Have No Fear About Next Year

Alice K., Carmen B., Jordan P., Carleigh O., Writers

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As this year comes to a close, it’s normal to have some anxiety about the next school year. In order to assuage your fears, Unleashed has compiled some advice for each of the rising grades in the Upper School – take a look!

For Rising Freshmen

Be wary of over committing- try to leave at least one clubs period per week to do homework.

Use a planner (paper) and keep track of homework to stay organized and not fall behind.

Put the week’s homework into your planner in advance.

Doors on the outside only open on the right side.

Pick out your lockers with your friends.

Meet at least one person from another school.

Get involved in extra circulars!

Dress to impress, but be comfortable.

Eat lunch!

Join student government.

Try something new!

Use frees for homework; don’t procrastinate.

Don’t drink coffee daily, you’ll get a caffeine addiction.

For Rising Sophomores

First off, congratulations: you’ve survived freshman year!

While I have no doubt that your sophomore year will be much more enjoyable than your freshman year, it is still a somewhat in-between stage of high school. You are introduced to things that will come to characterize your junior and senior years – like PSATs and APs – but you don’t yet have all the privileges of an upperclassman. You don’t have an all-access pass to places like the Hub, but you’re no longer confined to the Pit. Instead, you’re somewhere in the middle (the Sophomore Chairs). See what I mean?

After a year, you’re probably pretty adjusted to the demands of high school. This means it’s a great time to join sports or theatre before you have to deal with the stresses of junior year. Also, sophomore year is a good time to become more involved in the clubs you liked freshman year, as you could be considered for leadership roles in the upcoming years. Of course, you can always join new clubs too!

That’s not to say the year will be a breeze. Academically, sophomore year will most likely be harder than freshman year, so you’ll need to master the all-important skill of time management. Odds are you’ll have a bit more homework than you did last year. You’ll also be learning how to drive, plus you’ll want to hang out with friends. And of course, the usual distractions of social media and texting can take up a lot of your time. But don’t worry – it won’t take long before you’ll find your own routine!

As we all know, the start of every new school year requires some adjustment, and sophomore year is no exception. But, once you settle into your new classes and get used to new responsibilities, time will start to fly by. Soon enough, junior year will be staring you in the face, and you’ll have advice of your own to pass on to the sophomores after you.

For Rising Juniors

This is it, this is the year that everyone talks about as being the hardest of your high school career. Don’t freak out. Everyone wants to see you succeed, and everyone has faith that you will succeed. You’re going to feel like there’s a lot of pressure on you, and that can be tough to deal with. Obviously you should always be trying your best, but don’t freak out if you get a bad grade here or there. It’s going to happen to everyone, and one of the biggest things to learn is how to deal with the occasional unexpected bad grade. It can be tough to put it in perspective, but remember to have some fun too – it’s not all about grades. Enjoy the fact that you’re upperclassmen now, and remember what you thought about the juniors when you were freshmen. This year can be daunting, but don’t worry. You’ve got this.

For Rising Seniors

Relax. Everything is going to work out in the end. Make sure you stay on top of your college applications and hit all of your deadlines, but don’t let your whole life revolve around test scores and essays and applications. If you don’t feel like you’ve found your “dream school,” don’t worry! It may feel like everyone around you has everything figured out, but I can promise you there are plenty of people who are in the same boat as you. If you have found your “dream school,” congratulations! Just keep in mind that your worth as a person or your future success is not fully dependent upon who accepts you and who rejects you. If you’re driven, you’ll find a way to succeed no matter where you go. Enjoy the last year you’re going spend around all of your friends, it will go by faster than you think.

This year might just be the most stressful one yet, but there really is no need to worry. You just have to take some deep breaths and take every assignment and application one at a time. One of the best things to do when it comes to college applications is to start early. Try to get your main essay done over the summer that way once school starts up that’s one less thing to worry about. Bang out the supplements as soon as you know what schools you want to apply to, so they don’t build up and start to interfere with school. Also, I promise you will end up at a school that is right for you. You might get rejected and it will really suck, but you’ll also get accepted somewhere that makes you happy and suddenly the school that rejected you won’t even matter.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to senior year is to enjoy it. It goes by so fast and will be stressful, but you’ve made it too far to not enjoy your last year of high school. You never realize how much everything and everyone around you means to you until it’s the end of April and you’re graduating in a month.

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