New year, new school, new you. Whats not to love? Freshmen year is a brand new adventure as you finally step into the world of high school. From joining new clubs and sports to making connections with older students and teachers, here are the top six things to add to your freshmen year bucket list:
1. Expand your social circle: Its absolutely 100% easier to stick with your friends from middle and elementary schools. But the cool part about high school is that you suddenly have three other new grades to mingle with. Typically, at least one or two of your classes with include a mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Why not chat with the junior sitting next to you in Latin? Or try eating lunch with the sophomore you met in gym class? Make as many connections from as early on as you can; itll make your entire high school experience that much more exciting!
2. Read a classic book (that you don't have to read for school): Once you get to junior and senior year of high school, you'll be drowning in required reading. So nows your chance to read one of those books (you know, the ones EVERYONE seems to be talking about) without the stress of being graded on it. I promise you, every book is better when you're reading it on your own terms. #win
3. Join a (perhaps random) club or sport: Chances are, your high school is brimming with options for new activities which also means its brimming with possibilities for new friendships and adventures. Lucky for you, freshmen year is the perfect time to try new things. When it comes to adding activities to your resume, its important to commit from the very beginning. While you might not have a natural inclination towards any particular clubs or sports, make sure to join at least one extracurricular from the start. You'll be glad you did.promise.
4. Learn a new language: Even if you took Spanish or French in middle school, your high school probably offers a wide array of languages that you've never even considered taking. My freshmen year, in addition to taking Spanish, I also took up Latin at it was one of the best decisions I have ever made (Im not crazy). Bonus: once you've learned one language, picking up a new one is that much easier. Not only will this set you apart on your college apps, but its also a good way to travel the world without stepping foot outside of your classroom.
5. Befriend an upperclassman: Upperclassmen know whats up. They know what isn't disgusting to eat in the cafeteria. They know which teachers give pop quizzes. They can answer ALL of your questions. So, why not make friends with them? Sports teams and clubs combine students from all grades, making it one of the easiest ways to break the ice. Sometimes you can even have classes with juniors or seniors,especially if you're taking an advanced honors class or high-level language class.
6. Befriend a teacher: Its never too early to think about college scary, I know. Usually, as students near the end of junior year, right before college app season begins, they realize they have nobody to ask for a recommendation (which is kind of a problem). So instead of relying on a totally random letter of recommendation from your sophomore year gym teacher, befriend a valuable teacher from the beginning. Try picking a teacher in a subject you're very interested in or excel in, and set up a mentoring relationship from the start. Not only will it benefit you down the road, but it can never hurt to see another friendly face in the hallways.
About the author: Emily Grier is a senior at Penn State University earning her Bachelors and Masters of Accounting. Emily was a 2011 Collegiate Correspondent for USA Today College and former managing editor of Valley Magazine, Penn States life and style publication. Shes been published on seventeen.com, The Huffington Post, Her Campus, Thought Catalog, and in The Pennsylvania CPA Journal. She spent Fall 2012 interning in London, England.