By Humaam Said
As I start my last year of high school, I can’t help but think about what I would do differently with three years of experience. Over my three years at GVHS, there are a lot of tips that I’ve learned that would have aided me. Here’s my list of five things I wish I knew going into freshman year.
Join a club you find interesting.
Every guidance counselor, teacher, and upperclassman will push you to join clubs. There are two main benefits to joining clubs. College admission boards look for leadership roles in clubs and participation in clubs to see a well-rounded student. The other main benefit is connecting with new people. I’ve met a variety of students from different grades simply by being in the same club. Clubs give you the ability to socialize and connect with other people that you would normally not find. A fear I had was that I would join a club a year or two too late. Nearly every club will welcome new members no matter when they join (I joined Newspaper Club in my senior year). Find a club you’re interested in and give it a shot!
Failing doesn’t mean you aren’t succeeding.
Don’t assume you’re not doing well if you’re struggling through classes. I remember getting back my first lab in Honors Chemistry only to find I had scored 10%. Naturally, I freaked out thinking that I was going to fail the class and be forced to repeat a year. After that incident, I corrected my mistakes and scored higher on my labs. Getting bad grades, struggling through classes, and making slow progress is all part of learning. Hard work and dedication is needed for learning anything in life, and struggling doesn’t mean you’re not doing well. Put in work, and the result you get is your effort amounted to.
Please manage your time!
I was one of those people who went to practice, came home, and immediately hopped onto Discord and played video games until the fear of not doing homework took over at 10 PM. I wish I made myself relax less and saw my homework as a priority. As homework begins to pile up, studying takes up more and more time to complete. Make sure to give yourself adequate time to study. Sleep is really important!
Connect more with teachers.
Teachers are people too (surprising, right?). Talk with your teachers, interact with them, show them respect, and joke around a bit. I only had one teacher I would consider close in my freshman and sophomore year. Although we are going online to start the school year, try to get to know some of your teachers. All teachers attempt to understand each student in their class. Even if you’re shy at first, try to talk to your teachers and see how it works out.
Cherish the time you have at school.
There’s a lot of activities I wish I went to when I had the chance. I missed my sophomore homecoming dance, I never played a spring sport, & I never volunteered to make the homecoming float (although I was busy). Don’t waste the opportunities you come by in school. With COVID-19 closing down schools and canceling once in a lifetime events like JProm and Senior Prom, we’ve come to realize how irreplaceable these experiences are. Cherish events and moments like these. Cherish hanging out with your friends before you have to start thinking about college. Cherish every class you have with teachers because, eventually, they’ll come to an end.
This is in no way a complete list of everything you’ll need to know going into high school. As a rising senior, there’s a lot I regret. The experiences and regrets I had in high school made me realize how quickly time flies. Good luck to all the freshmen coming into a school year full of uncertainty. I look forward to hopefully meeting some of you soon!