Dear Freshman

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Dear Freshman,

Welcome to high school. You'll be spending the next four years of your life here. Yeah, I know. Four years seems like such a long time, but, believe me, its not really. It'll go by faster than you think. I know what you're thinking. I was once you. But it really is like what every senior will tell you. Everything we tell you is so you won't make the same mistakes we made. Nothing is clearer than foresight. Here are some tips to not only survive, but thrive in high school.

First, always be prepared for class. Bring your books. Even if you think you won't need it, bring it. Teachers like it when you're prepared, and some will take points away if you don't. And do your homework. Let me repeat that. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Not only that, but turn it in to. There is no faster way to an F then not turning in homework. It's boring and tedious, but you need those points. Even better then that, homework is practice. The more thought you put into it, the more you'll get out of it.

But being prepared for class is about more than books and homework, its about being prepared to learn. The best thing you can do for yourself is to cultivate a love for learning. The more you like to learn new things, the easier school is going to be. You're going to meet a lot of kids who have been told, by parents, teachers, or their own grades, that they're too stupid to learn. They think school is a waste of time and will drag your class back. Soon, class will seem like a waste of your time because you've spent weeks on a subject that you comprehended within the first couple of days. The only thing you can do is live through it. Reading passes the time, just don't be to obvious. And if you're the ones disrupting class, you're not funny or cool. You're annoying. Yelling inappropriate words isn't clever, in fact, its the opposite.

Next, find a group or activity with people that will accept you for you. The best friends I've ever made, I met in marching band and choir. Don't be afraid to do things that are “nerdy”. They can be weird, but nerdy kids generally won't dump you for not wearing stripes on Monday or try to make you something you're not. But also be open to new friends. Friends can be found anywhere. However, on that note, don't be afraid to leave friends who drag you down. Don't try to be a good influence. Its much easier to follow a poor influence then a good one.

One more tip. Listen to your elders and betters. Oh boy, I can hear the chorus of “What”'s from here. Let me explain. Listen to people who are older and smarter then you. You're teachers are a good example. They work very hard to make you smarter and are very underrated. They're underpaid, spend their days with kids who disrespect them and what they do, deal with parents who are angry about their kid's inability and blame them, and than finish planning for the next day and grade papers. So give them some respect. Also listen to your good seniors. Not the ones selling drugs in the parking lot, but the ones who lead. The captain of your sports team, your choir/band's section leader, officers of the club you're in, or anyone you look up to. Because they're in positions of leadership, they'll be willing to help you with any questions you may have.

Don't worry. They'll be good days, bad days, and days that just suck the life out of you. Just do you're best. High school doesn't last forever. In fact, it goes by really fast. Enjoy it while you can. And make good decisions. Make high school as great as it should be.





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