Tips for Incoming High School Freshmen


Entering ninth grade, the first year of high school, is an exciting time. The freshman experience is full of academic and social challenges and opportunities. It is a whole new world that students should meet with enthusiasm and caution. Making the wrong academic or social decision, even early in your high school experience, can limit opportunities that will be available after graduation. It can be difficult to sort through the new information and exciting opportunities available and to set a path for success. Following some careful tips might keep you on track.

Listen at Orientation

  • Listen and try to absorb every piece of information at ninth grade orientation. At this time, teachers, administrators, support personnel and students will explain procedures and disseminate key information. Listen carefully. Knowing what services, opportunities and extracurricular and academic programs are available is essential to a successful high school experience. Don't try to come across as a know-it-all and refuse to ask questions. Orientation is your time to become informed, so that you can make the right decisions.

Obey all Rules

  • Obeying all rules so that you never get a discipline referral is easy. Simply read the student handbook to get a complete understanding of all rules. Don't blindly follow fellow classmates, who may not be concerned with rules. It is possible to get through high school without having served even one day of detention, in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension. Be respectful, get to class on time, be attentive while in class and compliant in every situation. There will be opportunities and recognition when you become a senior if there are no discipline referrals on your record.

Find Your Niche

  • Find your niche early. Ask questions, read posted materials and the handbook to determine what extracurricular activities are available. Participation in extracurricular activities has a positive impact on student achievement. Activities offer the chance to develop skills that will be useful later at work, such as time management, team work, cooperation and socialization. You might choose an activity that aligns with an established personal interest or one that broadens your horizons and social circle.

Set Goals

  • Set goals: academic, behavioral, long-term and short-term. Don't let the high school social world absorb you. Although the social aspect of high school is fun and can support the development of skills you'll need as an adult, that is not the main reason you are in school. As you select your classes, begin to consider your route after graduation. As a freshman, you need to start thinking about what career path you will take and how your short- and long-term decisions can put you on that path.


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