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As we all know, the first day of school is here for West Islip school district, and for parents I’m sure it’s as both exciting and nerve wracking as it is for us kids and teens.
Going into 10th grade, I can tell you that I’ve made plenty of mistakes that I’ve learned from in my freshman year. After all, that is what high school is about; making mistakes and learning from them.
These are some of the thoughts that I’ll take with me into my sophomore year, and hopefully kids in high school or going into high school will relate to them.
The reason that school was invented, obviously, is to get an education so one can become a successful adult, and so naturally it should be the most important thing in your year, although sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. The most crucial thing to realize about the work you receive in high school is that there is no easy way out of it (procrastinating, daydreaming, cheating, all of that comes back to bite you, trust me). You get what you put into it.
Very rarely can you use the excuse that the teacher can’t teach or that you “don’t know how to study.” For core classes, if you really don’t understand something and you’re not subliminally making an excuse, ask your teacher. They will respond positively a good 90 percent of the time.
Regents exams can seem overwhelming, and granted they are unnecessary (that’s a whole other blog post to write), but it is important to do well on them because they indicate your placement for the following years.
As for elective classes, my advice would be to pick what interests you. If you are picking the same electives as your friends, there’s a very slim chance of getting put in the same class or even having the same teacher. Elective classes are supposed to be breaks during the day that can even open your mind and give you ideas as to what you want to do in the future.
As for the social aspect of high school, it’s entirely more complicated than academics and you’ll often feel yourself stressed out over parties and dating more so than tests and homework. Again, it’s another “you get what you give” type situation.
It is almost guaranteed that you and your friends will be split up in classes, so it’s a good idea to be outgoing and try to reach out to different groups of people. And regardless of what people tell you, there are cliques. Lots of them. The most important thing to remember is that you can’t try too hard to fit in. If you get pulled into a clique that you like to be around, that’s great, but it’s good to remember who you are and be friends with different groups as well. In the end of it all, you’ll find out who your real friends are and everything will fall into place.
Another suggestion, though cliché, is to join clubs that interest you. I have met countless people my age and older that I never would’ve met if I didn’t join the school newspaper or stage crew. Just remember that if you don’t think people will accept you for who you are, there are plenty of people that will tell you otherwise.
Good luck to anyone returning to high school or going into high school for the first time. It may seem intimidating at first, but we really are all the same people with the same goal; getting to college. It’s only my second year of high school and I have made relationships and memories with students, teachers, and classes that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Make the best of what you are given and I assure you everything will lock into place.
One more thing: Freshman Friday is real. Just act like you’re not a scared freshman and you’ll be okay.
Kayla LaRosa is a sophomore at West Islip High School. The views expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of IslipHerald.com. To become a member of Herald Voices, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.