Navigating freshmen year: COVID edition

Novalea Verno

This year has arguably been one of the strangest many of us have ever lived through. Starting the school year after spending six months in quarantine has made for an awkward adjusting period. Freshman year is already nerve-wracking with a completely new building and line up of teachers, but adding the stress of the COVID-19 virus doesn’t help at all. So for all you freshmen out there, here are a few short tips on how to survive and thrive.

First and foremost, stay organized. Your desktop is an amazing tool with many different applications that can help you keep track of your assignments. Write out your homework and any upcoming assignments on the sticky note function so you can see your agenda for the evening every time you open up your computer. Use the ‘folder’ function of your computer to neatly sort all your pdfs into their respective classes. There is nothing worse than not being able to find a specific item because your desktop is crowded with random downloads.

Another important tip is to make sure you actually build relationships with your teachers. Our teachers here at Central are eager to see you succeed and to help you when needed. They aren’t the scary, evil creatures your older siblings have set them out to be. They’re actually people just like you and me with lives and families of their own. The relationships you build with your teachers will help you a lot in the future when you start applying for things like jobs, internships and even college.

This next tip is one that many students will roll their eyes at, but it is seriously important. Study your material. In middle school, it wasn’t uncommon for students to coast through class without looking at assignments outside of class. In high school, that same ideology will not fly. Classes are harder and the number of assignments, essays and new concepts has significantly increased. Look over notes from class and assignments when you’re home. Test yourself using programs like Quizlet or go the extra mile by watching educational videos about a specific topic. Dedicating time to extra reading and practicing new concepts can help improve grades and work ethic.

While this new world called “high school” may seem super intimidating and stress-inducing, it really isn’t. If you find yourself struggling with a class, make sure you ask for help. Chances are, your teacher knows what they’re doing and how to help. Asking for extra help or practice makes you a better student and will earn you a teacher’s glint of approval for standing up for yourself. 

Finally, the most important lesson you will learn from your freshman year is… the high school does not have a basement. Don’t listen to the upperclassmen.