Advice to Sophomores

Photo from Steven S. via Flickr

Photo from Steven S. via Flickr

Emily Nardo, Staff Writer

I remember coming into CB South thinking, “This school is so big! I’ll never be able to find my way around!” But after the first couple of weeks, I already knew South from top to bottom. As the novelty of high school wore off, I was able to delve into my studies and focus on my schoolwork. I began staying up later and later each night, letting the rigor of the challenging honors curriculum sink in. Desperately trying to get involved, I joined a ton of clubs and activities– unaware that I was spreading myself too thin. I barely had time to relax and began drifting away from friends just so I could finish all my homework. Soon, my grades in math and biology started slipping, but I could not  stay after school for extra help, since I had so many other activities going on. This cycle continued to evolve until the second semester, when I realized that I needed to get my priorities straight.

So by now, you’re probably wondering why I am even telling you all of this. I want to provide you incoming sophomores with advice so you won’t endure the same hardships that I did. Don’t get me wrong: my sophomore year at South was one of the best years of my life, but I could have definitely used some advice on how to deal with stress, homework, and surviving school in general.

Here’s my five steps to surviving sophomore year:

  1. Don’t procrastinate. We all do it, but trust me, it can put a serious dent in your grades. Time management is the key to a successful sophomore year and that sparkling GPA. To learn how to manage my time wisely, I purchased a book on Amazon called Welcome to the Real World by Lauren Berger.
  2. Get involved, but don’t overdo it. Try to join a handful of clubs that pique your interest, instead of committing yourself to every club under the sun. This way, you can actively participate in each and acquire leadership roles that look good on college applications and such. Or if clubs aren’t for you, join a sports team. Either way, you will be provided with a chance to express your interests while making new friends.
  3. Find balance. This is important to having a happy sophomore year. Make sure that you have time set aside to work on your homework, as well as time for your friends and family. I know schoolwork should be your top priority, but destroying key relationships just for school is not the way to go. Maybe go to a South game on a Friday with friends and work on homework the next day. That way you can still have fun without hurting your grades.
  4. I know your first year of high school is a huge culture shock (well for some, at least), but you cannot let the stress get to you. If a certain class, teacher or problem in your friend group is giving you anxiety, talk to your guidance counselor or  a trusted adult about it. Believe me, it’s way better to let it all out than to keep it bottled up inside until the stress eventually seeps out of you and makes you freak out. Think about it this way: in 10 years will your problem even be relevant ?
  5. Let it all sink in. High school goes by so fast, so appreciate your time at South while you can. It will be over before you know it, so you might as well make high school something worth looking back upon.

I hope this advice helps you get through your first year at South. It is definitely a rollercoaster ride, so enjoy the thrill.