Freshman Advice

Freshman Advice

Hannah Shaw, Writer/Designer

Starting the school year can be nerve-wracking for anyone, especially for students who are entirely new to the school. Entering freshman year is accompanied by challenges unique to that grade, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

 

Questions from freshmen:

What if I get lost?

A common concern amongst freshmen is not being able to find their way around the many halls of Homestead. The size of the school on top of the construction can make the school a confusing landscape for those not accustomed to the building. “My only concern was how big that school is,” Kia Reeder (9) said. Though intimidating from the outside, Homestead is set up in blocks of classrooms, such as the 100s, 900s, 400s, and so on. Understanding where these sections are in the school can eliminate some of this stress. If knowing that is still not enough, maps are located on the wall of almost every hallway and teachers will be happy to help you find your class; all you have to do is ask.

 

How do I stay on top of my homework?

The workload of high school can seem overwhelming to those who have never had to attend seven classes a day. “I was worried about not being able to balance dance and my homework,” Madilyn McDonald (9) said. While not everyone will be participating in the same sports or afterschool activities, managing studying and homework is still important. When it comes to keeping up with your work, Canvas and a personal planner can be a huge help. Having a place to write down your upcoming assignments and tests will help you plan out your study schedule. Most teachers will have the assignments, tests, and quizzes on the weekly calendar which can assist those  who struggle with organization.

 

What if I don’t like my classes?

Antonello Cantasano (9) expressed her concern that she would “regret (her) choice of classes” prior to starting the new school year. While this is an understandable concern, there are also benefits to taking classes that may be out of your comfort zone. High school has considerably more variety in class options than middle school. This attribute makes it a perfect time to try new things and discover passions you may not have even considered to be possibilities. It is important to note that your classes are not necessarily set in stone. If you email your counselor or go to student services, they may be able to help you replace that class with something you are more interested with and comfortable in.

 

My advice:

Get involved!
I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times from a thousand different people, but it really is good advice. High school doesn’t have to just be going to classes and doing homework. With the amount of clubs Homestead has, there is something for everyone. Participating in school events, activities, and clubs is a great way to broaden your social circle and discover new things.

Ask questions!

If you are confused in a class, the best thing you can do for yourself is to ask questions. As simple as it sounds, many high school students seem to forget that their teachers are there to help them learn. A teacher will never get mad at you for not understanding something right away, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Work hard!

Another seemingly obvious piece of advice is to put your best foot forward as you start your first year of high school. Trying your hardest in your classes now will set you up for success in more challenging classes. It will also help you learn what studying techniques work best for you, which can be applied throughout the rest of high school.

Get certain classes out of the way!

Classes like health, personal finance and gym are best to take in your second or first year of school to get them out of the way. They’re required credits and therefore unavoidable, but taking them sooner rather than later gives you more freedom in scheduling later down the line.

Don’t overexert yourself!

You shouldn’t expect yourself to be doing everything, especially not in freshman year. While taking harder classes will be beneficial to you, overworking yourself to achieve impossible goals is worse than letting some of those goals go. Make high school worth your while, not just in education, but also in experiences. Have fun!

If you’re still worried, the good news is that it gets better. After a while you’ll have gotten the hang of it and begun to understand the general flow of high school better. There is no reason to feel any outlandish amounts of stress over ninth grade. “It all works out in the end” said McDonald.