Unsolicited Advice for Freshmen

Don’t you just love freshmen? teen cirlce

They’re one of my favorite groups of students- a marvelous blend of big kid psyche and little kid sass, of sophistication and naiveté, of brilliance and idiocy. I taught them science for years, watching their morphosis from September until June. I can say, without a doubt, no one change as drastically in such a relatively short period of time as high school freshmen.

Here is my unsolicited advice for freshmen starting high school. (Freshmen, listen up!)

Keep a tight rein on your freshmen.

Parents, your kid may look more mature and responsible than ever—and s(he) could very well be—but the beginning of the school year is not the time to extend latitude.

Think of it this way…

EVERYTHING will be new!

New building, new schedule, new peers, new protocols, new classrooms, new locker, new principal, new teachers, new coaches, new clubs, new library

And EVERYBODY, including the custodians, is older than the freshmen. That alone can be a shock to your system.

Especially after ruling the school in the eighth grade.Classroom kids

And you’re going to add new freedom on top of all that crazy adjusting that has to take place? confused babyI don’t think so.

Having familiar parameters for them creates a safe, predictable island in their tumultuous life where they won’t get blindsided. Familiar boundaries let freshmen know what they are supposed to do, and when they are supposed to do it. School may be mad new, but home expectations are comfortably unsurprising.

After the first successful report card, you can loosen the reins.

grade A+At this point, most freshmen will understand the building, their teachers, the library, their schedule, their locker (maybe not the locker), their peers (umm… and maybe not their peers), etc.

At this point, new freedoms can be more readily assimilated into the freshman lifestyle—now that the new school isn’t so new anymore, and high school life feels more manageable. type 1 fingerAs your freshmen become more savvy and can juggle time for group projects and long-term assignments with ease (despite navigating that new crush, and negotiating that mean kid) a satisfactory report card is proof s(he) is better prepared to make appropriate independent decisions.

Enjoy the fresh start of the new school year.

Right now, everything is possible.exam thinking cap

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3 comments on “Unsolicited Advice for Freshmen
  1. kraftireader says:

    My son is off to uni all new experiences for him as he’s living on site. New experience for us parents too!

  2. Another good one is give your kid free time too. Let them work for a period of time, and then let them go ouside or play with their siblings for another period of time, and keep doing that until it becomes an easy routine.

    • Deborah says:

      Excellent suggestion. To piggyback on that, have a second plan prepared for when Daylight Savings Time kicks in because everything changes when it gets dark early.

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Unsolicited Advice for Freshmen"
  1. […] this school year is a fresh start. After 27 years of re-starting school, I’ve got plenty of advice to give. Take a moment to set some goals for yourself. Plan ahead how you are going to handle homework […]

  2. Another great idea is to set up a study area where you will not be disturbed. Leave your cellphone in the other room, and take a break every half hour or 45 minutes to check it for messages. That way your continuous train of thought will grow stronger.

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