High School Survival Tips

Coming into high school can be a very daunting experience. Have no fear for here is some advice from fellow ELHS students who are almost at the finish line and can help you overcome the obstacles ahead.


According to Oxford Dictionaries, the term freshmen was

According to Oxford Dictionaries, the term freshmen was "a word first used of a university student at Cambridge over 500 years ago". Photo provided by usnews.com

Lianys Olmeda, Staff Writer

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The high school halls can feel like an endless maze at times, but it is important to remember that there are other students who feel just as lost as you do. Everybody is trying to figure out which classes are the best to take and whether they will be prepared for tomorrow’s test or if there was any homework last night. Nevertheless, there is some advice that can act as a guiding light amidst all the chaos and help newcomers have a successful high school experience. For instance, when it comes to homework and tests, one of the most important things to remember is the perpetual truth that “procrastination equals death by homework,” as senior Aliyah Cruz wisely states. Though it is tempting to binge watch another series on Netflix or do virtually anything else than to finish that English paper, that procrastination will eventually catch up and overwhelm you. Soon it’ll be two a.m. and coffee is the only thing keeping you from passing out on your desk from exhaustion. Instead, it is better to space out the work, like writing a paragraph a day, until the work is finally complete. In this way your essay or any other assignment will be more coherent and thought-out, and you will be fully rested.
Furthermore, it can be tempting to blame teachers for the huge amounts of work piled up by the end of the week, instead of procrastination. However, kindness and patience can go a long way. As senior Sarah Kenney says, “Be nice to your teachers because if a teacher likes you they are more likely to help you succeed.” They’re probably just as tired and ready for the weekend to come, so respect them and they will respect you. Being considerate of others can apply to not only high school but to life in general. Often the best school advice can apply to anyone and to any situation. This was evident when senior Talin Yousef turned to the most reliable source of all for advice. She went to a Chinese restaurant recently and came across a particularly insightful message from a fortune cookie. It said, “Progress means taking risks. You’ve got to challenge yourself.” When entering the unfamiliar world of high school, it is easy to stay in one’s comfort zone. Yet trying new things can open a wide range of opportunities like making new friends. “Use your time wisely by participating in volunteer work and engaging in fun extracurricular activities. Don’t be afraid to join a club or sport at East Lake. They can provide you with great opportunities to meet new people and have fun,” said senior Jasmine Barnych. There are a great variety of activities and clubs to participate in; from Spanish Club to student government, there is something for every student.
Sometimes all those clubs and sports can be intimidating and a lot of work. It can be hard juggling extracurriculars, school, and life outside of school all at once, but as senior Danielle Barnych says, “As long as you study and keep a positive mindset, you can’t really fail.” As cliché as it may sound, how will you know what it’ll be like if you don’t try anything at all? When the time to pick next year’s classes comes, choose things that you’re interested in and that will get you to where you want to be, but also don’t be afraid to try new subjects. Also, as junior Madison Platt says, “Plan your schedule in advance, so you know which classes you should get ahead on or wait for.” This can save a lot of time and unnecessary conflict. Keep the future in mind while choosing your classes, but don’t forget to pick ones that interest you and help you hone in on your passions. “Freshman year matters; you don’t have to overwork yourself but make sure you still do well,” senior Rossmary Romero says. This is important to remember because sometimes one can get caught up in all the papers and homework and forget to have fun through it all. Which brings me to the most important advice of all: time flies by. Soon these years will be memories and you will be at the finish line looking back over the path you’ve just run through. So don’t rush, look around, enjoy the experiences and make the most of these few years so that when you too become a 12th grader, you can look back at high school as a time of hard work and dedication, but also as a time of friendships and irreplaceable memories.
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