Starting the School Year Strong

Whether you’re a trembling freshmen terrified of figuring out such a large school, or a senior quaking in their boots about difficult classes on the horizon, there is something each of us can learn from one another that may help pave the way towards a smoother year. The last couple of years have been rough, as older classes lost time in high school and younger classes are struggling to learn the ropes. This year, with lots of new changes to policies, testing, and the building itself, many of us are determined to change with it: we want to crush it this year, and show ourselves that we can do better than struggle hopelessly like we have before.

For students in Honors, AP, or simply find themselves in a class with lots of reading: the biggest tip I learned not only shortened the time it took for me to write notes, but also shortened my notes themselves as I got rid of excessive information. Print out the chapter you are reading, and highlight the key points you find during your first read-through; then, take notes on only the highlighted portions, consciously skipping over the areas where you became highlighter happy. This takes less time, helps you process the information better, and is easier than trying to read a smaller version of the text on your computer– only to look down, write something, then look back up and continue reading.

For the students who are still very, very confused about the rotating schedule: Powerschool. As well as an app called Saturn that displays your schedule and can connect you with your classmates in each class. Or, go old fashioned and make a little spreadsheet yourself with each class in order for every letter day and make it your lock screen until you get the hang of it.

For the students worried about making friends: you’re going to be fine! It might not feel like it initially, but there are so many opportunities each day for people to start randomly talking to you– it will happen in time. If you’re still worried, clubs are also a great way to find people who like the same things as you.

For the students who feel like they’re gonna fail a class so much they want to drop out: don’t knock it before you try it. Give it time– you might find you like this class a lot. Even if it isn’t your favorite, it’s a good idea to stay in classes that challenge you in a positive way, so that you can grow and take even better classes the next year; study groups and group chats are the answer to that nagging question of if you will pass.

Here’s to a great school year. Only nine more months!