Canadian High School Survival Guide

Be prepared. There's a lot to learn as a freshmen.

Tip #1: Do NOT plagiarize.

Plagiarism is the number one way to aggravate your teachers. It also is the best way to get a zero on your paper, and fail for the six weeks. Take the extra time researching the topic, and the paper will write itself. Plagiarism proves very few things, and none of them are good. First, you are lazy, and second, you do not care about your grade.

Tip #2: Do not be afraid to sit in the front of the class.

On the first day of school, you will be mildly intimidated, but sitting on the front row will actually benefit you later on in the year. You have fewer people to talk to, and fewer things to look at when daydreaming. The teacher is also more likely to realize you are struggling if you are on the front row because they can see your face easier than they can see others'. Most people are afraid to sit in the front row, so the teacher has to force someone to. Be bold, sit in the front, and be ready to learn each and every day.
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Tip #3: Procrastination is a bad habit.

Yes, I know. It is not due until next Monday, but in between now and then you will have some free time to get it done. Plus, are you going to want to miss the football game Friday night, or what about your friend's cookout on Saturday? What are you willing to give up because you procrastinated? It seems like a week is a long time, but it is not. Waiting until Sunday night or even Monday during advisory is dangerous. Your grades are extremely important (whether you think they are now or not), so please do a little work on the project each day.

Tip #4: Planners will be your best friend.

The number one item on your school supply list should be a planner. Males, this includes you as well. A planner helps you get to look at the bigger picture easier. It also helps remind you what homework you have each day, week, and month. Some of your bigger projects, like a research paper, might have multiple deadlines even though it is one paper. Having a planner will let you know exactly when you have to have each part completed, and maybe even you could get ahead. This also keeps you from procrastinating because it makes you look busier than you actually are throughout the week.
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Tip #5: Upperclassmen are worth getting to know.

Freshmen normally are not legal to drive yet, so yes upperclassmen are worth knowing. Getting a ride is not the only good reason to know upperclassmen. They also make some of the best tutors and friends. They may seem scary in the beginning, but if you do not step out of your comfort zone and meet them, then high school is going to be extremely difficult for you. Upperclassmen have been in your situation before and understand what you are going through, so go to them when you need advice for a situation.

Tip #6: One bad apple can ruin everything.

As a freshmen, you are told to join everything. That is a BAD idea. Joining everything leads to a stressful first year, and makes you enjoy certain events less. Maybe Spanish Club is right where you belong, but FCCLA is not. Therefore, do not join FCCLA because you can be ruining a good experience for other people. Your bad attitude affects the people you are surrounded by, so have everyone's best interest in mind by not joining. If you feel like you would enjoy a certain club then join it, but after a while you might begin to feel like it was the wrong choice. That is when you should think seriously about getting out.

Tip #7: Don't forget about the library.

The library seems unimportant to most students because they think it only serves one purpose, and that is where they are mistaken. The library has a quiet atmosphere which is perfect for catching up on work or even studying for a test in the upcoming period. Mrs. Brewster has pens, pencils, and book marks that students can either buy or have, so it is similar to a supply shop. We can not forget about the books, laptop chargers, and printers in the library. The most common reason to go into the library is to get a book to read so your English teacher is happy. Then there's always the laptop chargers that help students who have lost or forgotten their charger. Printing in the library is also a very good idea. Partially because if something goes wrong Mrs. Brewster knows how to fix it, but also because it could be closer to your class.

Tip #8: What happens Friday and Saturday night gets brought up Sunday and Monday morning.

We all know that inappropriate things happen during the weekend, sometimes even the week. If you decide to be a part of those events, please understand that it will be brought up at school come Monday morning. Most students will already know by Sunday, so think wisely about what you do. No matter how hard you try to keep it a secret, there is someone who will tell and then it will spread quickly. Word travels fast in a small town, and no one wants to have a bad reputation because once you have it, it is extremely hard to get rid of it.

Tip #9: Study groups are not as lame as they seem.

Some of your friends are in the same math class as you, so take advantage and have a study group together. Now there is a difference between a study group and cheating. A study group is used to work on your homework, and if you do not understand then you have other peers there to help you. The Wildcat Band has a study group every Wednesday night. This helps get all students passing, so they can march. This can be applied to any UIL event in high school.
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Tip #10: Know your limits, so you are not overloaded.

Being in everything looks good on a resume, but it does not always look good on your health or grades. I understand that you want to be involved in as much as possible, but when you do that you can not help out as much. Try being in one, two, maybe even three things, and see how much you can help get done in those organizations compared to how much you can get done when you are in a million different clubs and organizations.

High school is guaranteed to be interesting and unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions with Answers

  1. What clubs do I join?
  • A question frequently asked by freshmen is what clubs do I join. Join any that you find interesting. They are all equally fun, and important. Don't limit yourself to only one. Most clubs work around one another, so conflict shouldn't be a big issue.
2. Do I take AP/Honors/Dual Credit classes?
  • I highly recommend taking AP English in 9th and 10th grade because when you enter 11th grade you have the option of taking Dual Credit classes. By taking Dual Credit, you get not only high school but also college credits which will save you time and money your first year in college. They aren't time demanding either; they're just like every other core class you have taken, maybe even easier.

We are High School Peers

Feel free to contact me with any other questions that you might have about high school. It's not scary like most people think. A positive attitude on the first day will do you more good than worrying the night before.