Freshmen year is ultimately the beginning of the end in most students minds. At that point in time they are just beginning the final stages of their adolescent life. They are beginning to experience more of what it is like to be an adult. They have more independence, trust, and responsibilities than they have ever had before and it seems as if every choice they make can impact their future. And not always for the good.
Every class that they take prepares them for the harder ones to come. There is no time to mess around during class. Especially the core classes. It is harder to switch out of a class than it was before. You are not even guaranteed to be with only people in your grade either. You won’t already have a friend to get notes from in class. Every class you take counts toward your diploma so no more “just for fun” classes.
Teachers don’t care if you have a project in another class so you could end up with multiple projects. Some teachers even make work due the same week or even same day.
You also have to worry about extracurricular activities and sports in addition to your school work. Those types of things look good for colleges so you should start them early. Do not wait around until senior year to do volunteer work and other activities of that nature.
When you are a part of a sports team you have to make sure you are getting your school work because for most games you have to leave before school is over. So, there is a lot of make-up work that comes with playing a school sport, in addition to having time to do your everyday homework since most high school sports practice every day of the school week.
Another really hard thing about freshmen year is learning about who your real friends are. You can really tell who a person is when they are under stress. But that’s high school, the most challenging, difficult, and life-altering time of your life.
Somehow it’s all worth it, though, once you finally walk across that stage, four years later to receive your diploma.
E-mail Ashli Jamison at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Editor’s note: Ashli Jamison just completed her freshman year at Culpeper County High School. In this column she offers some insights from her journey and some tips for incoming freshmen.)