November 19, 2017
School & Youth
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  • A group of freshmen on the cross-country team at Severna Park High School have much to learn from their senior teammates.
    Photo by John Kiser
    A group of freshmen on the cross-country team at Severna Park High School have much to learn from their senior teammates.

How To Handle High School

John Kiser
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September 7, 2017

Seniors Offer Advice For Incoming Freshmen

Every high-schooler wants the perfect balance between school and extracurricular activities, to maintain the desired grade point average while excelling at a sport or activity.

However, it is not easy to obtain that balance. It takes much deliberation and attention to keep up with numerous responsibilities. As students progress through high school, they accumulate knowledge on how to keep a balanced schedule. Seniors have the best take on how to really achieve a sense of stability through determination, focus and hard work.

“Pay very close attention in class because it is where you will have to really learn things since you may not have as much time to review notes at home,” said Hugh O’Connor, a senior at Severna Park and a captain on the cross-country team. “Get homework done as soon as possible so that you don’t sacrifice sleep and won’t freak out about due dates.”

Procrastinating is a common weakness, especially in teenagers, but you must avoid that habit. Distractions from important school assignments take up time that you can’t get back; getting unsatisfactory grades on those assignments or projects can negatively affect your activities outside of school.

Incoming freshmen need to carefully manage their time outside of school. Setting aside a block of time in which you need to complete your homework or any other assignments well in advance of the due date will reduce procrastination. This will also free up time for yourself or, in an athlete’s case, time for practice and games.

“Don’t waste time after practice, and take advantage of after-school help days with teachers,” said SPHS senior Cullen Figlioli.

Teachers are there to teach and to help, so don’t feel ashamed asking questions or coming in after school for a re-teaching. It’s worse if you don’t go in for an after-school help session and then fail or do badly on a test or quiz.

If you feel as if you’re not understanding the material that is being taught and don’t want to ask the teacher for help, there are other options. Peer tutoring is available for most subjects, so there is no reason for students to feel as if they are alone. For students who juggle school with sports and a job, school comes first. Coaches will understand if you need to stay after class to take a redo or if you miss an assignment and have to make it up.

Incoming freshman, be mindful of your schedule and manage your time accordingly. Set a standard for yourself and strive to do even better the following year. Your senior self will thank you.

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