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16 Tips and Tricks for Incoming Freshmen at Nonnewaug

With school just around the corner and the new freshmen preparing for their first days of high school, I wanted to give the incoming freshmen a few tips.

  1. The lockers are small, so make sure your backpack can hold a lot of your materials.
  2. The construction makes it a little harder to get around, as of last year there were only three stairways that went to the upstairs level: the one by the art department, the one past the gym, and the one by the science rooms. The construction also causes a lot of traffic in the halls, so make sure you figure out how long it will take you to get from one class to the other. I’d tell you where everything was, but I am not really sure anymore.
  3. You don’t really need a lot of binders for class, unless specified by the teacher, just make sure you have some way of organizing all of the handouts they give you and keep track of your homework because all of those missing homework grades will eventually affect your grade.
  4. Either charge your chromebook at night or bring your charger with you to school because you use it a lot and it often needs to be charged.
  5. Use your time in class wisely. Don’t spend an entire period neglecting your work and leave yourself with a ton of homework.
  6. Speaking of homework, do it whenever you get the chance. If there is freetime offered during a class, or if you have a study hall, use that time to get your work done. You may like socializing with your friends in school, but the work does build up and it is a lot more fun to have free time after school when you can actually do things rather than spending hours at home doing the work. 
  7. Plan when to do your work. Don’t leave it to the last minute because, again, it will add up and you might underestimate how much you actually have to do. Staying up until midnight doing work is not fun. School is important, but so are other aspects of your life, and you need to find a balance between it all.
  8. Email your teachers or ask them questions if you are confused, they do want to help you understand the subject and teachers like students who are engaged.
  9. When taking notes, especially if a teacher is talking, write in shorthand because teachers talk fast and it is better to have all the information, albeit a tad messy, than scrambling to find what information you missed.
  10. Pay attention to what the teacher is saying, especially if they are explicitly talking about a topic you are learning about, because a lot of the time teachers will give you information that you can use on upcoming tests or projects.
  11. Bring both pencils and pens. If you are in a subject where you tend to make some mistakes, use a pencil or an erasable pen because it will make your work a lot easier to understand.
  12. Study and prepare. High school work isn’t the same as middle school work, it does take some effort if you want good grades.
  13. On that note, one failed assignment is not the end of the world. You will not be expelled, you will still go to college, you will be fine. Just work hard towards the next assignment and learn from your mistakes.
  14. There is a Wingman Program available. The Wingman Program was brought to Nonnewaug to build an inclusive community at the school and is made up of students who went through the same thing as you. You can seek out your Wingman Leaders if you are confused about anything, they will gladly help you.
  15. Juniors and seniors aren’t as scary as they seem. They were in your spot at one point and will help you if you are lost. Don’t be afraid to ask for their help when it comes to classes, as well.
  16. Participate in school events. Join a sport or a club or take part in some of the events that Nonnewaug hosts. A lot of clubs and sports have a room for Trick or Treat Street, which is incredibly fun. It’s a great way to make friends and get comfortable.

High school might not be as exciting as all the movies make it out to be, but it also doesn’t have to be incredibly stressful. The first few months are the worst. You may feel like you are failing, you may feel lost, but we all felt that way, just hang in there. You don’t have to have your entire life figured out the moment you step through the doors. Just do the best that you can, because that is all we can do as people. Good luck, I believe in you!

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