First Day of High School: Tips for Freshmen
You know what time it isssss… live it up, middle girl summer time?! WRONG. It’s back to school. But will we be channeling summer energy throughout this entire year? 1000%. This post is dedicated to the incoming freshmen who are totally freaking out right now. If you’re concerned about who you’re supposed to be, making new friends, being included… don’t worry for a single second longer.
I want to acknowledge that a lot of people reading this post are entering their respective high schools under a huge variety of circumstances. Some of you will be stepping into a completely new environment with absolutely no pre-established friend group or reputation, while others may be seeking to reinvent themselves in a high school setting surrounded by people who have known them for years now. Tip #1 is realizing that there’s definitely going to be space for you to redefine yourself in high school and that can mean a lot of different things. It can mean trying a new sport or involving yourself in the arts. For some, it can also mean running with a fast-paced group because you initially thought that was going to make you automatically ‘popular’ and for others it means removing yourself from that toxic friend group. You really are in control of the person you want to be separate from the judgments and pressure from others, it just takes a really secure sense of confidence in yourself to get there.
ALSO p.s. This post is not a ‘things I wish I would’ve known before high school’ or ‘goals for the school year’ situation. I can definitely write those if you want but this is more just a little intro to high school post for freshmen.
Are you scared you won’t have friends in any of your classes? Well don’t be. I once saw a tiktok of this friend group at dinner and the caption read something like ‘just 6 months ago we were sitting in the same chem class as strangers’. They were literally all lab partners once or something like that and grew really tight over the year. ISN’T THAT SO CUTE?! I am literally still envious. Embrace the possibility of new friendships. A lot of the people who will be in your classes are the same people you’ll run into at functions or will be the senior class president or the valedictorian OR YOUR PROM DATE! Take this as an opportunity.
Also, middle school stress levels are really different than high school academic pressures. Rest assured, you are prepared and ready! High school classes are not anything impossible to handle. You are perfectly capable of being successful if you identify your best times to focus and stick to that. Once you get in the groove of understanding what works for you it will all click into place. For example, you may find that you’re totally a morning person (SAME, I think). I got to school an hour early every day last year to get started on my homework before school and it was so so much less stressful for me in the afternoons. You may have a free period or a random lunch block where you can run to the library to get some work done. Maybe you’re really great at night. But the thing is YOU HAVE TO COMMIT. When it comes to school work time put the phone on airplane mode and just get it done. Procrastination gets the best of us high schoolers, that’s a known fact, but there have been many avoidable procrastination episodes. Take breaks OF COURSE but also realize that you have to commit if you want to get the homework out of the way.
Cliquey friend groups
If you’re concerned about archetype friend groups creating a social hierarchy at school that is so valid. It’s true that even non-cliquey high schools have cliques. Tell me what makes a jock so cool besides being good at a sport or (I hate the word nerdy but) nerdy guy so unique besides knowing a lot of stuff. A lot of people will rightfully be concerned with the social scene, the hierarchy, and making sure they fit somewhere in it. I’ll just say it like this: you don’t want to be confined to one circle. You’re a dimensional person with a lot to give, more than just looks or smarts but everything combined. You will be pressed to find them but seek out individuals at school who are not hyper-focused on the way they are perceived but on the way they connect with their peers and the way they make you feel about yourself. At the same time, set that example on your own and attract what you are looking for in a friend.
Being the fresh-y.
In 7th grade at my 7-12 middle/high school, 7th graders are called sevies. It’s supposed to be some deregetory name but at the same, I honestly thought it was funny. Being the youngest means you may not make the school play or the varsity soccer team. It may mean that older kids look past you, cut you in line, or scoff at you in the halls. I get how intimidating older kids can be but that fear lasts maybe a month or two. Eventually, you and all your classmates will find comfort in your place as the youngsters. Just remember that you’re not alone in this concern because you are one of MANY MANY freshmen who feel this way. Also, hold on to this feeling and remember to my nice to the freshman when you’re a sophomore, junior, and senior.
Supplies → aside from your typical school supplies
Locker kit (you can get locker accessories from the container store but I outgrew the frilly pink stuff after freshman year so don’t invest too much money)
Jansport or Herschel backpack
Great water bottle
Some version of headphones
Sunscreen (not trying to be a mom but sunscreen is actually REALLY important)
Instead of using a lunch box I normally take my snack in a mini reusable shopping tote
We got this,