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FRESHMAN SURVIVAL GUIDE: TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO SURVIVE THE FIRST TRIMESTER FOR NINTH GRADERS

By: Evelyn Melendi, Tara Khurana, & Cecilia Hirawat

  • Develop good time management skills.

Look, no one wants to be up scrambling at midnight writing the Wisconsin Fast Plant lab report because you put it off for the month and can’t figure out how to make a scatter plot in Google docs and kind of want to cry in your shower. It’s not a good look. Seriously, develop good time management skills, and use those study halls! Also-- don’t rely on gifts. Keep that one day for revisions! You’ll thank us later.

  • Have hope — lots of it.

You’re probably thinking: “This is freshman year, not war, what are these authors thinking?” You’re right. This is freshman year. It is a completely new experience with new people and a new workload, so a little optimism would be nice. Come in with the mindset that your teachers will help you improve and that mistakes are what help you grow. You can do well if you put in a great amount of effort and try your best. This mindset is what will help you do well in freshman year and negativity definitely will not do you well.

  • Join pubs! (join Starboard, not Ballast.)

Starboard is an awesome pub to join because you can make content in SO many mediums! From videos to Buzzfeed quizzes to articles or photo albums, there are unlimited possibilities for content you can make. Content can be funny, educational, or just something you have a profound interest in. While competing pubs may be compelling, Starboard is by far the best place to spend your time as there are amazing snacks and a wonderful community, and you can express all your interests.

  • Get your lounge on the first try.

Communicate with your grade! Share out your thoughts before the proposal is signed and get involved in writing it if you have lots of ideas. Make sure you include lounge norms, rules, and what you want the environment of the lounge to be like in the proposal. Keep the space outside your lounge clean as well so there are no reasons whatsoever why you shouldn’t earn your lounge. Overall, the most important thing is communicating with your grade to ensure that everyone agrees with the lounge terms and feels it is a safe place that everyone can enjoy.

  • Get to lunch early so you have a table.

At the beginning of the year, the seats and tables at lunch are plentiful because many people decide to eat outside due to the nice weather. Once it gets colder, everyone sits inside, and suddenly there are not enough tables and chairs for you and your friends to sit together, meaning you NEED to get to lunch early, or else you may be sitting with someone you’re not too friendly with (which is still fine for making friends!) Also, stop bringing your backpack to lunch! It makes it so much harder to get around the dining hall!

  • Bond with your advisory!

In the Upper School, you will have the same advisory for all four years of high school so it is crucial that you bond with them because they can be great people to get to know at the start of school and until the end. One fun thing you can do with your advisory when you meet together is go to the school store to get snacks. It allows you to talk with your advisees and eat because you will definitely be hungry by lunchtime.

  • Start your WFP lab report when you get the outline; do not put it off.

The Wisconsin Fast Plant lab report is a long paper that all freshmen have to write for biology class, regardless of their teacher. The length of this probably averaged around ten pages for most freshmen, and overall writing the paper was just extremely time-consuming. Although you will be given weeks (maybe even a month) to complete this assignment, it is easy to forget about it and end up having to write the entire paper in just a few days, stressful ones too. This is exactly why it is imperative that you begin your lab report soon after knowing of the assignment so you can do a little bit each day before the due date instead of a lot in one.

  • Bond with your sports team during preseason so you have friends on the team when the year starts.

Sports teams have a bond before members even know each other: you all are interested in the sport and want the same thing. Knowing the other players and making connections with them can just make the team stronger! Also, fall sports have a summer preseason so you will meet some friends before the start of the school year! This is why it is important to get to know your sports team and be friendly!

  • Try not to get a minor - follow the dress code, don’t walk with your phone, and SIGN IN!

Even though the school is new and you will be the youngest grade, teachers are not reluctant to treat you any differently than others. This means you should definitely glance at the handbook and be aware of the minors you could receive. One of the biggest causes of minors is not signing in on time, so it is necessary that you arrive before 8:15 and maybe even a little before if the sign-in line is long. More causes are not following the dress code or walking in the hallways on your phone, so beware to avoid going to the judiciary. But, in the case that you do, it is MINOR (which is literally in the name)! You will be ok, and it will NOT go on your record.

  • Try new things!

Even if they seem scary at first, clubs, pubs, activities, and other events are great ways to bond with the U.S. community. Freshman year is the year that you should try a variety of things because you are not committed to anything yet! Coming into high school, you don’t know what you will like and what you will not. Trying different things with an open mind will help you find new interests and others you can bond with, who have the same interests.


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