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Rising Freshmen: A Guide to Having a Strong First Year in High School

The world is your oyster! And yes, freshman year does truly count!

Here’s what you should focus on during your freshman year:


Freshman year is all about grades! So is sophomore, junior, and senior year! Why? If you hope to head to college, know that your grades and the rigor of your classes are the most important components of your college application. Make sure to carefully select your classes - they should be challenging but not overwhelming!

Tips for getting the best grades: 1) get every assignment in on time; 2) take good notes in class, read the material and STUDY for those tests; 3) start developing good time management skills; 4) don't procrastinate; 5) make your grades your priority!


Get involved! It’s time to get involved in your school and community.

Join 2-3 clubs and if leadership roles are available, definitely work toward obtaining one. Your goal is to make a true impact, take initiative, leave your mark on that club. Explore your options! Many high schools offer STEM, Engineering, Debate, DECA, HOSA…explore what is offered at your school and in your community.

Volunteer! If you have a field that interests you, volunteer with local community organizations during the summer or school year.

Start exploring fields of study:

All Broward County public high schools, and many privates ones, now offer Naviance. Log onto the website and explore careers. Take their assessments to see what careers are right for you. On Naviance, you can watch videos on careers and research those majors.

Explore colleges:

Research colleges that interest you! Take virtual tours! Look into what each university has to offer, paying particular attention to your potential field of study, the admissions criteria, and the cost.

If you’re lucky enough to travel near campuses that interest you or are able to take a college tour, visit the campuses.

Finding a university that is a “good fit” is extremely important and will help determine your success.

Have more questions? Contact us to set up an appointment.

For more information and ideas, check out my Freshman Checklist.

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