Freshman year is an exciting, stressful, and fresh new start for many students. It is the beginning of a four-year journey to adulthood, a time for exploring interests, trying out new opportunities, and making the most of experiences. Due to COVID-19, the Class of 2024 is experiencing new obstacles, including having four different schedules in only a period of eight weeks, while they are still getting used to Etowah. Although it can be overwhelming to step foot into a completely new domain, following just a few quick tips will make the most of your freshman year.
Arguably one of the most important skills to learn as a freshman is learning time management. For some, this comes naturally, but for many, it is a struggle. An effective way to manage time is to get an agenda and write down assignments, or to set a reminder checklist via smart phone. Cleaning out binders to stay neat and organized will also help improve time management. A clean workspace will keep the brain fresh and on task. However, the most important tip is to avoid procrastinating. Minimize the risk of procrastination by setting timers, creating a schedule, using incentives, and removing any major distractions. Having efficient time management as a freshman will not only set up students for success in high school but will be a helpful tool in all parts of life.
“Don’t procrastinate because you will regret it. This isn’t middle school anymore, and sometimes you have to try harder,” Kayna Kambou, junior, said.
With the classes, electives, and clubs high school has to offer, freshmen can get overwhelmed easily. However, it is important for freshmen to test the waters and get a feel for the high school experiences. Good advice for this is to choose electives that sound interesting, while focusing on core classes. If students like the electives and can still do well with academics, then they can continue with that elective pathway. If not, choose a new pathway sophomore year. This applies with clubs and sports too, as they can really help freshmen find interests. For more information, check out the link to the EHS Club Page here.
“Clubs are one of the most important and fun parts of being a student at Etowah. They help you be more social and make new friends, as well as showing colleges more about your personality. I’ve been in clubs, such as drama and HOSA, and I made a lot of friends off them and had a ton of fun as well with the activities we did,” Anthony Berberi, senior, said.
Academics are an integral part of high school, and freshmen should still take all classes seriously. Unlike middle school, your grades will ultimately set students on the path to their future, be that college or another career.
“I recommend not skipping class repeatedly and actually studying. Don’t take classes that you won’t make time for. Stay present,” Sasha Beltran, junior, said.
Entering high school is a shift for all students, which is why one of the most important tools for freshmen to have is someone who will help them navigate through their first year. This can come in the forms of a mentor, teacher, counselor, or friend, but having someone to talk to will be helpful. There are many upperclassmen more than willing to assist first year students if they need help or advice. It is important to reach out and ask for help when needed.
“I would advise freshmen to make sure you have at least one person that you truly trust and can rely on- someone that you can talk to mostly. It’s super important,” Alicia Isenberg, sophomore, said.
While freshman year may seem overwhelming at times, it is also the start of an exciting new chapter in one’s life. By following these tips and asking questions when needed, freshman year will be a great begininng to the next four years.