Preparing for High School

By Lauren F.

Lauren is a 2012 Caroline D. Bradley Scholar and a rising high school sophomore attending a boarding school in Connecticut. She recently shared with us what she thinks incoming freshmen should know to help them prepare to enter high school. Here are her tips.

nervous-squareI don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous and excited for anything in my life than I was for starting high school. But let me emphasize “nervous,” as I’m sure all of you rising freshmen are or will be.

Therefore, I’ve compiled a very brief list of how to get prepared over the summer – in other words, a list of all of the things I wish that I’d done before my own freshman year!

1) Make a detailed list of what you’re going to need in the fall!

It turns out that just writing “clothes,” “shoes,” and “school supplies” leaves a lot of room for forgetting important things. Instead, make it specific: “six multicolored binders,” “rain boots,” “soccer cleats.” For boarders, this is twice as important, because there are things for your room that you’re really going need to remember: dryer sheets, duct tape, staplers, snack food, etc.

2) With #1 in mind, try your best to go shopping as early in the summer as possible!

Buy as many school supplies as you can before they go to full price in August, and boarders, make sure you get to the dormitory section of Target before the college students do! Trust me – everything is sold out if you wait until late summer.

3) Try to prepare for sports and classes a little bit during the summer as well.

A little nervous to take freshman physics? Then try to get your hands on a textbook and read through it a little. Not sure what to do to make JV soccer? Run drills throughout the summer. It’ll be worth it in the fall when you feel confident and prepared to take on high school!

4) Speaking of sports, don’t shy away from them!

A lot of schools have athletic requirements. Trust me, and don’t be stressed about this! Just start thinking about your fall activity early, and–if it’s competitive–make sure you prepare a little. But also, don’t become too obsessed with making a certain team, because your plans can always change. I went into this past fall absolutely determined to play field hockey but ended up doing soccer. In the winter, I was sure I was going to do basketball, but found myself in hockey instead. So, don’t stress too much because plans can and often do change, but remember to stay fit if you’re looking to try out for a competitive sport. And if you want to try out for something but you’re nervous to do so, try out anyway! I promise you, it’s really not that bad.

5) Relax!

With how busy my own summer schedule is, I probably have no right to say this, but I’ll say it anyway: try to just have a slow, relaxing, fun summer, because–trust me–the fall holds plenty of excitement and stress to make up for it. So, read good books, watch good movies, get killer tans, hit the beach, and spend time with your friends and family. Boarders, try to spend time a lot of time with your family; homesickness can be pretty rough at first, and you’ll miss them a lot. All in all, just try to take it easy in between athletic conditioning and school supply shopping.

I hope these tips are helpful as you prepare for school this summer.

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3 responses to “Preparing for High School

  1. This almost reminds me of the things I had in mind before I started out. So many apprehensions; such uncertainties. Glad you are making the effort to ease out a few. 🙂

  2. Hi Lauren,

    I think this is an excellent resource for students to use when preparing for high school. Often times, students become overwhelmed by advice coming from them at all angles which can sometimes be outdated or over exaggerated. Your list is simple yet comprehensive and best of all, prepares students to ready themselves by making their own list to organize their thoughts, needs, and responsibilities. Additionally, your encouragement to get involved in sports and other group activities is extremely important for students to gain a sense of community, belonging, and identity tied to their new school.

    Thanks for posting this! I will definitely share this with my 8th grade students at the end of the year!

    Cait 🙂

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