Let the academic year begin! Though summer is not exactly over yet, it is time to start preparing yourself for the forthcoming school year. There are many anxious and nervous freshmen, excited and eager sophomores and juniors, and experienced and tireless seniors. We all have our own things to be excited about but we also have our concerns and worries. As a high school sophomore, here are my tips for beginning the school year.
Freshmen: In movies and TV shows, incoming freshmen are the ones everyone hates and loves to pick on. In reality, jokes might be made at your expense and you might get pushed around on a sports team, but at the end of the day, you are much part of the team as anyone else.
However, based on what I have seen in school in Beijing (and even elsewhere), upper classes are bothered by how provocatively ninth graders can dress. It is shockingly revealing. In other words, be careful of the way you dress while staying true to yourself. My second and last tip is to enjoy your freedom. You might be worried about your grades in regards to a university acceptance, but universities understand that by transitioning to high school, your grades might be inconsistent. They tend to focus more on your junior and senior year grades (depending on where you are applying to). Nonetheless, you should still work hard!
Sophomores: Enjoy your time. Sophomore year is the best time to get involved as much as you can, try new things, and meet new people. It may lead to incredible opportunities.
Juniors: If you are entering into IB, two words; good luck. I don’t mean to scare you, but you do tend to loose a social life in the process. The one thing I discovered about IB is that it isn’t hard as it is merely time-consuming. Therefore, the biggest thing you can do to help yourself is manage it well. Use a planner to help you keep track of your time, or use iCal or Stickies on your computer. Additionally, it is equally important to take breaks. Despite the workload, you need to give yourself time to rest; if you don’t, you will burn out. If you are not entering IB, it is still important to work hard and to give yourself breaks.
As a junior, one thing you have to remember is this is the year when grades are most critical. It is really important you get the grades you need to be accepted. However, don’t just achieve for the bare minimum. It is also incredibly important to have extra curricular activities, because admissions want to see that you are involved in your immediate community and possess leadership skills.
Seniors: It is the last year of high school and you want to make it count. Though it will be a busy year, cherish every moment and take it with you for the rest of your life.
And for all to remember: high school isn’t a scary jungle; it is simply an experience that is different for everyone.
Jodie is beijingkids’ student correspondent and is our eyes and ears on the ground. A junior student at Western Academy of Beijing, Jodie is also a contributor to the student-run magazine Unit-E. Check back for more of her blogs about student life.