Ten Things Being An Underclassmen Taught Me

Now I’ve stated several times in this blog that I’m a high schooler; halfway through my Sophomore year.

Being a Sophomore is about 156 times better than being a Freshman, and even more so when you can drive. People stop looking at you as the baby. You’re more independent, more experienced, and not such a pansy. Yet, you’re still an underclassmen. You’re not at the top, and you’re still naive about a lot of things.

I’ve compiled a list of the things I wish I knew coming in to Freshmen year, things I learned from experience or from the experiences of my friends.

1. You’re not a Senior.

Seems obvious enough, doesn’t it? Yet I always found myself caught up in the Senior drama. Being in choir, cross country, and marching band, I knew quite a few Seniors. They were nice enough to me, they gave me rides and chatted with me and whatnot. But when it really comes down to it, Seniors are friends with Seniors (and maybe the occasional Junior.) They’ve been together from the start, and they’ll choose each other over you any day.

2. He’s not worth it.

I started out my Freshman year single, while all my friends seemed to be in a relationship. So naturally I dated the first boy to take interest in me. Looking back now, I wish I hadn’t. Dating early in high school is rather silly. Nobody’s mature enough to be in a serious, beneficial relationship. All dating really does is cause you to lose out on your free time. Free time you could be spending with friends, on extracurriculars, and so many other things you were too busy to notice before.

3. Go for it.

Everyone’s nervous coming into high school, even those who deny it. And who’s to blame them? You’re switching from the top to the bottom, from familiar to the unknown. It’s enough to intimidate anyone. But no matter how nervous you are, don’t let your fear decide your fate. Take risks, try new things, be a little rebellious against the status quo. You’ll be glad you did in the end. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find your niche!

4. Music is the place to start.

Now, this is easy for me say, considering I’ve always been musical myself. But even if you don’t know the difference between a clarinet and an oboe, a music program (be it band, choir, or orchestra) is a great way to jump start your school year. Most school marching bands usually start rehearsing at the end of summer before school starts, so you’ll have new (and older) friends that’ll have your back before you even set foot in the halls. I’m a part of both band and choir, and both have provided me with long lasting friends and fond memories- I strongly suggest newcomers to try it out.

5. Work it out.

I’ve run cross country, played volleyball and softball, and a plethora of other sports in high school. Sports are another great way to meet people with common interests, and are also a great way to stay in shape. Even if your not the most coordinated person in the world, just working out on your own or with some friends is a great thing, too. It keeps you fit, healthy, and helps release all that pesky anxiety.

6. Grades come first.

Grades are basically the entire point of high school, sadly. And even though we’re all dreading that biology test on Tuesday, procrastinating is not the answer. Truthfully, if you keep your grades afloat, you’re keeping your life afloat. Think about it, bad grades equal angry parents, disappointed teachers, more work (you have to make up those lost points somehow) and just more plain stress. It’s easier to just stay on top of it all, trust me.

7. Sleep!

Between homework, your best friend’s party, and your after school activities, sleep is probably the last thing on your mind. But a lack of sleep can cause so many problems, from a lack of focus to just a bad mood. And who wants to deal with that? Even if it means cutting something out of your day, it’s worth it to get those zzz’s.

8. Time management.

That being said, the easiest way to find time is to make time. Keep a schedule, make a planner, anything to keep from losing time. Make a plan everyday, block out time for things like sports and homework, and then distribute the remaining hours of your day to things that are most important to you. Another great idea is to do your best to stick to a set bedtime, it helps your body get into a sleep cycle. The universal truth here: if you make schedule, you’re more likely to stick to a schedule.

9. You.

Something that took me a LONG time to realize: your life is precious. Stop doing things for other people and start doing them for yourself. If your mother wants you to be a ballerina, but you want to be in a punk band, go be in that punk band. It’s your life, your time, and you have to make decisions for you. If you try and please other people but not yourself, your just going to end up unmotivated and miserable.

10. Don’t give up.

Sometimes life seems pointless. You’re stressed, upset, and all you really want to do is go back to sleep. But trust me, if you keep on trying, things get better. Things always get better for those who don’t give up.

Do you agree with my little high school survival guide? What are something’s you learned in high school? What do you think the most important thing to know for high school is?


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