The Lance’s Declassified School Survival Guide

Dos and Don’ts for Freshmen

Calling all freshmen! We’ve all been there. Right now you may feel anxious to be around upperclassmen who are much bigger than you or lost in the madness of the hallways. While it will take some time to adjust to your new high school lives, here’s a list of dos and don’ts that will be helpful in the process.



Get to know your guidance counselor. They’re not just there to help with scheduling, and it’s a good idea to check in with them every so often. Forming a good relationship with your counselor will be beneficial when they eventually write your letters of recommendation.

Care about your schoolwork. Check Haiku religiously, and meet all your due dates. Your freshman year grades will form the basis of your final GPA that you’ll send to colleges. Start off strong!

Sign up for clubs–but only the ones you plan to commit to. It is way better to have a few clubs in which you can assume a leadership role in the future rather than to participate loosely in ten different clubs.

Go to extra help. It’s a great chance for you to both get to know your teachers and improve your grades. If you have after-school activities, take advantage of the writing and math centers, where teachers can help with essay writing or math concepts. You just may see your D- shoot up to a D+!

Manage your time wisely. The teenage body needs 8-10 hours of sleep, but let’s be real, that just ain’t gonna happen. The best strategy to maximize your nightly sleep schedule is to chip away at your homework throughout the day whenever you have free time, which may include free periods, lunch, or whenever your teacher’s back is turned.



Waste time getting to class. We can’t stress this enough: don’t walk slowly in the hallway! If you absolutely must stop for any reason, stand on either side. The hallway traffic is always horrible, so keep the flow moving. It is also best to walk on the right side of the hallway (just like how you drive on the right side of the road). It’s not a big deal if you and your four friends can’t walk to third period side-by-side down the hallway. Keep it moving.

Overpack. Keep a few necessities and always be prepared for class, but don’t bring items that just add weight to your bag. The key items you will need are at least one binder, some paper, at least one folder, and a couple of writing utensils. There’s no need for a bag that weighs as much as you do. Your shoulders will thank you.

Risk your life in the senior parking lot. The seniors are always in a rush to leave the lot after school, so if you need to walk through for some reason, try to walk along the outskirts. You should also always be aware of people’s tail lights to see if they’re backing up–their backup cameras are good, but they’re not that good. No one wants a freshman pancake for an after-school snack.

Obsess over PowerSchool. With an online grade book, it’s tempting to refresh your grades every class period. Constantly checking your grades can stress you out, especially since grades can fluctuate drastically over the course of a marking period. Focus more on the work, and your grades will reflect your efforts.

Freak out. It may be stressful now, but in a few months, you’ll know the lay of the land. High school does get more intense, so get the hang of everything this year to help ease the stress of the following years. And if you’re stressed, just take a nap; naps fix everything.

Neglect what your seniors tell you. They’ve been attending this school longer than you have, so most of the things they say may actually help you survive this place. Don’t worry; in a couple years, you’ll be blessed with the honor of yelling at the freshmen when you’re seniors.


High school is a challenge. But if you know what to do and how to do it, you can make it through the next 4 years. Take advantage of the resources you have around you: counselors, teachers, older siblings, and upperclassmen. Everyone is willing to help make your high school experience enjoyable. Hey, we’re all just trying to survive anyway.