I’ve been pretty busy since the last time I posted; mostly school related things like projects and final exams. However, I am ecstatic to say that as of today I have completed all of my courses, and have come to the conclusion of my first year in high school! It has been an interesting and eventful year of my life, so I thought I should share with you all some experiences, and lessons I have learned.

Firstly, there was always such a hype about high school, and really everything that goes on within it. In fact, throughout my middle school career the main focus had always been to prepare me for it! To be completely honest I was pretty scared. I mean, it’s not unreasonable to be nervous when all your teachers would insist that you were in for a shock when you transitioned!

Preparing for my first day of high school- going to really fit in with that shirt!

Preparing for my first day of high school- going to really fit in with that shirt!

However, I found that “the shock” wasn’t surrounding the academics, though that was difficult to adjust to as well, but rather the social culture. Now, I’m not alluding to the whole Mean Girls, distinctively divided cliques idea. That perspective is held by those not actually in high school. While people have their groups, they aren’t divided by the characteristics of the members; It would be more accurate to say they are created by  friends who came to the school together, and those who share classes. Naturally, it can be difficult to make friends in this situation. Because when the clusters are so seemingly predestined, it almost seems like you need an access card to get in!

So, you may wonder “how did you make friends then?” Well, the first thing I learned is that the approach that you took in elementary, just waltzing up to everyone and asking to be friends, won’t always work. No, you need to be far more strategic than that. You need to find someone already placed near you so that you appear to have more reason to talk to them. For example, someone who sits next to you in a class, or is a few lockers down from you will work nicely. Start chit-chatting with this person, and as you get more comfortable with them you can move on to the next step.

It may be hard at first, but you'll make friends

It may be hard at first, but you’ll make friends

Now that you are developing a friendship, you can begin meeting other people they know. I found the group I eat lunch with by becoming friends with the person sitting next to me in art class. We are all really close friends now, and that’s because we all took the time to make these connections with each other. Just be casual, occasionally introduce yourself, and let your relationships grow more naturally. Confidence is key- just don’t be forceful.

Another thing I learned is NEVER procrastinate. Yeah, you are going to be stressed out at times, and you may be getting caught up in all the social aspects of high school, but putting your school work on hold will only make the stress worse. I learned that in the first semester of English class.

The sad reality of school sometimes

The sad reality of school sometimes

I had been swamped with English assignments, and at this point I hadn’t really figured out my priorities yet. For about a 2 week period my main focus had been on creating and maintaining friendships, so I got pretty behind. By the time I stopped and figured out a way to better balance school and friends, I was waist deep in work to do! I caught up, but I definitely learned something. When it comes to procrastination, avoid stress by doing the opposite of the Nike slogan: “JUST DONT DO IT.”

And my final piece of advice: don’t get in the habit of comparing your marks with others. If you are happy with what you received, don’t let those who may have scored higher bring you down. One of the biggest pet peeves I have in school is people who complain about how they feel they didn’t do well enough, even when they have already out performed everyone else! If you are a highly academic person like me, don’t verbally complain when you get less than a 100%. Someone could have scored lower than you, and think “well if a person like that is ashamed of their mark, that means I should be even more ashamed.” Be courteous to others, and keep your marks to yourself!

I hope that by reading this, someone will consider my advice. High school is all about learning (people skills included), and growing as an individual. Along the way you are going to come across some challenges, but you must be courteous to others, know your priorities, and try to be positive!

Wishing luck to all the future “freshies”

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Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , ,
Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Shilo

2 Responses to My Advice to Future Grade 9 Students

  1. Christine Douglas says:

    A very good read Dana, and great advise to all the “freshies”. Academics are always hard, but sometimes just fitting in and finding someone to hang out with can be more difficult. Always be yourself, people will be drawn to you, and stay positive. Happy Graduation from Grade 9, onwards and upwards.

  2. Lynne Wozney says:

    Fantastic advice. Congrats on completion of your first year in high school.

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