Freshman year in high school is an exciting time. It’s a time for new beginnings. It brings new opportunities, new friendships, and a new level of freedom and independence. That’s a lot of change and change can be exciting to some, and frightening to others. Parents can be supportive of their child through this transition by discussing fears, dreams, and plans for high school while reassuring that their child has all kinds of support available to them. Support includes tutoring, Teachers, School Counselors, School Psychologists, Social Workers, School Nurses, and Administrators. There are many ways to get involved in high school which helps students feel connected to their school, somewhat easing the social transition. There are a variation of athletics, clubs, and organizations that appeal to a diversity of tastes. There is rarely a dull moment in high school. There seems to always be some sort of activity happening, whether it’s a sporting event, a Pep Rally, a Faculty vs. Student Basketball game, a play, a choral concert, a band concert or competition, a DECA competition, a club meeting or activity, or community service being performed by one of our student organizations.
There are a few things that would be helpful to keep in mind as students begin high school. There will likely be a larger time commitment to academics. Students should be ready to spend more time each night preparing for their classes. That means studying in addition to completing required assignments. Guiding students to develop a nightly routine can be helpful.
Help students to understand that final grades are being permanently recorded on their transcripts at the completion of each class, which begins as early as the end of 1st semester in freshman year. Older students sometimes say that they regret their performance in the first year or two of high school. They wish they had listened when they were told to take their studies seriously — if only they had thought more long-term.
Extracurricular activities require a time commitment as well. Students will need to quickly learn how to find the right balance between their studies and extracurricular activities. For example, athletics may require daily practice after school and several games during the week depending upon the sport. Some clubs and organizations have meetings before or after school and perform community service after hours. It is important for students to realize that they must be more efficient with their time when adding extra activities. In order to get enough time for homework and sleep, they may have to sacrifice time elsewhere.