges, preferred income, and 401(k) plan just because you've ascended into high school.

8. Do not procrastinate.
To be frank, freshman year wasn't the most challenging academic-wise.  However, it still plays a role in your GPA, so your grades shouldn't be something to forget about until sophomore year rolls around. Once you start procrastinating, it's difficult to bring your grade up by the end of the semester.

9. Be your own individual.
Middle school was all about conforming to a set standard.  Everyone wanted to be exactly like everyone else.  When you reach high school, this isn't as imperative.  It's much easier to figure out the little things that make you unique;  for once, you can let those things shine.

10. Find out who you don't want to be.
Some more mature situations start developing in high school, and those situations usually stem from one person or a certain group of people.  Do you really want to be like those people?  Do you really want to do the things they're doing?  It can be an eye-opener.

Perhaps I'm not wiser, but I know I attained some new knowledge during my freshman year.

Who knows what sophomore year will bring?


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