back to school

Whether spent on vacation, playing with friends, reading books or working, it’s easy to forget that summer vacation always leads to the same place: The first day of school. A gut-wrenching moment indeed, the stress of returning to school can only be heightened by that most stressful of days: The first day of high school.

New cliques, team sports, gym class, pep rallies—it’s a lot to take in. In an effort to help avoid some of those first day jitters, the Tucson Local Media interns and writing staff came up with a few pointers to keep priorities in-line over the next four years.

Just remember to have fun, four years goes by fast. High school freshman, always remember to:

1. Practice lock combination at home before going to school

2. Always buy the extra large textbook covers because there’s no way you can squeeze most books into the normal sized ones

3. If an older student tries to sell you an “elevator pass,” it’s a scam. Don’t fall for it. 

4. Study more than usual for the first test in every class, because you never know how easy or hard a teacher’s tests are until after the first one.

5. Actually go to class

6. Join a club

7. Join an obscure sport because then everyone will be as bad as you 

8. Don’t cheat, it’s not worth it 

9. Take dual enrollment and AP classes to get college credits done 

10. Go to (safe) high school parties 

11. Don’t drink alcohol underage

12. When you get your license, be careful driving your friends around, and follow all traffic laws

13. Be nice to the quiet kids, they often have the most to say 

14. If you are on a sports team, don’t get injured being dumb and blow the rest of the season 

15. Go to the dance regardless of if you have a date

16. Decorate your friends’ lockers on their birthdays 

17. Start planning your senior prank now, but don’t get carried away

18. Spend time with friends, but also spend time with family before you move away for college 

19. Participate in spirit days, homecoming parades and pep rallies, if only ironically

20. Focus on all classes, but start thinking about what you are best at or what you like most for the future 

21. Don’t take your heels off at school dances: Your feet will get stepped on

22. If your school is outdoors, wear sunscreen and not the color grey: It is possible to look cute and follow the dress code 

23. Boyfriends and girlfriends are not the end of the world, and are arguably worth avoiding in high school

24. Go to sports games, even if your school’s team isn’t very good 

25. Support your friends through difficult times 

26. Avoid snacks from vending machines 

27. Be cautious of anyone who sells candy out of their backpack 

28. Don’t worry if you don’t have a car yet, get free rides from your friends 

29. Have a Halloween party, you’re officially too old for trick-or-treating 

30. Drama will blow over, don’t let it consume your life 

31. Be open to new things and new people 

32. Look up from your phone every now and then, try even putting it down every once in a while

33. Use an agenda or planner

34. Do your homework when you get home instead of late at night

35. Take as many notes as possible

36. Work in short blocks of time (30 to 45 minutes per session) instead of working for hours at a time

37. Exercise frequently, take advantage of workout equipment if your school has it

38. Don’t procrastinate: Complete big reading or writing assignments in smaller increments

39. Ask your teachers questions about material you aren’t understanding. If you feel uncomfortable asking a question in a room full of your peers, ask your teacher after class is over.

40. Hang out with people who are motivated to do well in school. Your peers will influence your success in high school more than you think.



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