Tips for Freshmen


LDHS on a sunny day. – Photo by Lower Dauphin School District

High school is no joke! Especially in an unsure era of mask-wearing and coming back into school after spending a lot of last year Zooming into classes, freshmen could use some tips and tricks to help them survive and thrive in this new school year.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

High school is a lot different than middle school, and a lot of experiences tied up with high school might require students to step out of their comfort zone. Trying new things and joining new clubs might make you a little uncomfortable at first, but overall will probably make you a better person who isn’t afraid of trying new things, and who is more well-rounded.

Get Involved

Getting involved goes along with stepping out of your comfort zone, but not always. The high school’s list of clubs is long, and has something for everyone! Getting involved in school activities and clubs can help you make friends, find new interests, and exercise your current interests. It’s important to not stretch yourself too thin, and to allow some time for homework, time with friends, and well-deserved relaxation.

Be Present

Whether it’s a football game with your friends or just an average school day, being present can add to your credibility with teachers, ability to complete assignments, and your overall high school experience. Focus on doing your work and showing up for class, but don’t forget to reward yourself by doing something exciting as well.

Think About Your Future

We’re all different, so we all have different hopes and dreams for our futures. By the time you get to high school, you’ve definitely spent some time pondering over the question, “What comes after high school?” The answer is different for everyone, and your task during your high school years is to find your answer to that question. You can do things within the school that pertain to your career–for example, future teachers and educators can join Educators Rising–and also choose the levels of classes based on what you want to do. Students interested in college might want to take higher level classes. But if honors classes are hard for you and you don’t plan on going to college, maybe choose a lower level. It’s important to challenge yourself while not overstressing yourself, and finding that perfect balance can challenging and stressful.

Ask for Help

Navigating high school is no easy task, and having a support system to assist you is crucial. Parents, friends, and teachers are just a few great people that would be willing to help you when you’re stressed out with assignments, class content, or with social matters. Lower Dauphin also has a great group of counselors who you can talk to confidentially. When confused on a homework assignment or announcement, don’t hesitate to ask a friend in your class or email your teacher.

High school is new and different, but it’s approaching it with a smile and the help of those close to you that can make all the difference. With these tips, you can get a great start in high school this year.