Freshman Tips

Freshman Survival Guide: Five Tips

Freshmen listening to their Peer Leader, senior Jean Luc Brown. Photo: Zack Kaminsky

Senior Jean Luc Brown instructs his freshman Peer Leadership Group. Photo: Zack Kaminsky

Upon arriving in the Upper School, many freshmen are overwhelmed by the change of scenery.  Confusion and panic often ensue when trying to understand the rotating schedule, and freshmen are easily lost in a maze of classrooms on different floors with new teachers. Soon, all freshmen learn their bearings, but then comes the hard part: surviving socially and academically. Here are five tips to help avoid trouble this year:

  1. Develop good relationships with your teachers, because they are here to help and support you. They want you to be successful. Make sure to say “thank you” at the end of class and visit them for help during a free period or extra help hours. It will help you become more comfortable asking them questions and will make class more enjoyable if you don’t feel intimidated by them.
  2. Be outgoing towards your classmates. You will be spending four years with them, so getting to know them is vital. It will make your high school experience that much better if you establish friendships and spend time with your friends when you get the chance. Take the initiative and reach out to new people while maintaining relationships with old friends.
  3. Take your work seriously. College may seem a ways off, but your freshman grades are still important. Slack off on your schoolwork freshman year, and it may come back to haunt you during the college process. Do not let it stress you out, but definitely make sure you are on top of your academics.
  4. Use your free periods wisely. Homework can be a heavy burden, especially on top of extracurricular obligations. You have two free periods for a reason; while hanging out in the Inman Center may be fun, it is not always productive. Take advantage of this time, because if you don’t, you may find yourself up into the wee hours of the morning.
  5. Last, but certainly not least, get involved. Pace is an incredible place with a wide array of opportunities from the arts to athletics to extracurricular activities. Take ceramics, try drama or join the band. Sign up for a sport you have never played. If you don’t consider yourself an athlete, cheer as loud as you possibly can in the fan section. Pace hands students the opportunity to pursue their interests, so it is imperative that you take advantage of all the school has to offer.