Shao: What was life like as a freshman in high school?

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Think Piece: What was life like as a freshman in high school?

Leaving Middle School
High school is supposed to be the part of your life where you explore options, and discover what your future can look like. For most people, high school is nothing more than an unnecessary education that’s required for college. Freshman year is the most important year of high school apart from senior year, and that’s because your academic efforts in that year plays a huge role in good standing GPA, which is crucial when applying colleges.

Unlike most people, I saw freshman year differently; freshman year in high school was a chance where I got to re-invent myself. Other than solely focusing on possible academic improvements, I’ve realized that it’s important for me to really take some time and evaluate my life as a whole.

What did I not like about myself during middle school? How can I be the person I want to become in high school?

This was like one of those new-year-resolution things, except they’re not as little and silly as most of my resolutions were. Through this process, I was able to find out a bit more about myself (ironic), and I was able to help guide myself in terms of making new friends and such. I would recommend taking some time and evaluate your life if you find yourself stuck in a similar situation like I did, unless you’ve already tried and didn’t work for you.

Transitioning
Transitioning from middle school to high school not only puts a fair amount of stress on you, but it also forces you to start making smart choices. When I first heard and thought about this “magical” transition, my reaction was rather chill, laid back, and just really ignoring it. It would be only a matter of time before I started to screw up because I made poor choices during and throughout my freshman year.

Time management is an example of choice making, and it just also happens to be the key to success in high school. That’s right, not just freshman year, but high school as a whole. If you don’t manage your time wisely like I did, things like school work, family chores, hangouts, and everything else just piles up within a week. It’s a lot harder to keep up with the new materials they’re teaching you when you’re all tied up in nothing but work. I’m sure that some people like me need some time everyday dedicated for recreation, otherwise they’ll overload and explode, putting them further behind. So start practicing making smart choices, and I promise you it’s going to help guiding you through high school, making it seem like a breeze.

Social Atmosphere
The social atmosphere in freshman year is similar to what we (or just myself) refer as the “status quo” in middle school. But, the exception is that this is freshman year and you are most likely going to be separated from a majority of your friends in middle school. It really leaves you at a situation in which you’re lost in the woods, wondering which direction you need to go.

At this point, I’ve noticed that everything I thought I knew about high school was most likely wrong. On the bright side, I got to escape that old middle school attitude and start from scratch.

As a piece of advice, finding your personality, hobbies, favorite things, etc, can help you a lot when you’re trying to find your path in life. It will certainly be easier for you to make friends, to decide who and what you want to associate yourself with, and to find out what you really want to do in the future. Also, don’t antagonize teachers, they’re usually nice and supportive, and can be a great resource you can use to prepare for your future. They’re people like us, except that they’re older and wiser in a sense. So don’t be afraid to talk to them before, after, or outside of class, because they’re great people.

Final Thoughts
At last, I hope you, the reader, at least took something away from this blog. Could be anything from “don’t do illegal drugs” to “befriend everyone.” Whether you’re going to be a Warrior, a Wildcat, or a Mustang, just remember that deep, deep down in those still growing and beating heart of yours, follow what your heart desires in a smart and cautious manner. Don’t be afraid to make high school a part of your home. Get involved in clubs, find your passion, and express yourself. Most importantly, don’t screw up.

~ Shao Chen, middle school class of 2013, high school class of 2017
Twitter: @ShaoHungChen

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