Freshman year is a big adjustment, there’s no doubt about that. Classes are challenging, homework takes hours, and you actually have to study for tests. But it’s very manageable (and even enjoyable) if you make the effort and establish some good study habits.
- Go to the MRC in room 206 (Ms. Logas/Mr. Lakin’s old room). It’s not intimidating at all.
- Go talk to your teachers in their offices. That is what they’re here for. Teaching you. Science is on the second floor, as is Math. English is on the third floor in room 355 in the center of all of the English classrooms. The Social Studies office is on the third floor just before the stairwell that takes you to the lunchroom. The Business office is in the basement connected to Mr. LaScala’s room, and the Language office is in the basement as well near all of the foreign language classrooms.
- If you’d rather not talk to a teacher, go to the peer tutor center on the second floor of the library. It’s full of upperclassmen who have taken the classes you’re in now and want to help you (because they get service hours).
- Take a study hall… if you will actually be productive in it. If not, add another elective that interests you and doesn’t have much homework.
- Do your hardest homework first. If you wait until 11:00 pm to start your algebra problems, it’s not going to go well.
- Make at least one friend in each class and get their phone number. You will inevitably forget the homework assignment or need someone to explain everything to you the night before a quiz. Having a go-to classmate is essential.
- Parents are great for editing English essays. They (unlike your friends) care very much about your grades and academic success.
- Sign up for an ambitious course load every year and don’t feel bad if you have to drop one. It’s way easier to switch down than up.
- Charge your chromebook, organize your folders, remember your calculator. Pack your backpack the night before if necessary. Don’t set yourself up for failure by missing simple things.
- Check your Powerschool. Ask your teachers if you can turn in missing assignments for partial credit. Be proactive and advocate for yourself.
- Try to find your classes (at least some of them) enjoyable. If you participate and get engaged you’ll be less likely to zone out or fall asleep and more likely to do well.
- Sit front and center in your most challenging classes. It actually makes a difference.
Just like at Hogwarts, help will always be given at LFHS to those who ask for it. The most important lesson for all high school underclassmen as they adjust to a more demanding workload is to know how, who, and when to ask for help. It’s not easy for most kids but it’s essential to getting the grades you want.
In the end, remember that freshman year is a time for adjustment. If you struggle a little don’t beat yourself up. But don’t sell yourself short either. Freshman year counts toward your GPA, the track you’ll be on for future classes, and what colleges see when you apply. So you do need to try and you do need to care if you want to do well.