Advice to freshmen from a senior


Nicholas Scoggins

Main street of Vandegrift High school, looking towards the library.

Nicholas Scoggins, Staff Reporter

So you are a freshman beginning high school. You are about to embark on a tumultuous journey that will put you on an emotional rollercoaster and test your limits. Here are some tips and tricks by year to help you succeed in high school and successfully get into college, if that is your thing.

Starting your freshman year, the first thing you should do in order to ensure your success is iron out your study plan. Finding an effective study strategy is one of the biggest keys to success, as every person is different and requires a different learning method. In order to do well on quizzes or tests, some will need to study intensely for hours, whereas others will only need to do light studying throughout the night before their test. You should also figure out which tools help you the most. Sites such as Quizlet can make the difference between an A and an F. Another important thing you should do your freshman year is hammer out a routine: making effective usage of your time is another key to success. Figure out what time you will wake up and go to bed, designate times for studying and for relaxing, and be sure to take it easy every now and then. This way you are making effective usage of your time.  Final piece of advice for freshman year is to start getting involved in extracurricular activities NOW! The more you do now, the easier it will be later on in high school, especially when applying to colleges.

As for your sophomore year, it is going to be relatively uneventful. Just ensure that you are staying on top of your work and continuing to build your resume. You should also start studying for, and possibly even taking, the SAT. That way you will be ahead of the game when it comes to applying for scholarships and colleges that require certain SAT scores.

Your junior year is when stuff starts to get interesting. In addition to ensuring that your grades and SAT scores are good, start doing research into what college you wish to go to and what the application process looks like. Create a spreadsheet of all of the requirements and the deadlines so that way you can be on top of it once you reach the application starting line. Also try to do some college visits so that you have a better idea of what your dream college is like. It’s one thing to see a college in photographs; it’s another to actually see one in person. Visiting will reveal a lot about the college you would not have known about had you stuck to the internet.

Senior year will be the climax of your high school career. Start your college applications as soon as you can–remember that deadlines are far closer than they actually appear. Make sure to have all of your stuff for an application done at least two weeks before the deadline, as there WILL be problems with your application such as technical difficulties or problems with eligibility. In addition to college applications, also make sure you are applying to plenty of scholarships. College is very, very expensive, and you do not want to spend years paying off student debt. In the midst of all of this chaos, make sure to tend to your wellbeing as well. Senior year is going to be very stressful, and you want to make sure that you are not pushing yourself too hard.

That is some of the advice I can give as a senior who has been through this process. It will be difficult, it will be stressful, but if you succeed, all of the effort you have put in will pay off in the end.