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.