Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshman

Valentina Chavarria , co-editor

As senior year draws to a close and college application deadlines approach, I can’t help but reflect back on these four special years that I’ve spent at Fredericksburg High School. Four special years that have helped shape me into the person I am today. Nevertheless, as I was filling out college applications and writing essays, I realize that there are many things I wish I knew when I started this formative period in my life. 

The first thing I wish I knew 9th grade is that some classes weight more for your GPA than others. AP and Pre-AP count more towards your GPA than regular classes since they are considered more difficult. Colleges also check the rigor of the electives one takes, so it’s better to take challenging and fun electives than blow off classes.  Every single year in high school counts. So don’t slack off your freshmen year or your senior year since everything counts for your GPA. 

A bad grade is not the end of the world. Multiple failing grades are bad, but one or two won’t kill you. There are ample opportunities for you to bring your grades up if you decide to take them. 

Communication is important. Talk to your teachers; ask questions if you don’t understand a subject ;come in for tutorials and try to get help. A tutorial could be the difference between an A and a failing grade. 

The amount of extracurricular activities matters, but participation and leadership matter most. Joining clubs and organizations is important, there are many clubs on campus one just has to look for them. Anybody can join any club at any time. Shyness shouldn’t prevent you from participating in things you care about. Once you’re in a club, try to stand out and participate in club activities. Try to obtain leadership positions within the club. Quality is better than quantity, and colleges will appreciate a person who was a president of a club more than somebody who barely participated in 10.   

It’s important to start on college applications early. Taking the SAT and ACT your junior year along with crafting your college application. This will relieve you of stress your senior year and will allow you to focus on your classes and extracurricular activities.  

Start your driver’s ED as soon as you can. Nothing compares to the freedom and sense of independence you feel when you’re behind the wheel alone for the first time. It will also allow you to do things by yourself and get your first taste of what adulating is like.

Take pictures all throughout high school. High school is the last time you are ever going to be a kid, and you are going to want to remember as much of it as possible. Document outings with your friends, school games, dances. Take pictures of anything and everything so you will have things to look back on.  

Enjoy your family and friends since high school will be the last time you will be able to see them and hang out with them constantly. Spend time with your parents and your siblings because time flies, and before you know it, you will be off to college and away from home.

Do things out of your comfort zone. Go to dances, go to football games, join clubs, talk to new people in your classes and try to make friends. These are the moments that you’re going to take with you after high school, and it’s important to create good memories that you can look back on.  

Most importantly, have fun. Yes, grades are important, and you need to make sure you keep the up, but having fun and making memories is also important. This is the last time you’ll ever get to be a kid. Take advantage of this four years and make the best of them.