Elise Yu’s Tips for Freshmen

By Elise Yu

Welcome to high school, freshmen! You have embarked on a journey into the wonderful world of high school. You may feel uneasy in your new learning environment, but you will know East High School like the back of your hand before you know it. Here are some tips to help you transition into high school with ease:

  1. What you do from now on will be on your high school transcript. Your grades, classes, and extracurricular activities will all be sent to the colleges you apply to during your senior year. All of the achievements you accomplish today will help you stand out in the future. However, the same rule applies to mishaps. Colleges will know if and when you have broken school rules, and it may harm you in their decision making process. Be cautious of your actions now to avoid jeopardizing your chances of getting accepted into your top choice schools. To quote Mr. Nogowski, “don’t do anything stupid.”
  2. Join extracurriculars, but don’t spread yourself thin. As a freshman, you may feel obligated to join 20 different clubs, be on seven sports teams, and play four instruments to show how “well-rounded” you are. This is a fatal mistake. Instead of joining dozens of activities that you are not that dedicated to, join a few things that you are willing to invest your time in. You will be able to make new friends and spend your time doing something you care about.
  3. Don’t take a class just because your friends are taking it. What should you do if all of your friends are taking art, but you want to take chorus? Take chorus. Take classes that you are genuinely interested in. This also applies when it comes time for you to register for AP classes. If you care about the material you learn about, then class will be more enjoyable.
  4. Do your best when it comes to time management. As a junior, I still struggle with getting all of my schoolwork done and going to bed at a reasonable time (note: “reasonable” may be subjective). Sleep is incredibly important. You can’t perform to the best of your ability if you are getting four hours of sleep. As you get older, there will be more homework to do. AP classes require significantly more studying than Regents classes, and you may feel overwhelmed when you first start taking AP’s. Don’t fret. Take homework one subject at a time, and don’t try to finish everything in one sitting.
  5. Don’t procrastinate! This one is extremely important. If you think you can write that English essay the night before it is due and get a 100, you’re only cheating yourself. Start doing assignments early. If your teacher assigns a project on Wednesday that is due on Friday and you know you have a soccer match on Thursday, start the project on Wednesday.
  6. Do your homework. This should be a no-brainer. There is a reason why teachers assign homework. Doing your homework will help shorten your study time when you have an upcoming test, and it can help your grade if it’s collected for completion points.
  7. Show respect to all of the adults at school. Whether it is the bus driver who takes you to school every morning or the principal, make sure to show all adults respect. If your teacher says no phones during class, that means no phones during class. Teachers know when you’re using your “well-hidden” phone under your desk. Everyone at school is helping you learn and grow, so contribute to a positive learning environment!
  8. Use your free periods wisely. We are lucky at East to have free periods. We can eat lunch, talk to our friends, do our homework, or study during our free periods. If you have a question on your math spiral, you can get help from a math teacher. There are so many ways to be productive during your free periods. You would waste 215 minutes a week if you didn’t take advantage of your free periods.
  9. Grades aren’t everything. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to make memories so you could study for a test. Chances are in ten years, you will remember the fun time you had with your friends and forget what you got on that global test. You should still always perform to the best of your ability. This is not advice to party every night, but it is important to relax every once in a while.
  10. Have fun in high school. It feels like yesterday I was a freshman, and now I’m already a junior. So many memories will be made during high school. Spend time with your friends, and don’t forget to make new ones.

Best of luck to the class of ’22! Enjoy your time here at East, and never be afraid to try something new.



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