20 Tips for High School Freshman Year

June 22, 2023
6 min read

Are you entering your freshman year wondering what to do to enhance your experience? We’ll cover things to do freshman year of high school so you can make the most of it.

Entering high school as a freshman can be both exciting and daunting, as it marks the beginning of a new chapter in your academic journey. With new responsibilities, increased independence, and a more rigorous curriculum, it's essential to approach your freshman year with a proactive mindset and a list of strategies to thrive. 

From establishing good study habits to building relationships and seeking out extracurricular activities, your high school experience will be one to remember with these effective tips. 

To help you navigate this transition smoothly, we have compiled nine valuable tips for high school freshmen. Let’s begin!

20 Things to Do Freshman Year of High School

Here are things to do in your freshman year of high school. 

1. Get a Planner

Getting a planner can greatly enhance your organizational skills and help you stay on top of your academic and personal responsibilities. Invest in a planner that suits your preferences, whether that’s a physical notebook or a digital app. Record important dates, such as assignment deadlines, exam dates, and extracurricular commitments. 

You can also use your planner to break down large tasks into smaller, manageable steps, creating a roadmap for completing them. It can also be used to create your four-year high school plan. You can also effectively manage your time and prioritize your tasks by visually mapping out your schedule. 

Regularly review your planner to ensure you're aware of upcoming deadlines and can allocate adequate time for studying, extracurricular activities, and personal time. 

2. Set Personal Goals

Setting personal goals can be important in making the most of your freshman year. Start by thinking about what areas you want to set goals for, whether in academics, extracurricular involvement, social interactions, or personal well-being. 

Set specific, measurable, and realistic goals that align with these areas. For example, you may aim to maintain a certain GPA, join a club or sports team, make new friends, or develop better time management skills. Break down your goals into smaller milestones and create an action plan with specific steps to achieve them. 

Be sure to evaluate your progress on a consistent basis and make adjustments as needed. Setting personal goals will give you direction, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment as you navigate your freshman year and beyond!

3. Pick Electives You Find Interesting 

Picking electives that you find interesting allows you to explore your passions and expand your knowledge beyond the core curriculum. Take the time to research the elective options available at your school and identify courses that align with your interests or potential career paths. 

Choose electives that genuinely excite you, whether it's art, music, computer science, or a foreign language. These classes allow you to delve deeper into areas of study you enjoy, and may even help you discover new talents or interests. 

4. Explore Extracurricular Activities

Exploring extracurricular activities offers opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and social connections. Start by discovering what clubs, sports teams, arts programs, or community service opportunities are available at your school. Consider your interests, talents, and goals when selecting activities to pursue.

Don't hesitate to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Engage actively in your chosen activities, attending regular meetings, practices, or rehearsals. This commitment will allow you to develop new skills and meet like-minded people. 

5. Don’t Procrastinate 

Not procrastinating is crucial for freshmen as it helps them stay on top of their academic responsibilities and reduces stress. Develop a proactive mindset and prioritize tasks as soon as they are assigned. 

Break down large assignments into smaller, manageable tasks, and create a schedule to allocate dedicated time for each task. Avoid delaying or putting off assignments until the last minute, as this can lead to rushed work. 

Instead, establish a routine of working consistently and completing tasks on time. Use effective time management techniques, such as setting deadlines for yourself and utilizing productivity tools or apps to stay organized. 

By tackling assignments promptly, you'll have more time for revisions, a deeper understanding of the material, and the ability to seek help if needed. 

6. Try to Make New Friends

It can be scary trying to make new friends. However, it allows you to expand your social circle and create meaningful connections. Start by being open and approachable, showing genuine interest in others, and initiating conversations. 

Participate in group activities, clubs, or sports teams to meet like-minded individuals. Attend school events or social gatherings to engage with your peers and be more relaxed. Be yourself and embrace your unique qualities, as authenticity attracts genuine connections!

7. Take Advantage of Resources

Take advantage of your school’s resources. Start by familiarizing yourself with what’s available, such as the library, tutoring services, academic support programs, and online databases. Make use of these resources to aid your learning, seek clarification on challenging topics, and improve your study techniques.

Attend workshops or seminars that offer guidance on time management, study skills, and test-taking strategies. Also, take advantage of your teacher's office hours to ask questions, seek feedback, and gain a deeper understanding of the subjects you're studying. 

8. Connect With Teachers and Staff

Take the time to introduce yourself to your teachers and build positive relationships with them from the start. Attend classes regularly, actively participate in discussions, and ask questions to demonstrate your enthusiasm for learning. Take advantage of your teacher's office hours to seek clarification on topics, discuss assignments, or gain additional guidance.

Additionally, connect with other staff members, such as counselors, librarians, and administrators, who can provide valuable support and resources throughout your high school journey. Building connections with teachers and staff creates a network of support, enhances your learning experience, and opens doors to mentorship opportunities.

9. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It can be so easy comparing ourselves to others. It’s a bad habit that all of us have experienced at one point in our life. It's natural to notice your peers' achievements, talents, or appearances and feel the pressure to measure up. 

However, constantly comparing yourself can lead to self-doubt, anxiety, and a skewed sense of self-worth. Remember that everyone has their unique journey and strengths. Focus on your growth, progress, and goals instead of constantly comparing yourself to others.

10. Focus On Your Mental Health

Focusing on your mental health during your freshman year of high school is important. High school can be a big transition, and it's normal to sometimes feel overwhelmed. Take breaks when needed, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you struggle. 

Find healthy ways to manage stress, like exercising, talking to friends or family, or practicing relaxation techniques. Make time for activities you enjoy and prioritize self-care. Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

11. Find Out Which Study Method Is Right For You

Freshman year is a great time to discover how you study best! You might need to explore methods like the Pomodoro technique, Active Recall, or joining study groups. Understanding your study style boosts your awareness about learning. Space out your study sessions to avoid last-minute cramming. It's all about setting up a solid schedule for yourself.

12. Go to School Events

During your freshman year, it's important to go to school events. Even though it might seem scary at first, give it a try! Whether it's football games, dances, or fundraisers, these events are awesome opportunities to meet new people, explore your school, and have a blast. 

Don't miss out just because you're nervous. Many regret not getting involved during freshman year because they didn't give it a chance. Freshman year offers the most free time, so make the most of it by joining in on the fun!

13. Participate in Volunteer Opportunities

Some schools may require service hours for all grades, which can be fulfilled through volunteering. Not only does volunteering help complete these hours, but it's also rewarding and beneficial for college applications, although thinking about college might already feel tiresome. 

You can look for volunteering opportunities locally or search for them virtually. Your high school guidance counselor or teachers can help you discover upcoming volunteer opportunities. Choose something you enjoy and can consistently commit to.

14. Have the Right Mindset

Entering high school means stepping into a whole new world. It's different from middle school – new environment, teachers, grading systems, and peers. You could slide by in middle school, but mediocrity isn't accepted in high school. 

So, it's crucial to approach high school with the right mindset. Don't stress about rumors of it being super tough; it's not as bad as it seems. Starting with the assumption that everything will get harder might make things tougher for you. Stay positive and open-minded, and you'll navigate freshman year just fine.

15. Learn New Skills

Learning new skills during your freshman year of high school is a great idea. Having additional skills can open up new income opportunities, both while in school and after graduation. There are plenty of useful skills you can learn, both online and offline. 

Online skills like copywriting, digital marketing, writing, videography, graphic design, and computer programming are valuable today. Offline skills such as makeup, hairstyling, artistry, fashion design, and baking are also beneficial. 

Consider learning skills that coincide with your career goals, as they can enhance your resume and make you more competitive in the job market. For instance, if you aspire to be an engineer, learning coding or programming would be a valuable addition to your skill set.

16. Don’t Fall Behind On Your Schoolwork

High school brings new challenges and responsibilities, so staying on top of your assignments and studying regularly is essential. Falling behind can make it harder to catch up and may lead to stress and lower grades. Create a study schedule, prioritize your tasks, and seek help from teachers or classmates if you struggle with any subjects.

17. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Freshman year is your time to learn, and being curious and asking questions is a big part. Whether you're diving deeper into a topic or simply confused about something new, it's important to bring up your questions early. Asking questions shows that you're interested, engaged, and eager to understand, which is positive.

High school is also a great opportunity for shy students to overcome anxiety by speaking up in class. Remember, your teachers and peers are there to support you, so don't be afraid to seek out answers and clarify your doubts.

18. Maintain a  Healthy and Active Lifestyle

Eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep each night. Regular exercise is also crucial for staying fit and reducing stress. Find physical activities you enjoy, whether joining a sports team, going for walks, or participating in fitness classes. 

Taking care of your body will improve your physical health and boost your energy levels and mood, helping you succeed in academics and extracurricular activities. So, prioritize your health and make time for exercise and self-care every day.

19. Start Thinking About College

It’s never too early to start thinking about colleges and what programs you may want to apply to. You don't need to stress about it too much, but having it in your mind is good. Think about what you want to study or what kind of career you want. 

Keep your grades up because they'll matter when you apply to college later. Start exploring different colleges and what they have to offer. Talk to your school counselor or older students for advice. It's never too early to start preparing for your future!

20. Enjoy the Journey

High school is a time of new experiences, friendships, and growth. Embrace the challenges and successes that come your way. Appreciate the moments with your classmates, teachers, and friends. Cherish the memories you make and the lessons you learn. 

Don't get too caught up in the stress of academics or worries about the future. Instead, focus on living in the present and making the most of each day. Freshman year is just beginning your high school adventure, so enjoy every moment.

FAQs: Tips for High School Freshman Year

If you still have questions about things to do freshman year of high school, check out our answers to these frequently asked questions.

1. Is Freshman Year Hard in High School?

Freshman year can be a significant transition that presents challenges for some students. While the difficulty level varies from person to person, it is generally regarded as a crucial adjustment period. The increased workload and higher academic expectations can make freshman year feel more demanding compared to middle school.

However, with proper preparation, time management, and support from teachers, parents, and peers, it is possible to overcome the challenges and have a successful freshman year. Remember that sometimes it is normal to feel a bit overwhelmed, but seeking help and utilizing available resources can make the transition smoother. 

2. How Do You Get All A's in Freshman Year of High School?

Achieving straight A's in freshman year of high school requires commitment, effective study strategies, and academic engagement. First, set clear and realistic goals for each subject, providing you with a roadmap to success. 

Develop a consistent study schedule that allocates dedicated time for each subject, allowing you to stay organized and avoid procrastination. Actively participate in class, take thorough notes, and review and revise them regularly. Seek help from teachers, tutors, or online resources when needed, ensuring that you have a strong grasp of the concepts. 

3. What to Do When You're a Freshman?

As a freshman, you can do many things to enhance your high school experience. Joining extracurriculars such as a sports team or club can help you gain valuable life experiences and make new friends!

4. Is Freshman Year the Easiest Year of High School?

Freshman year is not typically regarded as the easiest year. While some students may find it relatively manageable, others may face challenges during this transitional period. Freshman year often involves adjusting to a new school environment, increased academic expectations, and a different social dynamic. 

That being said, the perception of difficulty can vary among individuals. Some students may find freshman year less challenging than subsequent years, while others may find it more difficult.

5. How Do Freshmen Prepare for Their First Year in High School?

Freshmen can prepare for their first year in high school by getting organized, meeting new people, and adjusting to the new environment. They might attend orientation events, explore the school layout, and familiarize themselves with their class schedule. 

Freshmen also often focus on developing good study habits, finding extracurricular activities to join, and seeking support from teachers and counselors. It's a time of transition as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of high school life.

Final Thoughts

Transitioning into high school as a freshman can be both exciting and challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be. These tips for high school freshmen will help you navigate high school confidently and easily. 

Remember, freshman year is just the beginning, and it lays the foundation for the rest of your high school journey. Embrace the growth opportunities, stay motivated, and don't hesitate to ask for help when needed. 

With determination and a proactive mindset, you can make the most of your freshman year and set yourself up for a fulfilling and rewarding high school experience.

Good luck!

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