- Don't skip orientation. I had a lot of friends freshman year who didn't come the first day because they thought they were "too cool" or orientation was "pointless". Guess who the ones were asking for directions the next day? Orientation is a great time to get a feel for the school administrators and to start to find your way around campus. So whatever you do, don't ditch!
- Take a tour of the school before your first day. At my school they have a day where just the freshman go so that they can get to know their way around the school. If your school starts everyone on the same day, go with your friends and run through your schedules. This will prevent getting lost and help you be more relaxed on the first day.
- Abide by the dress code. My school keeps a couple of boxes of hideous school sweatshirts and sweatpants around for anyone who breaks the code so make sure you are well within the limits of what they allow.
- Don't carry more than you have to in your bag. Remember, there is always a locker if you need extra storage and nobody wants to be weighed down by all the extra stuff in their bag.
- Having only the basics in your bag can also eliminate precious time wasted searching through your bag for pens, pencils, your phone, etc.
- Don't carry binders unless you absolutely have to. They add a ton of weight to your bag and are not completely necessary. Opt for a multi-pocket folder and a couple of notebooks instead.
- If a teacher says no phones in class, then they mean no phones in class. They will ALWAYS catch you.
- Be prepared to work hard. The workload in high school is approximately double what you had in middle school/ primary school. There is nothing that impresses a teacher more than a good work ethic. Yeah it's good if your smart, but it's a heck of a lot more important to be a hard worker than to be smart.
- Don't over run yourself with too many extracurricular activities. If you try and do too much at once, you won't be able to stay caught up in everything and you won't end up being able to do what you want to do.
- Go school supply shopping before the first day. My mother is convinced that we need to go the first day and find out what we need for the class before we go shopping. Do not do this. Everything will be picked over and you will have to have the boring pens all year.
- If you do have to settle for whatever you can find, personalize it and make it your own with colorful markers, decorative tape, and of course, glitter!!!
- Check out the thrift store when looking for binders. They are so cheap and way worth it if they are in good condition
- Make sure that you have a well balanced schedule.
- Don't take AP classes as a freshman unless you are extremely dedicated/ obsessive. AP classes are college level classes and I don't think that most freshman know what they are getting themselves into when they enroll in an AP course. Just know that at the end of the year, there is a test that will determine if you get credit or not. Fail the test, and you don't get any college credit. Check to see if the schools you want to go to accept the credit otherwise, it will be useless to you.
- Don't procrastinate. Do your assignments on time and fight to get the best grade possible. Most teachers are reasonable if you talk to them. Just know that there are a few teachers out there that are not willing to negotiate grades with the student.
- Be confident, but don't be overly confident. Over-confidence just annoys the upperclassmen and trust me, you do not want to get on their bad side. Instead, smile and remember who you are and who you want to become. Stand tall, be kind, and treat everyone how they want to be treated.
- If you have a class with a cute boy, sit by him! There is no better way to start of high school than getting to know people, especially if they have date potential. If you are shy about it, you'll never get to know him and trust me, you will regret it later in life.
- Don't date until you are ready. Don't feel pressured that you have to have a boyfriend/girlfriend right away. It is totally fine to wait until you are ready. I'm not allowed to date until I'm sixteen and I'm totally okay with that because I honestly don't know if I could emotionally handle dating quite yet.
- Make some friends before school starts. I live in a small town and I totally know how cliquey everybody can be. Your experience will be a lot more fun if you have a good solid group of friends before you start high school.
- Watch your tongue. Rumors spread so fast among so many teenagers. Be careful what you say and never say something about someone if you wouldn't say it to their face.
- Smile! Trust me, it is everyone's best feature. If you smile, you will appear more open to conversation and you will be more likely to meet new friends.
- Be involved. Trust me, school will be no fun if you are not involved. Go to games, dances, join clubs/ sports teams, anything will make all the difference on the memories that you make in high school.