High school is finally here; you are so very lucky! While you are having fun, new doors and opportunities will open up for you. Yes, it is true, that at one time, you didn’t have to starting thinking about what you were going to do with the rest of your life, until the end of your junior year. Now, be aware, that while you are still suppose to be enjoying high school “in the moment”, by the beginning of sophomore year, if not by the end of one’s freshman year, you will be exposed to ideas to toss around in your mind. Will it be too much stress for you? It just might be, but while “being in the moment”, remember that there is nothing wrong than to start giving some thought as to whether you would be happy in a science field or perhaps in a career that might spark that creativity in you! Even if you have a general idea, at least you will know what direction certain course choices will take you!
Entering high school as a freshman is quite an adjustment! You might have already been given a thought as to an elective to choose from as you enter your first year of high school, your freshman year. It is quite probable that you have already seen how big your high school is and wonder how you will ever find your way around. Think back to how you felt before you entered your middle school or junior high. Everything is relative, and you too, will not be intimidated by the size much longer; once again, you will be able to run through the halls, following your schedule, as you did in your previous school, before the first day of school.
Some children like to start out choosing every activity in the book! Others, would rather sift their way through the first semester of the year, and get a feel for what lies ahead and what is available. If you are the type, to start at slowly and readjust to high school, where you will find a balance in life, that is fine. You might not be the kind of teenager that wants to “dive in”. That is perfectly alright, but do remember, if you don’t join a sport or the band, you still need to not hear about all the fun that kids are having, but you should be part of the fun, as well! Go to the prom, write for the school newspaper, make a difference for a “cause” in your school community! Involvement does not always mean to have a long-term commitment such as being part of the football field. You can become involved by being active and going to football games with your friend, going to dances and pep rallies, joining at least one club, (not 10), but do join at least one thing.
In the future, become aware that colleges will ask how involved you were in high school. They would rather see you join 1-2 clubs for your freshman year, and then more the following year, then for you to start out with Student Government, chairman of 5 things, a member of 8 clubs, and then drop down to nothing. They like to see an increase in activities, while a change within organizations. For example, you might be a homeroom representative for the Honor Society; next year, you might want to run for an officer and if you don’t win, you might win the following year. Growth is the answer, as well as the world seeing you progress!
Be cognizant that fun activities such as those pep rallies can be written about in a college essay, but you should actually “join” something, even if you only go to two meetings. Did you join the Spanish Club freshman year, but had to stop going to meeting during the second half? The ceasing of meeting involvement will not show up when applying to colleges; you merely have to state that you were a member of it during your freshman year. Usually, the Guidance office will give you an empty list that you have to fill out for them, of what you did during high school. This list will empower you, especially if your SAT scores are not that high. This grouping will show involvement, caring, citizenship, and leadership and growth. Outside activities in your community or church will also count.
The main thing while entering high school is to decide just how much you want to tread water. While not being in an organized sport, do join something and go to outside activities while you are having fun. Just know and learn from the author of this article, that it is important to show a balance of work and play. There have been so many kids in high school that wish they knew ahead of time, that this empty list would be handed to them. Being cognizant of the fact in advance, will take the pressure off as you go through your high school years. It is just nice to know that while enjoying the present, mapping out your life a little bit, will help you in the future.
If, in your junior year, you were asked if you wanted to take a journalism course as an English, rather than as an elective, you might want to have already had a year of self-discovery. If you know that you not only would never work for a newspaper or magazine and absolutely hate to write, you might decline this offer. If, on the other hand, you believe adults who have told you that it will actually help you, so that report-writing during your senior year or college will become easier if you do take the course, you will not be so much “on guard”. Again, if there is an Ancient History course that will count towards an English Literature requirement and you love that sort of thing, wonderful!If you would rather tinker with computers, be in a science lab, or create and invent new things, you would be aware of why you are choosing or declining a course!
Know yourself and know how much you can handle! Before entering your freshman year of high school, determine the type of person you are and the type that you want to grow into, while still being yourself. Are you a doer, or do you stand on the sidelines? Growth does not change you; it will only enhance who you already are! Enjoy high school; it really is the best time in your life, believe it or not!