Transitioning from middle school to high school is a drastic change! It could be difficult for many students, especially if they are not exposed to any information about high school. It is important for students to have some advice or tips beforehand about high school to better adapt to a drastic change. Some important things incoming high schoolers should know are academic tips, outside-of-school tips, and mental and physical tips.
Firstly, there are many changes academically that occur that students need to be aware of during the transition. One of which is their courses! In high school students are given the opportunity to select their courses throughout their 4 years, so it is important for students to select the classes that they are interested in as it will help them develop their own passions and skills. Additionally, it will make it easier when choosing a career. For example, if a student is passionate about learning science they can specifically choose what they want to further study as chemistry, physics, biology, or all! After choosing a specific science such as biology, they may be interested in pursuing careers like doctors, microbiologists, biological technicians, etc. Another academic tip for students is that they should be organized and utilize class time wisely. In class, students should learn how to manage their time wisely so they don’t create a heavier workload for themselves. It will also reduce procrastination and leave tasks to be done last minute. Students should also finish their assignments and homework on time and finish prior to the due date. Finishing assignments and homework on time is very helpful for students to be on track with their classes and helps them to be prepared for summatives and unit tests.
Secondly, students should know about the things they should do outside of school. One piece of advice is that students should get involved in school clubs and extracurriculars. Clubs and extracurriculars help students meet other students and communicate and converse with each other. It will help them make new friends with people their age and older than them! This can also be helpful for students because if a person the same age as them has no classes with them they can still get to know about each other’s classes and help each other beforehand. If a student needs help or any material such as previous tests and classwork to study beforehand for a course, they can ask a student older than them that they would know.
Another integral reason why clubs and extracurriculars are important is that they bring a good reputation for university applications! Another piece of advice that can be applied outside of school is for students not to be intimidated by seeking help and communicating with teachers and guidance councilors. If a student in a class is having some difficulty in class whether it be a concept, a student bothering them, or not being able to see the chalkboard, it is crucial to be able to communicate to a teacher. This is because if something is disrupting a student it could not only affect them academically it can affect them in other ways too. For example, if a student is intimidated by asking their teacher for help in a specific concept they might have difficulty doing classwork - which can affect grades on tests and then term grades. Students should also communicate with their guidance counselors and be comfortable with talking to them if they want to change courses, teachers, talk about volunteer hours, etc.
Lastly, students need to take care of their mental and physical health. One of the ways students can help themselves is by being open-minded. Being open-minded can help students to look at situations in a positive aspect rather than giving up on themselves. Academically many people are very competitive and others are uncommitted because they don't believe in themselves. People who crave academic validation have a good work ethic but the mentality to work is wrong, if they don’t reach their goals such as a certain grade it may trigger them and they might work really hard to achieve their goals by spending most of their time studying, sacrificing their sleep, and not prioritizing their mental health. Some students even overwork themselves until they “burn out”. Having an open mind toward grades can help one to recognize that grades do not define or degrade them in any way. It will instead help them to grow and understand that it’s okay to receive a bad grade and instead of being disheartened by it, take it positively and use feedback and suggestions to improve their work for the better!
A student who is uncommitted about their grades could change to have more motivation, believe in themselves, and take each day as an opportunity to do better. Another very important tip for taking care of mental and physical health is to have a “good” routine that allows a student to take care of themselves mentally, and physically, do their school work, and be able to do extracurriculars. A few ways a student may be mentally taking care of themselves could be by following their passions such as reading, coloring, painting, etc. Some ways a student might be physically taking care of themselves is by taking some time and taking part in their favorite sports, exercising, taking a walk, etc. A student should also be able to have appropriate timings for each activity they do and have breaks. A good routine overall will help students to stay productive and properly take care of themselves!
In conclusion, students should know academic tips, outside of school trips, and mental and physical tips so that the transition to high school isn’t difficult for students to adapt.
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