Welcome to high school! These next four years will be a fun, challenging, nerve-wracking roller coaster ride as you navigate new classes, new friendships, new responsibilities, and many more changes as you prepare for the college admission process. To make this transition a little easier, we’ve collected our best advice for high school freshmen all in one easy-to-access place. Learn what to expect and what you should (and shouldn’t) do to make your first year of high school the best it can be. And if you have any questions or need more help, feel free to get in touch with us.
Surviving freshman year of high school
- College Prep in High School: What to Do All 4 Years: Freshmen, find out what you can and should be doing this year to make your future college search easier!
- College Prep Steps Every High School Student Should Know About: The best way to maintain your course toward college and not end up freaking out right before applications are due is to create a schedule and break it down over your four high school years. Find out what to do during freshman year!
- Improving Your College Competitiveness: What Classes to Take Each Year of High School: It's no secret that honors and AP courses look great on college applications. Here are some other ways to maximize your class schedule each year of high school.
- Top 4 Tips for Freshmen Transitioning to High School: Going from middle school to high school is almost as big a change as going to college. Take these four tips to heart to help you as you start this next chapter.
- How to Build and Use a Support Network in High School: Having a support system of teachers, mentors, and like-minded students is important to your high school success. Learn how to create a strong network here!
- Video: How to Survive High School and Find Scholarships: High school is stressful, and there's so much to get done. Here are a few tips to help you survive high school and some extra tips for finding scholarships.
- Great Mental Health Habits for Students to Establish: COVID-19 is still happening, and students should continue to find and employ long-lasting positive mental health habits. Here are some ideas for you!
- Dear High School Freshmen: Don’t Follow This Advice: Scared about starting high school? That's fair! Freshman year is a big change, but it's not nearly as scary as others say. Here's the advice not to listen to.
Getting involved in activities
- How to Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities in High School: Ah, extracurricular activities. If you're a high school student wondering where to get started, how to find the time, and what activities to pick, look no further.
- How to Navigate High School Clubs and Activities: Extracurricular activities are a great way to blow off steam after school, plus they look great on college applications. Here's your guide to extracurriculars!
- Top High School Activities to Boost College Applications: Being involved in high school activities will boost your future college applications, but where do you start? Here are some of the top activities colleges love to see!
- How to Craft the Perfect High School Résumé: A well-crafted résumé can help you stand out to prospective colleges. Read on to learn how to craft a stellar student résumé.
- How to Start Your Own Great Club in High School: Joining clubs and getting involved is a big part of high school. But what do you do if the club you want to join isn't offered? Start one yourself! Here's how.
Developing great time management skills
- A Deep Dive Into Procrastination and How to Stop It: Procrastination is a fickle thing. Before learning how to stop once and for all, here's a look at why you procrastinate and how it affects your schoolwork.
- How to Get Organized and Manage Time in High School: These simple tips can help you get organized, get homework done quickly, and manage your time better in high school.
- Top 5 Time Management Tips for High School Students: High school is hectic with homework, college apps, and extracurricular activities. Keep on top of everything with these time management tips.
- Better Time Management in 3 Simple Steps: Putting off another assignment? These techniques can help students battle the bad habit of procrastination to make the most of your precious time.
- Balancing Classwork and Sports as a High School Student: Balancing school and sports takes a lot of time management and planning ahead. Check out these tips to help you get organized as a high school athlete.
Taking your schoolwork seriously
- Your Ultimate Guide to a 4.0 Grade Point Average: Check out this complete overview of what a 4.0 GPA means for college-bound high schoolers and how you can get on the right track.
- Top Tips for Getting Good Grades in High School and College: With a few smart strategies and the right supplies, you can maintain good grades throughout high school. Here's what you need to know!
- The Secret to Getting Straight A's While Maintaining (Most of) Your Sanity: How to get good grades without going totally insane, from a student who's never received a B.
- Video: Setting Goals for the School Year: It's always good to set goals! Student vlogger Gianna has a few suggestions to help you go about setting school goals any time of year.
- How to Work on Your Academic Weaknesses in High School: Everyone has that one subject in high school they just don't like very much. Here's how to deal with yours.
Learning about advanced courses
- Should I Take AP Courses?: Find out why our experts think students should stretch themselves academically by taking AP courses throughout high school.
- Inside Info on AP Courses: Which Ones Should You Take?: Rebecca has taken 11 Advanced Placement courses and has a ton of inside information to share. Here's her guide on all your AP choices, from Math to English and everything in between.
- How to Put the "A" in AP Classes: Another student with 11 courses under her belt offers tips on how to ace advanced placement classes.
- What You Need to Know About AP Tests, AP Scores, and Your Future College: You might be wondering how the number you receive on your AP Tests will impact your college future. Well, this is how!
Thinking about the future
- Should I Be Worried About College as a High School Freshman?: Should you be worried about college now, as an incoming high school freshman? No! But you should be thinking about college (at least a little bit).
- How to Think About College as a High School Freshman: It may seem far away, but it's a good idea to start thinking about college as early as freshman year of high school. Here's what you can do to prepare!
- How Should Freshmen Prepare for the College Search?: It's never too early to start thinking about college! Learn what you can do as early as your freshman year with this expert advice.
- 8 Advantages of Starting Your College Search Early: Senior year is a stressful time for most students. You can make it a little easier by starting your college search earlier in high school. Here are eight reasons why!
- 5 Ways to Get a Head Start on the Admission Process: It's always a good idea to be thinking about your college applications. Doing these five things now will help you stand in the admission process later!
Hopefully this collection of advice can help you in some way as you embark on your very first year of high school! It may seem like this journey will last forever, but it will fly by faster than you think. As your freshman year progresses, check back here to see if any of these articles can help you in a whole new way as you encounter new obstacles, and be sure to check out our College Search tool, Scholarship Search tool, and Lists & Rankings too. Good luck with freshman year—you've got this!
Want a preview of what the rest of high school has in store? Download our College Prep Checklist for All 4 Years of High School and make a plan for a successful future!