Kiersten’s High School Survival Guide
As a recent highschool graduate, with plenty of friends that will be now going into highschool, I thought I would write a back to school blog.
There are a few things I notice that people do every year, that could be easily avoided if you know what to avoid.
First let’s be practical.
1.Freshmen year grades DO count later, don’t just slack off. Seriously.
2. Homework is important, but there is no rule that says it must be done at home. I could probably count on my fingers the number of times I actually did my homework at home. I’d write down my assignments all day, pack what I needed, and get it home, and it would sit there. For some reason, even though I brought the work home, it wasn’t ever completed when I got to school the next day…
This is why you take advantage of time in class to do homework, you might want to be the person messing around but you will thank yourself the next morning when you are not the one running around asking for help, or answers (tsk tsk.)
BONUS TIP! Don’t be me and procrastinate for projects and papers. It will kill you. Even though I have written many a paper the night before they were due, faked many book reports (having never read the book), midnight runs to walmart for supplies for the project you “forgot” was due the next day… It doesn’t mean you will be as successful a slacker as I was. ahh… memories. Don’t do it. Just say no!
Also, group projects. This is the only time I ever really don’t procrastinate. It’s not just my grade on my shoulder, it’s theirs too. I expect the same courtesy. In junior year history I had the best group ever. We seriously all worked well together, and did above and beyond and always got a 100+ on projects.
3. Taking good notes, avoid insane studying. At least in my experience, just taking the notes makes it so that I don’t have to spend an hour study… in fact… the only studying I ever did (most of the time, there were exceptions… *cough* Pre-Cal *cough*) was before the test was handed out in that class, or in free time in the class before that.
So just take good notes, listen during lectures, and have the notes ready for one last lookover the day of the test… and if you’re anything like me, you should be good.
4. Make up missed assignments! Those little assignments actually do make or break your grade alot of the time. One won’t hurt, your lowest grade drops (At china spring). I was one of the students who always used that one grade drop. (Fair Warning: My approach to homework did work most of the time, but it sometimes did lead to missed assignments, so use homework passes, or make it up that night.)
5. If you can use the internet to keep up with your grades, do it! Seriously, help yourself out here. Online you can see what your grades are, what you missed and IF by chance a teacher didn’t give you a grade on a paper you turned in (they are human, really.)… Which brings me to my next point…
6. Keep all your assignment, for at least the first grading period. Some teachers require or “suggest” (which is teacher speak for “do it or regret it later”) that you keep them even longer or in their class binder. If you do happen to get a zero on something you turned in, you can show them the grade they put on there and it will work for you. Let’s say you forget to check online for awhile and then notice you have a zero, and you threw away the sheet that you just KNOW you did. Sucks for you.
7. You are most likely not failing because the teacher “hates you”. I am just being honest here. The teacher most likely doesn’t hate you… because honestly they probably do not want you in their class again next year anyways. They really do want you to pass, move on, and get out of their roll call just as much as you want to pass.
If you are failing… talk to the teacher, a lot of them will work with you, give you some assignments to make up, test retakes, and at the very least tell you what you need to improve on.
8. Sign up for extra curriculars! One of my regrets, and other friends I have who graduated, was the fact that we didn’t have a ton of currics to put on college applications. It will make you look “well rounded”, and colleges love circles.
9. Don’t freak out, MOST freshmen don’t actually get hazed or trampled. Freshman Friday isn’t real, people don’t really usually hook arms and run down the hallway to trample you. If you’re nice to the upperclassmen, you won’t end up in a locker or with a swirley…
10. If you get lost… There is a reason teachers line the halls the first week or so, ask for help. If you need help with schedules, they have been reading them since before you were born, ask for help. Don’t cry if your late the first day, or the second, most teachers are pretty leniant when people get lost or mess up their schedules.
I remember one year I went to my math class and someone was sitting in my seat, I waited for a minute, they didn’t move. I went out to the hallway and told the teacher I had no seat. She even came in and told people to move to give me a seat. That’s when in horror I noticed, this wasn’t my class. This was another class. I was supposed to be in science. Yeahhhh…. I have had more moments like that over the years, and I survived.
11. If your schedule is messed up… Go to the couseling center, get in line (there will undoubtedly be a line, because people want to change classes, the teacher scares them, the teacher hates them, ect.), after waiting for a while, (just be happy you’re not in class!) you finally get to the front. Be polite. The counseling center is stretched to the max every year.
Be polite and kind, veryyy kind, they help you get into college.
12. Try not to lose library books. If you do though… don’t be me and be scared of telling the librarian about it. She’s nice, and cool. You can pay for the book, and continue to look for it. If you find it, and you keep the reciept, you can get your money back.
Make friends with the librarian. You can go in there during lunch and read when you’re having a bad day. You WILL need her help with future projects. She can tell you what’s new, what the good books are. She is your friend, your very helplful and knowledgeable friend.
13. Make new friends, and keep the old… One is silver… the other gold. (Gotta love girlscouts.)
Seriously though. Make new friends, but don’t let it hinder your old friendships. You will hear this over and over in your coming high school career… Balance. Learn to balance.
14. Come to class prepared! Don’t you roll your eyes at me. Not having the supplies you need leads to tardies, tardies count against you if you happen to want to exempt, (and if you have a fourth of a brain saturated in energy drinks you will want to exempt) tardies add up. If you’re me, you will want to skip every single one of those three days you have for “mental health days”. Next point.
15. Absences. If you are me you will use your first three days during the first few months… then flu season hits, or you have a funeral to attend to, or an asteroid hits your house… and you can no longer exempt. If you are me, you will miss as much school as legally possible, because you can’t exempt any ways. I’d rather take a few tests and miss nine days of school, thank you very much.
But, once your in a really really hard class, it will be your sole reason to come and not miss school. You want to exempt that class! When this is the case, only use one of your days for skip days, the other two are for unexpected emergencies, at least until like the week before finals.
Well, those were my tips, as a seasoned high school veteran. Remember to have fun, enjoy it, you will miss it, really.