How to Begin High School

Becoming a freshman in high school may be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. You'll find that high school is not as lonely and stark as it may seem at first. It will have a lot to offer in the areas of activities, classes, friends, and privileges.


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    Gather information. Attend any freshman orientation sessions. Take advantage of this time to meet the other freshmen, get a tour of the building, and ask any questions you may have.
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    Orient yourself. Most high schools usually don't have a specific day scheduled for new students to come and look around the building, so just go over when you have time. Call ahead to make sure it's alright. Obtain a map of the school, and familiarize yourself with it. Locate your classrooms, and plan out your routes to and from classes. Walk from one class to another, remembering the way to go. Find and practice opening your locker, and make sure you know where any other important rooms are, such as the library, gym, cafeteria, nurse's office, and main office.
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    Prepare yourself. Realize that you may be picked on to a certain extent by some upperclassmen. In most cases, don't bother taking it personally - the handful of upperclassmen who might pick on you have maturity issues, self-esteem issues, or simply I'm-Kind-of-a-Big-Deal issues. If you're insightful enough to search for this kind of article, it's very likely that you also have the insight to realize that you are better than those few upperclassmen, and, consequently, should not waste your own time giving them a false sense of self-satisfaction by being offended. The majority of this sort of watered-down bullying is harmless, but if you have any concerns (for instance, if the bullying is not watered-down), feel free to talk to a teacher or your school counselor.
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    Make friends. Especially with people in other grades. They may prevent a fair amount of "hazing," and they will often tell you about their personal experiences with classes and teachers.
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    Get involved. Go to some after-school activities that sound interesting, such as music, sports, drama, or other clubs. It's easier to make friends if you share the same interests.
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    Be humble. You're a freshman. There's nothing so socially repulsive as someone who thinks they're "all that".
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    Get perspective. Although as an eighth grader you were at the top of the school, you are now the little fish in the ocean again. Do not pretend that you know everything. If an older student gives you advice, listen to it, and follow it if it seems logical. Pay attention so that you will come to recognize when it's time to be serious and when it's alright to be relaxed. Don't let the older students push over you, stand up for your rights as a unique individual.
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    Enjoy yourself. High school only happens once, so you may as well make the best of it.
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    Call your friends over the summer! Ask them when and where they want to meet up in the High school! You don't want to lose touch with them!


  • Memorize the school layout as soon as possible. It's not fun being late to a class because you couldn't find it.
  • Try to become friends with a few nice upper classmen! They can help you out and show you things about the school that you might otherwise need a year to figure out.
  • Make friends with teachers, especially the librarian if you plan to study or do work after school is out. Teachers tend to be more lenient with pupils they have a relationship with. Be bright and courteous, even if you usually aren't.
  • Take advantage of any study breaks. You'll have more homework than in middle school, so anytime you have a few minutes to work on it is good.
  • Be true to yourself. Try not to get caught up in the popularity contests, cat fights, bickering, etc. Avoiding these situations makes school much simpler. Also, simply don't get involved with drama-prone people. This will also make your life easier, because as they run out of people to fight with, they'll start arguing with you.
  • Don't judge others by their stereotypes. Goths, emos, preps, jocks, and geeks are normal people, just with different ideologies. Remember that everyone is an individual with their own thoughts and wishes, and that everyone just wants to be happy. Remind yourself of this before you make fun of someone.
  • Expand your horizons and meet new people. This sounds clichéd, but it's actually a good idea. Meeting new people sometimes can give you a wider perspective on life. Also, in high school your middle school friends may not always be in the same classes as you- so it never hurts to find other people to talk with.
  • If you do happen to stumble upon some drama, or your friends decide you're not worthy of their presence, just remember that it may seem like the end of the world, but it's not. High school isn't all about friends. They have a lot to do with it, but high school's meant to be a place of learning. Take this new social situation as an academic awakening. Your grades might actually improve without all of the distractions.
  • Try make friends with people who are different. They may have friends who like you so you will build up a lot of friends.
  • Smile at people to make them see you are a nice, happy person.
  • Join a club, and be sure to befriend the teacher in charge of it. They may put you in charge of activities or appoint you to officer positions. This will help you get friends and improve your college application. If nothing else, avoid antagonizing the adviser.
  • If there is a choice at your school to have a locker, get one! It makes organizing so much easier!
  • If you have an older sibling that go to high school, use it as your advantage and ask them questions and for advice.
  • A lot of schools require students to wear ID badges. It's for your safety, even if it causes you inconvenience. Even though it may seem silly, just wear it. After a while, you won't even notice it.
  • Be careful what friends you choose to make.
  • Be yourself!
  • Stick to the uniform/dress code if you don't want to get 'Dress Coded' (Punished for disobeying the dress code of the school)


  • On your first days, try not to act "All That" or the upperclassmen will get annoyed with you.
  • Don't prepare so much to the point you get nervous. Nervousness will hurt you, not help you. EVERYONE goes through this- you're not alone. Stay calm and do your best!
  • If anything goes wrong on the first day (e.g. you get lost or you took an embarrassing fall), don't panic. Remember, the embarrassing part is how you react. Smile it off and carry on with the rest of your day having fun!
  • Watch your mouth. Swearing is an easy habit to slip into, but not an easy one to break. Being able to swear all day long doesn't make you cool or popular; it gives you the reputation of someone with a potty mouth. Find a positive way to take out your anger, or find a substitute for curse words.

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Categories: Back to School | Surviving High School