From freshmen to first rate: 3 keys to success

Novalea Verno, Co-Editors-in-Chief

Students who took the initiative to get involved prepare for Central York Performing Art’s winter musical.
Photo by CYPA.

The start of high school is a monumental and slightly terrifying moment in any young person’s life. Adding in almost two years of online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic does nothing to settle the nerves of incoming freshmen. For students who feel overwhelmed by the start of the school year, here are a few tips to make sure your first year is a successful one.

First, organization is key to succeeding in all areas of life, especially academically. In high school, the workload for each student increases dramatically compared to middle school. With an increase in work comes a greater need to make sure your classwork, study guides and homework are organized. Most of the work given to you is digital, so use the greatest resource gifted to you by the district- your computer. Use the folder function to create folders for each class you’re taking. Add all your pdfs to the folder as they come in to keep track of assignments. There is also a function called “Stickies” automatically downloaded onto your computer. This tool allows you to download digital sticky notes onto your desktop. These notes can be used to keep track of homework, upcoming events or any other important information. To access this function click on the F4 key and look for a tab called “stickies.”

Another crucial part of being successful your freshman year is making sure you balance your school and social schedule. Harder classes mean putting more time and effort into your work. Set time aside each night to look over past readings and assignments to make sure you understand key concepts. If videos help you learn, then check out Hank Green on Youtube for informative breakdowns of topics ranging from biology to world history. If textbook style formats suit you better, look at Khan Academy for extra practice. If quick and easy is your MO then log onto Quizlet to find flashcards. As you find time to study, also make sure you find time to relax and hang out with friends and family. Overworking and stressing yourself out is as harmful to your work ethic as not trying at all.

Lastly, get involved. School spirit may seem overrated and joining clubs is a waste of time, but it’s not. There are so many clubs at Central that offer a wide variety of experiences. Joining a club does so much more than just provide you with a place to be during flex. It allows you to connect with peers who have similar interests to you. It also can help you connect with organizations and people that could lead to opportunities outside of school. Checking out different clubs and extracurriculars also allows you to explore different areas of interest you didn’t know were a thing. Branching out and diversifying your activity list looks great for colleges as well.

While freshman year can seem scary with a new building and increase in workloads, with these simple practices to implement into your routine, you’ll be sure to get through it easily.