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8 Tips for High School Freshmen

 Genesis at her 8th grade graduation with Ms. Buckley, former principal of Bridgeport Catholic Academy.

Genesis at her 8th grade graduation with Ms. Buckley, former principal of Bridgeport Catholic Academy.

By Genesis Murillo

Your freshman year of high school is thought to be the most difficult or scariest year. You go from being at the top of the food chain as an eighth grader and move to the bottom as a freshman, but to me it’s all about adaptation. I learned a few things this past year that I hope to pass along to you in preparation of your first year of high school.

Be open to friendships.

On your first day I guarantee there will be many other students like you, who are shy and nervous to interact with each other. I also guarantee that if you have the motivation or courage to say hello first, that person can end up being your best friend by the end of the school year.

Clubs, Sports, Associations

Get involved. Don’t be afraid to try new things. There are plenty of opportunities to try something new like water polo, learning to play chess or joining French club. Give any opportunity that interests you a chance; it benefits you in meeting new people and also looks good on your high school resume.

Questions, questions and more questions

I learned that asking questions is the best thing to do. ASK! You can never be too prepared especially with homework or projects.

GPA = Grade Point Average

When they tell you that every year in high school counts…they mean EVERY YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL COUNTS. From the first assignment to the last assignment at the end of the school year, it all adds up to your final GPA for your freshmen year. Plus, colleges do look at freshman year and to see how you adapt as a freshman and to have an idea of how you might adapt as a freshman in college. Stay focused!


We all do it; I know I did it a lot during my freshman year. Learn form it, move on from it and do better in the upcoming years. It sucks being a procrastinator but take it as a learning experience.


I swear they look scary and pretty much look like they hate you at times, but in reality they might be remembering their experiences as freshmen. Some upperclassmen are very nice and are willing to help. You might even build a close bond with a few and they will be there to give you advice.


When you watch high school themed movies you tend to see cliques. Yes, they’re real, but you just have to find yours. Don’t be afraid to mingle with friends or sit somewhere new at lunch one day. There will be cliques from the athletes to the math team to the book club that will end up sitting with each other for comfort reasons, but try mingling with different groups. Don’t feel that you have to sit with a group because of what you’re involved in. Find people that fit you.

Be yourself.

Don’t change for anybody. Always be yourself. High school is a small phase in your life. Why change who you are for a short amount of time? I encourage you to try new things, but stay true to yourself and your opinions.


I hope that some of my advice can help you during your freshman year of high school. Good luck and remember high school is what you make of it. Make the best of it.

Genesis Murillo will be a sophomore at Rauner College Prep this fall. She lives in McKinley Park and has been involved with Sew Stitchy, an After School Matters program at Elevarte Community Studio since the summer of 2014. Genesis is a hard worker and aspires to study Law at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. 


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