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How To Get Through Freshman Year 

In this booklet, you will find multiple pages of advice on how you will survive highschool. Tips for highschool success, classroom success, how to take good notes, homework skills, study skills, and taking a test or an exam. These are the things everyone entering grade 9 wants to have. But don't stress too hard, it's not very difficult to get a grasp on highschool.  

                                                      Madie Fernicola. 

Hints For Highschool Success 

Before you even step foot into highschool, there are three steps to success. 

Step one: Set goals

Step two: Make sure you're ready to put in effort

Step three: Plan to succeed and motivate yourself.

  • As silly as it may sound to you, highschool will be easier the less you stress. You need to be committed. If you're not commited to do well, you will not beomce a successful student.
  • Talk positively to yourself and about yourself. Avoid calling yourself "stupid" or "dumb" because your brain will believe what you tell it. If you put garbage into your brain, it will give you garbage back again.
  • Negative thoughts about a teacher or the class affect your entire outlook about the class, so keep positive and look for the good things in the class and about the teacher.
  • Avoid complaining, if you complain that the work is difficult, the work will become more difficult and take more time.
  • Communicate with your teachers, counsellors or other adults that you will be involved with. If there is something wrong whether it is with school, yourself or other people bothering you, tell somebody.
  • Get enough sleep. This becomes harder for people with mental illness or stress at home, etc. If you are struggling, you need to get help because it makes a huge impact on how you do in school.  
  • Try not to let friendship or relationship problems interfere with your school work or participation. 




There is a long list of things you can do to be successful in the classroom. 

  • Use a planner or an organizer to write down assignments, due dates and test dates.
  • Remember that handing things in late will result in marks deducted, so make it a habit to finish them early or on time.
  • Organization is key. Teachers hate when you "lost your assignment" and it will also stress you out.
  • Put homework and studying into your schedule just like work and other everyday commitments. 
  • DO NOT procrastinate, you will regret it.
  • Use your time wisely. 
  • Be to class on time and as often as you can. Attendance is very important and yes you can catch up but you miss the teaching. 
  • Be ready for class, don't ask your teacher if you can go get your binder because you should already have it.
  • Have somebody in your class that you can go to for help, work you missed, etc. 
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions because it will show your teacher that you care about what you are learning. 
  • Help other students if they do not understand.
  • Follow along and participate in discussion. 
  • Have all the supplies you need- if a teacher wants pen, make sure you have pens. 
  • Be respectful.

Classroom Success

How to Take Good Notes

  • The first step to being able to have good notes is to have a binder for each class, it can get annoying, but that way you can find your work and notes easily and it is all in one place. 
  • If your teacher says "you may need to write this down." Write it down!!! 
  • Put a title and a date on everything you do, so you can find things easily and quickly. 
  • Write neatly, if you can't read it, your teacher can't either. 
  • If you're writing notes for a test or quiz, focus on key information so you can retain what you really need to. 
  • Prioritize new information, you were probably just taught that before a test because you had to know it for the test. 
  • Colour code your notes, colour stimulates the creative side of your brain making it easier to memorize them. 
  • Memorize your notes through review, and test yourself. 
  • Learn how to take notes in a way that is effective to you. It is important to develop is a note taking method that suits your learning style. 
  • Make sure you edit and organize your notes so they don't confuse you. 
  • Use pens so that your pencil doesn't become dull, and the pen will be more bold. 


Homework Skills

  • Homework can improve your thinking and memory, help develop good study skills, encourage you to use your time wisely, teach you how to work independently and helps you take responsibility for your own work. 
  • You should set a time to do your homework everyday (if possible.) Perhaps you do it as soon as you get home, right after dinner or right before you go to bed. 
  • When you do your homework, you should be in a quiet and comfortable area where you can concentrate well. 
  • You should turn off any disturbances such as your phone or the television. 
  • Have all the supplies or essentials you may need before you get started so you don't have to get up and go look for them. 
  • Take breaks, if you have a lot of homework, you should take a break because your brain can only handle so much.
  • Never leave homework until the last minute because you are unlikely to finish and do well due to stress. 
  • Try not to get frustrated if you do not understand your homework. You could ask your parents or siblings, look online, ask a friend, etc. 
  • Make sure everything is written in your own words or it will be considered plagirism which is illegal. 
  • Studying can become difficult if you don't have the proper resources, time, effort or dedication. 
  • Study skills are the skills you need to allow you tostudy and learn efficiently, and they are very important for success. 
  • Remember that you may need to try many different things until you find something that works. 
  • To have an easy time studying, you need to be organized. You need to have all the notes, the work, the materials and the right mind state. If you stay organized the whole year, you will have an easy time studying when you need too.
  • You need to find the time to study. If you manage your time badly, you will be less productive which will lead to stress or anxiety.
  • Don't try too hard to study when you're not feeling well, because your mind wont stay connected to your work. 
  • Tackle your hardest assignments/subjects first, because you will have better energy and patience. 
  • Be an efficient listener during class and study the study guides the teacher gives out (because they probably will.) 
  • Study in a quiet area where you are comfortable and have no distractions. 
  • Ask your parents or siblings to test you so you know what to practice on the most. 
  • Do not procrastinate. 

Study Skills

Taking a Test or Exam

  • In highschool, tests, quizzes and exams are unavoidable. 
  • Start preparing for your exams the first day of school
  • Plan reviews as a part of your weekly schedule. 
  • Read over notes regularly, and keep them in order and dated.
  • Use flashcards, as they are easier to read and they are very helpful. 
  • Take breaks while you study, but don't study for only the night before.
  • Get a good nights sleep, and eat a good breakfast. Test anxiety is a normal feeling, but if you prepare and study you shouldn't be worried.
  • Try to be confident in yourself. 
  • Show up on time or even early to get a few extra minutes of review.
  • Try your best.

During The Test or Exam

  • Read the directions carefully.
  • Work on the easier parts first and never leave a question blank even if you're not sure if you're right.
  • Don't rush through it.
  • Don't overwhelmed as soon as you look at it, it may be easier than you think. 
  • DO NOT cheat. 
  • Review your test at the end



For many people, freshman year is the easiest year in highschool. But, for others it is the hardest because of the way they cope with stress or because of how they didn't stay organized which caused them to fail. As long as you follow this highschool survival guide you should be able to get through highschool as the best you possible. Remember to be friendly and kind to everyone even if they are considered "different" because maybe they are having a rough time. Avoid starting drama, the last thing you need is drama interfering with your life. Remember that if you have a job or you are on sports teams that you need to try to make time for school around those. I can't stress this enough- be yourself, be the best you possible. Most people are nervous for their first year of highschool, but trust me, it really isn't that bad. Your first semester may be stressful, but if you are determined to do well, you will.


Good luck, you'll do great. These will be the most memorable four years of your life. 

You're Set!