As I take this journey through my final high school year, I look back at my past self stressing about my first day of ninth grade. I worried about the struggles I would face entering a new environment.
In high school, everyone is a part of a team, a family. We win and lose at our own pace. Although there may be competition, in the end we all want to prosper and we will do so together.
Tip 1: Be prepared for CHANGE
My first few months of ninth grade felt like a truck full of responsibility, anxiety, maturity, expectations, and individuality had hit me. Although these may have seemed like obstacles at the moment, as a senior, I know now that these skills are crucial traits of a personality that can determine someone’s entire future. Embrace them. Change is good! This is simply you growing up.
Tip 2: Stay true to YOURSELF
Many people facing new environments often feel the need to fit in and conform to their surroundings. Don’t get me wrong, adapting to new environments is great. Setting goals for yourself is a great way to stay motivated and satisfied, but a priority must be to express what you feel and not what people want you to feel. Don’t be afraid to show people who you are. Nobody approaches someone to get to know their alter ego or fake self, but with the intention of getting to know the real you. Just give the people what they want.
Tip 3: KNOWLEDGE is power
Get to know the campus, as well as the people. Step away from your clicks and try to open up your social circle. You will gain so much more from new friendships and jumping from group to group. It is also important to get to know your teachers. Getting to know them better can make a world of difference when the material gets tough and you need extra help. Also, try to analyze the campus, along with your schedule. Being able to help your fellow classmates find their way can be rewarding.
Tip 4: Clubs, Extra Curriculars, and Electives; JOIN THEM ALL!
Keep in mind that high school is not all about math, english, science, and history. Joining a club, sport, or taking on art is a great way to learn about yourself and expand your knowledge, skills and social circle. You may find courses or activities foreign enough to make you nervous. Jump in, keep an open mind and go with your gut. You are going to feel great after learning something new. If it doesn’t seem to catch your interests, switch into something that does. It’s that easy.
Tip 5: Peer Pressure. DON’T BUY INTO IT!
There is a variety of ways people can succumb to peer pressure: Drugs and alcohol, stealing, sexual activity, bullying, or unusual behavior. Ten out of 12 fellow students spoke about drugs and alcohol when asked their opinion on negative peer pressure. According to Accredited Schools Online: “When teens were surveyed about drug use, 55 percent said they started using drugs after being pressured by their friends.”
Giving in to negative peer pressure may leave one in a conflicting position for the future. Learn how to be assertive and say “no” or leave the situation, if you feel uncomfortable. Also, keep in mind that if your friends judge you negatively for this, they are not really friends. Choose your friends carefully. Going with your gut is a great way to make a confident decision in times like these. If it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Hopefully, these tips can help you enjoy a stress-free time while transitioning to the next academic stage, high school. Enjoy it!
Sofia Munilla is a senior at Palmer Trinity School.