Tips for Surviving High School Every Teen Should Know

Last Updated on February 17, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster

In one week, my daughter starts her Freshman year of high school.  I can’t believe she has grown up so fast!  I find myself searching online for first day of high school tips to make the transition a little easier.  Elementary school was easy.  Middle school presented a whole bunch of unique challenges.  What will high school bring?  I want my daughter to learn how to survive Freshman year to make her next few years absolutely fabulous.  I know I can’t make it perfect for her but here are a few tips for surviving high school that I want her to keep in mind.

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Tips for Surviving High School Every Teen Should Know

Tips for Surviving High School

Don’t skip orientation:  One of the most important tips for surviving high school that I can impart is to go to orientation.  Go to each classroom, meet your teacher, grab the supply list and ask any questions you might have.  Surviving Freshman year means being organized, on time and having the right supplies.  Talking to the teacher one on one during orientation will be easier than raising your hand the first day of class to ask your questions.

Talk to the upperclassman:  I know, this sounds horrible and impossible, right?  But, find an upperclassman that you know!  Or the sibling of a friend who may take pitty on you and answer your questions.  Ask about the teachers you have and what they are like.  Find out if there are any school traditions you need to know about before they happen.  Ask about which clubs or sports might be a good fit for you.  Maybe you will luck out and they will give you a wave in the hallway or introduce you to someone.

Tips for Surviving High School Every Teen Should Know

Write down your locker number and combination: One of the easiest tips for surviving high school is to not forget your locker info!  Write down your locker number AND the combination to it.  Do not write it on anything that will later be locked into said locker.  Don’t write it on your hand…that you will later wash.  Write it on a piece of paper and stick it in your purse or wallet.

Get a map and use it.  Make copies!  A map is the end all and be all of surviving Freshman year in high school.  Yes, you will look like a dork carrying around a map. So will the other Freshman.  Get over it.  You will look like even more of a dork when you are late to class because you had to stop and ask directions to your next class. Make a few copies of your map and leave them in your locker in case you lose yours.

Be prepared from day one: Surviving Freshman year means you need to be prepared with all of the school supplies you may possibly need.  From notebooks and pens to graphing calculators and headphones for the computer lab, you will have a long list of school supplies to stock up on.  Don’t wait til the last minute.  Once you get even a little bit behind in class it is too easy for it to snowball into a giant mountain of a problem.

Tips for Surviving High School Every Teen Should Know

Get involved:  Seriously, one of the most important tips for surviving high school is to get involved in clubs, after school activities, sports, etc as early as possible.  They are a great way to make friends and you really should have a few nonacademic activities on your college application.  Getting involved early means you get to latch onto the other awkward Freshman who are trying to survive high school!

Choose your friends wisely:  It is too easy to get forced down a path you might not like just because of the people you associate with.  I’m not saying you have to go find perfect, rich, straight A friends.  But just know that if you associate with kids who are doing drugs, smoking, skipping class and otherwise being idiots, then that image is reflected right back on you.  Find a group of kids from day one with similar values and lifestyles and learn how to very firmly say ‘No Thanks’ when asked to do something that doesn’t feel right to you.

Tips for Surviving High School Every Teen Should Know

Have a long range plan:  You don’t need to know what your chosen career is right now but you should probably start deciding a general path that you want to pursue a few years down the road.  Do you want to go into the science field?  Do you love art?  Have a passion for children and want to teach?  If you keep your likes and dislikes in mind, it is easier to find extracurricular activities, jobs, internships, etc that might help you get into college in your chosen field.  And having a long range plan may make saying ‘no’ to bad decisions easier.  Keep your eye on the prize and stay focused on your goals.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Want  to know the secret to surviving high school?  Don’t try and do it alone.  No man (or teenager) is an island.  If you can’t get support from your parents or siblings, try a friend, guidance counselor, pastor, teacher or anyone else who you feel will listen.  The teenage years are chock full of emotional crap and it is tough to sort through it all by yourself.

Have fun:  You are only young once so learn to enjoy it and have a little bit of fun!

Have any other tips for surviving high school that you want to share?

Check out these books on how to survive high school!



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