The transition from middle school to high school can be nerve-wracking for many students. Teenagers between 14 and 15 years old have to make the jump from the younger school to learn alongside older peers. By this time, you’ve probably heard stories and watched movies about high schoolers, but now it’s time to see the real deal for yourself.
In this article, we’ll focus on finding your balance in order to achieve success. Before you know it, the time to set foot on an entirely new campus full of unfamiliar faces will be here! So read on to familiarize yourself with how to adjust accordingly!
Balance your studying and your extracurriculars.
While there is plenty to prepare for, your first task as a student is to study your subjects well. In high school, your report cards each semester are tallied up in a numerical score called the Grade Point Average (GPA). If you score all A-grades, you can have a 4.0, which will help you immensely later down the road when it comes time to apply to college. The main thing to remember is that your scores in high school now have repercussions, so it’s worth spending time completing and reviewing all your assignments.
Your studies, however, are not the only expectation of your time. In order to gain hands-on skills, it’s important to join extracurricular activities. These are engaging hobbies or sports that you find meaningful, from volunteering to playing sports to working a summer job. These activities can be as varied as your interests. Not to mention, finding time to study while also exploring your passions outside of school will develop your college readiness.
Balance your structured activities and your free time.
High school students also need to learn how to balance their free time. It’s not healthy or realistic to expect yourself to attend school from 7 am to 3 pm and study all through the evenings with strict focus and no breaks! Eventually, you’ll burn out and the exhaustion will set you back further than you started. Not to mention, some of the most educational experiences happen when you leave your schedule open to some serendipity.
Try to take 5-minute breaks during long study sessions, and allow yourself to play video games or read a book if you need to decompress. Taking care of your mental health is also a skill to learn!
Balance your course rigor to challenge yourself.
You likely know that academic expectations will be elevated in high school. As you join classes with older students, your teachers will expect you to work hard and act maturely. Not to mention, college admissions officers care about the difficulty of the classes you take. If you have the option to enroll in Honors, AP, or IB classes, the work you put in will pay off: the marks earned in advanced courses often carry more “weight” in your GPA than in standard courses. For more on weighted and unweighted GPAs, check out this article that explains the differences.
That doesn’t mean you have to take every single advanced class that your school offers, by the way. Finding balance means you take into consideration whether the increased rigor might negatively impact your performance. While this might seem complicated at first, working closely with a guidance counselor to check in on your progress is a great way to consult an expert.
Balance your expectations about college.
While it may be tempting to put off thinking about college applications for a few years, there actually are steps you ought to take starting in 9th and 10th grade. In fact, preparing early (and well) is one of the best ways to alleviate the stress and workload when senior year rolls around. As everyone says, the next few years of your life will pass by quickly.
It’s also exciting for you to embark on this intellectual journey! High school is a great time to explore your interests, make new friends, and challenge yourself to grow. To make the most of this opportunity, book a complimentary discussion call with an enrollment team member at Empowerly to discuss how we can help with your college admissions. We can assess your student profile, discuss the most helpful services, and walk you through the Empowerly approach to your best future.