School Info from Kay
Okay so since I’m a senior now i feel like i should give some words of wisdom to the upcoming freshmen on how to “survive” high school and general stuff that comes with it!
- Make friends. easiest way to do this is by talking to people in class or by joining clubs. I promise you there are people out there who share interests with you, you just gotta find em
- Don’t go to big parties. I’ve been to a few and honestly they’re really boring and everyone is drunk/high and the cops might show up which just makes you anxious. Freshman year, don’t go to big parties. Instead, go chill with some friends and raid a CVS for soda and chips at 2AM. Way more fun, way less stressful. Better memories too.
- Hang out with people on weekends! People can generally give/get rides, and chilling out on weekends while studying is a really fun thing to do. Skype is also a great way to do this if rides aren’t available.
- No one notices if you are alone at lunch/in the hallway, so dont feel worried. If your friends have a different lunch than you, try to make some friends in the same lunch, or pretend youre studying if you feel awkward about sitting alone.
- Dont. Date. Upperclassmen. Its not that you’re immature or not, but its freaking creepy if an upperclassman wants to date you. There is something wrong with them if they want to date you. Especially seniors - they’re almost adults and they’re going after someone just out of middle school? thats fucked up. Just dont do it. Even if they’re cute and on the tennis team or something, don’t do it.
- Don’t have sex/send nudes “just because” Not to be proverbial, but if your friends jumped off a cliff would you? no. I know that you may feel ready, but I can promise you that it just feels bad afterward if you really arent ready. I’m a sex-positive person, but freshman year is too young to put yourself in that emotional position. It’s very stressful, and for myself personally as well as friends of mine it caused us all more anxiety than we would have gotten otherwise.
- Don’t overstuff your schedule with clubs. I tried this last year, and it was just way too stressful. Instead, focus on one or two clubs that interest you. Leave time for yourself.
- Be up front with teachers about mental health. Teachers will try to help you. They will work with you on that stuff. I can only speak from my experiences, but finding professional help for my mental illnesses actually helped me in school.
- Don’t procrastinate forever. If you have tests, prepare for them ahead of time. If you have projects, start doing research or plan. If you have a paper due, start writing before the last day. Even if it’s possible to do something the last second, the stress isnt worth
- Take time for yourself. buy that bath bomb and chill out to the sounds of metallica if you want to, binge watch voltron one weekend if you want to. Take a nap if you want to. Play some video games if you want to. Just, don’t fill your time with school. You will wear yourself out so fast.
- Talk to your friends. If you had shit friends in middle school, get new ones who listen to and respect you. Friends are there to be friendly. For those of you who have parents you trust, talk to them.
- Be super fucking gay. This obviously applies to location, but most schools now have some variation of a gsa/saga. Join them. If you’re closeted, just say you’re looking into it for a research paper or something, or that youre an ally. i can promise you there are more gay people in your school than you expect. Be gay in front of your teachers, in front of your friends, your principal, idgaf, just don’t feel obligated to be a super closeted person in high school. (disclaimer: if you are in an unsafe area do what makes you feel safest. There are tons of online forums for other info - GLSEN is great for school related saga stuff.)
- Don’t worry about dating. This can fit into the first category, and a lot of overlaps happen like that, but honestly if you cant find a boy/girl/date-friend its okay! I didn’t have a steady relationship until my junior year and no one cared at all. have fun meeting people, and dont pressure yourself into something. If you don’t like someone and they ask you out, don’t say yes just because you want to date someone. Its not worth it.
- During Summer, don’t completely slack off. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but don’t just log out of life during summer. Take extra time for yourself, and have fun, but summer is a great time to deal with mental health problems due to increased flexibility. Ex. if you want to start seeing a psychologist/therapist, summer is a great time to start. If you think you need to take medication, summer is a great time to find out.
- Take Mental Health sick days. Its a legal thing you can do. it counts as a normal sick day. Relax, drink some tea, watch a movie, take a nap.
- But if you cant take a day off… talk to your friends, don’t stress yourself with work at school. Explain to your teachers that you dont feel well, just don’t overwork!
- Don’t stand in the middle of the hallway. Upperclassmen do this too, and if they do it just shove through them. But seriously, its the worst thing to have someone or a group of people standing in the middle of the hall/doorway. If you are walking slowly, stay to the right of traffic.
- Being late to class sucks, but it’s not everything. no one really cares other than the teacher, but it’s not very fun to miss out on warmup time. Also, you can get in trouble which is crummy.
- If you are absent, talk to your teacher/classmates. Many schools have an online thing you can check for assignments, but also email your teacher if you are sick. If you know ahead of time that you’ll be out, talk to them about it. And, if possible, work on those assignments/lessons while you’re out to avoid falling behind.
- Study. Like, seriously. Even if you never had to study a day in your life before, do it. And take notes. Take notes over and over. Quizlet is great for studying, and there are a ton of studyblrs that can give you tips.
- Make your notes readable. I’ve literally had times where i couldn’t read anything ive written. It sucks, but just make sure you take your time.
- Listen to teachers rather than writing everything from the slide. Teachers usually tell you whats most important on the slide anyway. Write down what they say. And make funny notes about it - it helps you remember! There was a funny picture in the textbook? Draw it into your notes, or write about it somewhere. Teacher made a joke about the plot of a book? Write that down! Stuff like that will save you on test day!
- Don’t worry if you’re late on the first day your teachers super duper understand. This also applies if you go to the wrong class or something. No one cares.
- Have a visible copy of your schedule for at least the first 2 days. You will forget where your rooms are. You will be asked your teacher’s name. You will need to know this stuff. Take a picture on your phone or print out one and put it in your agenda, whatever suits you! Don’t put this away either - keep it out while you’re going to each class.
- Don’t stress about knowing the building. I just discovered a new wing of my school last year, so its no big deal if you don’t know every nook and cranny. Ask a teacher/janitor/whoever if you cant find your class. An upperclassman may also know!
- Don’t act like a dick. You may assume this is common knowledge, but ive met so many kids who act like they’re hot shit on the first day. Seriously, shut up, I just have to go to class and I dont need you acting personally offended when i accidentally push you. Also, if you seriously body slam someone, apologize however quickly, but also don’t be afraid to squeeze through groups of people taking up the hallway (they’re the ones being dicks, not you)
- Make room for disabled students. Whether this be students with physical or mental handicaps, giving a bit of extra room is really nice. As someone who’s been on crutches at school, being in the middle of a crowd with no room sucks. Mentally disabled students are really chill, but their teachers may want to keep an eye on them so they don’t accidentally get hurt. Be curteous.
- Get an agenda. Seriously, don’t just use your phone to write everything down. Even if your agenda is a $1 walmart version, its really useful (I got calendar sheets from target for about $1 and a binder for them for $2.) Copying down your assignments physically helps put them in your mind.
- Write. Your. Notes. Physically. As stated above, writing physically helps you remember things. A tip for those who are willing - write your notes in class messy and then rewrite them more nicely in a binder at home with just the key info. It’s another copy-to-remember session and helps you find key points. Bonus if you put those notes online for your friends to look at too.
- Don’t go to things you don’t want to. I went to my freshman homecoming dance and it sucked because I didn’t really want to be there/didn’t know a lot of people. I went to prom last year and it was awesome only because I wanted to be there. I’ve never gone to a sports game because I’m not interested. Don’t go just because all of your friends are saying “only losers don’t go” (which is a total lie). Use your parents as an excuse, or say you got sick, or whatever if you don’t want to tell them straight out you aren’t feeling it.
- Don’t feel obligated to keep up with your blog. My followers probably can tell when school starts for me because im on 10x less than usual. Its okay to use tumblr as a fun time to relax, but don’t spend more than 2 hours on it a day.
- Even if homework isnt assigned, do homework. This means studying, reading up on the next chapter, doing makeup work, working on a project/paper, etc. Do something school related for whatever subject doesn’t have homework.
- DO YOUR WORK ON FRIDAY. Please, take this one to heart. Having a less-awesome friday because you chose to do your homework means you have a less-guilty saturday and sunday (which helps you relax and prepare for the next week of school!) Alternative: do half on friday, half on saturday morning.
- Go to bed at a reasonable time. This includes if you have homework left and its midnight. Get to sleep, your paper is gunna suck even if you finish it past midnight. I know waking up sucks (im a night owl myself) but seriously, wake up an hour early, take a shower, get a coffee, and plunk yourself in front of that project. in additon, get to bed at a fairly regular time. If you go to bed at 11 every night, thats better than going to sleep at 9, then 7, then 3:30 AM. Regular sleep is key to good sleep. #ap psych taught me that.
- Don’t stay up chatting with friends. Seriously, if your friends are still awake at 4 AM tell them to get to bed! You won’t miss out on anything if you go to bed early, and even if you do, im sure it wont be so important that it couldnt wait.
- Don’t be a jerk to teachers! especially your first period jesus. Imagine how tired you are - then multiply it by 100. My mom was a teacher and she always stayed up later than me grading work and planning lessons. Teachers, even if they suck and are assholes, don’t deserve you being a jerk to them. Sure, rant about them to your friends, but don’t cause problems in their class. Youre not cool, youre just annoying if you do.
There’s so much more I could put in here, but I really feel like a lot of it just comes naturally. Everyone is different, so pay attention to your own body and needs, but don’t overwork or overstress yourself! High school should be a fun time getting to know your interests, so don’t put pressure on yourself to be the perfect straight A student! if you do, you might realize you missed out on a lot of fun!