Five Things Incoming Freshmen Should Know

Five Things Incoming Freshmen Should Know

As an incoming freshman to Classical, you are probably all pumped up for high school. Classical provides a friendly learning environment, and you will have a healthy balance of work and play. But here are some important academic tips everyone should know:


1. Know what you want to do. Plan out your four-year course selection.

As preposterous as this may sound, you should have at least an inkling of what you want to do when you graduate. Now is the time to explore, but also the time to narrow down on your interests and what you want to do in the future. Try to have at least a tentative four-year schedule planned out, making sure that you fulfill the A-G Requirements, and maybe throw in a few extracurriculars. Of course, stay flexible to any scheduling changes, and don’t be afraid to focus on a totally different interest!

Here at CAHS we have a diverse assortment of clubs and competitive teams, such as Speech, Debate, Academic League, Synthetic Biology, Dance, Band, Fashion and many more. Or, if athletics is your thing, you can join our sports teams. Colleges are looking for unique students who know what they want to do. Whether it’s a mission trip to Africa or entering a dance competition, it’s important to find some way to develop your interests.

2. Review!

To maintain good grades, it is absolutely imperative that you always review the material your teachers have gone over in class, especially if you are taking fast-paced, accelerated semester-long courses. Most of what you learn will be cumulative, which means, once you misconstrue or forget a concept, more and more things won’t make sense. Without a solid foundation, you can’t build a house. Who knows? Maybe you, a vehement math hater, may come to realize that decimals do have a point, and decide to pursue a career as an economist.

3. Check your grades.

Teachers are not omniscient or infallible. Nor is technology. You never know if a teacher types in the wrong grade or a technical glitch occurs. The importance of checking your grades at least once a week cannot be emphasized enough. Mistakes have happened before, and you don’t want to be the one who received a B when you had a solid A because of a typo. Totally avoidable scenario. Or, if you have a 89.4%, you can always talk to the teacher to see if you can make up work or do extra credit to bring up your grade to an A.

4. Begin preparing for standardized testing early.

Perhaps freshman year sounds way too early to be preparing for the PSAT or the SAT, but it is recommended that you at least take a few mock tests. It’s important to get an idea of what the test will be like and what level you are on so that you can work on developing those skills before taking the actual test.

5. Time management.

Students hate hearing this phrase, the dismal mantra chanted over and over by teachers and parents alike. But there’s a reason why it’s repeated so often. Junior David Zhou says, “Studying isn’t always about the amount of time you spend working or about how fast you can finish a project. It’s about the quality, effort, and focus… that counts.” Juggling classes, not to mention sports or multiple clubs, is tricky. Complete focus is key. Instead of getting distracted, concentrate and finish homework as soon as possible before you move on. Distraction and procrastination are taboo.


With these tips in mind, you are geared for success in high school. Good luck and have fun! Not to end on a cynical note, but these will be some of the most memorable years of your life. Oh, and, according to sophomore Grace Garber, “don’t block the hallways!”