By Amelia Abemayor
The past year has taught me so much about life. The scared and shy girl that began Horace Greeley High School last fall has evolved into a mature, confident, and outgoing young adult. My freshman experience was not like the movie “Mean Girls,” but was both one of the hardest and most enjoyable times of my life.
Going from middle school’s “big kids” to high school’s “babies” is a big leap during one summer. Here are 12 tips I’ve learned throughout these 180 freshman days:
1. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY!!!
It’s obvious, but important. Even if you think you know the material, review and do practice questions. Flashcards and study guides are great ideas, and websites such as www.regentsprep.org offer great practice for many subjects.
2. DON’T BREAK YOUR BACK!
Most Greeley students do not use their lockers; the campus is simply too big. Get a sturdy backpack with two straps or a comfortable messenger bag to carry those books and supplies. And don’t overbuy; your backpack shouldn’t weigh more then you do!
3. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT COLLEGE!
Yes, I know high school is when grades start to “count,” but don’t get too caught up in one bad grade. Try your hardest, do your best, and things will work out! Strive for improvement, think positive and trust me; you WILL find a college that suits you when the time comes. Do not compare your grades to others’; you are your own person!
4. TALK TO UPPERCLASSMEN!
We are just so intimidating, but finding a nice upperclassman will help you learn the ropes. They can assist with everything from finding a classroom, choosing electives or tutoring you in math. And it’s even better if they can drive!
5. USE YOUR TIME WISELY!
Greeley students have at least one free period each day of the six day cycle. If you have two “frees” on a given day, use the time to get a jump on homework. The library has tables and cubicles where you can get a lot of work done. It’s fun to socialize with friends occasionally, but two hours of homework at night is far preferable to five!
6. DO NOT LOOK FOR “I” BUILDING OR THE POOL
You are, without question, absolutely guaranteed to get lost.
7. RISE AND SHINE!
You thought middle school started early? Greeley starts at
7:45 a.m., so be on time! Unless you enjoy sitting in traffic, you’ll have to leave your house by 7:15 (bus or car). Your parents will not enjoy the emails they receive if you’re late every morning. And get enough sleep; desks do not make comfortable pillows!
8. CHECK BLACKBOARD
What even IS Blackboard, you’re wondering? Blackboard is a website used by many teachers to post information about classes, tests, homework, and even classroom notes. As not every teacher uses it, use the agenda distributed in the fall or a personal organizer to record homework and test dates.
9. NEVER PUT OFF UNTIL TOMORROW . . .
As exciting as those status updates are, Facebook will not help you figure out why a=b. You will regret procrastinating when you can barely pick up your pencil at 2 a.m. when you are still trying to complete work.
10. DON’T SKIP CLASSES!
Global Studies lectures can be thrilling, but are also when useful information for tests and upcoming assignments may be given out, so stay for the entire class. A cut slip will also guarantee you detention after school, which you’d prefer to avoid!
11. FOLLOW THE SIGNS!
A personal GPS is not necessary to get around Greeley! It may be difficult to find your way around at first, but you will get the hang of it quickly by actually looking at the strategically placed signs. This advice is for parents, too; it would be quite embarrassing to be found wandering the Greeley halls the morning after Open School Night!
12. JUST HAVE A GREAT TIME!
High school is a blast, and if you make the right decisions it can be a great experience. Be open to the new people you will meet, and you’ll make new friends. And you might even learn a thing or two!
So welcome HGHS class of 2015! Best of luck with your first year of high school!
Amelia Abemayor is now a sophomore at Horace Greeley High School, having survived freshman year intact.