A freshman year survival guide


Photo courtesy of Manual Photojournalism on Flickr.

Freshmen year is a stressful year for students all over, but it can be even more overwhelming for students at Manual. There’s no one better to ask than students who have been through it, and of course teachers who deal with freshman every year. Here are the top three tips to surviving freshman year, as told by teachers and upperclassmen. 

Time Management and Organization

 It may seem obvious, but both students and teachers agree that time management and organization is a big key to being academically successful. “The biggest thing I have [to say] is don’t procrastinate,” Selina Negash (12, MST) said. “I always put things off and say I’ll do it in the morning or in study skills, but I never have the time I would like to fully focus as I would at home.”

While some students may have a study skills or time to work on it in school, doing your work is still one of the most efficient ways to stay ahead. To focus at home, APHG teacher Ms. Robinson recommends that students take advantage of the block schedule at Manual.  “Make sure you do your red day homework on red nights and your white day homework on white nights,” Robinson said.

Although Manual students don’t have their agendas yet, writing down homework assignments is a key to staying organized. “Use a planner to the upmost extent especially if you procrastinate,” Faith Simone (11, J&C) said.

Teachers really emphasized one thing to help stay organized, keeping up with Google Classroom.

Don’t be afraid to contact teachers

Don’t be nervous to email your teacher or talk to him or her in class.

“Get used to reaching out to your teachers,” biology teacher, Ms. Hafell said. “A lot of times, especially smart kids, think if you come after school for help there’s something wrong, but that’s just how we do things here.”

Teachers exist to better students’ learning, and all teachers would prefer to give you extra help than to see your grades suffer. Needing assistance won’t make you “dumb.”  People naturally learn at different rates. Don’t hesitate to contact your teacher as long as you do so in a respectful manner.

Get involved

Manual has a lot of unique clubs and sports that you can join. Getting involved will create memorable experiences outside of academic ones.

Joining a sports team or club will allow you to meet and form bonds with people who share similar interests. Being part of an extracurricular team also helps build good people skills necessary for life such as overcoming adversity, developing leadership, and building social skills.

“Get involved at Manual, whether it’s joining a club [or] sports or going to games,”  Laila Hayes (11, MST) said. “You’ll need to put yourself out there to make more friends. No one can make it through high school alone.”

Getting involved will also expose you to new people. “You don’t know where your people are and you’re not gonna find out unless you go outside the classroom,”  Hafell said. 

Below are some easy ways to get involved with all that Manual has to offer.

    • Join a sports team- Basketball, track, softball, baseball, and bowling are all sports that have yet to begin that you can join.
    • Join a club- Y-club, KYA, and KUNA are common clubs that Manual students enjoy, but there are so many clubs at Manual. Keep an eye out for signs posted in the hallways and stairwells about when clubs meet and where.
    • Attend games and dances- Sports games and school dances allow you to socialize with your peers outside of a classroom setting. Games and events such as red-white week are also a way to show school spirit.

Freshman year is the beginning of a new journey, and it’s important that you establish a foundation of success for the next few years. You only get to experience freshman year once, so make sure you take advantage of all opportunities. Welcome to the Crimson family!

Featured image courtesy of Manual’s photojournalism classes.