12 Things You Should Know Before Starting High School

High school consists of some very odd couple of years. Your body is changing along with your emotions, friends, and school work. Some of your best experiences can happen during high school if you know what to expect. Here are 12 Things You Should Know Before Starting High School:

Get in the Habit of Studying

Immediately! You are going to have a very hard time studying effectively when you get home every day. Prepare to study at the same time everyday (preferably right when you get home). Your overall GPA will naturally drop without effective studying.

Save yourself from all the cramming and staying up late by getting in the habit of studying immediately.

Related Post: 7 High School Hacks to Make Freshman Year a Breeze

Time Management

The 2 words that will save your life. It goes hand in hand with #1. Get an agenda, calendar, use your phone, or whatever you have to do in order to keep track of your plans everyday.

High school gets busy and it can be stressful if you don’t keep that busyness in check. Write down your homework for every class, things to do when you get home, important test dates, etc. Manage your time and life will be much easier.

Bullies Aren’t Real

Bullies are not a thing, as long as you don’t make them a thing. Remember, bullying is only possible with two participants. If you don’t allow the bully to get in your head, he loses his power as a bully.

Tip: If a bully ever says something to make fun of you, agree with them and smile. They’ll be totally shocked and immediately realize you aren’t worth their time to bully.

Related Post: How to Avoid Bullies and Never Be Picked On Again

It’s Not Like the Movies

Whatever you think you know about high school from movies is most likely not so true. Not everything falls in the place the way movies make it out to be. High school can be a great time, but don’t expect it to be some fairy tale of love, success, and friendships.

However, I have picked the movies that are most relatable to high school and put them in a list for you to watch.

Related Post: 10 Teen Movies Everyone Should Watch in High School

Make Positive Friends

“Tell me who your friends are, I’ll tell you who you are”. This quote cannot be more true. Your friends and social life makes you exactly who you are and who you will be. So don’t make friends with the kids who are cool, but slack off and do drugs.

Find the nice kids who are over achievers and you will be one too. Trust me, not all of those super nice and smart kids are weird. The popular kids that I made friends with were actually the smart ones.

Your Grades Are More Valuable Than You Think

People start to change mindsets around half way through high school. Kids start to believe that they’re just going to community college or a bad college and they start to get lazy with their work.

Everybody does it, but the easier you slip past that, the easier it will be on you to continue. Don’t mess up your GPA for such a dumb reason.

Don’t be Someone You’re Not

I know I know, you want to fit in and understand what everyone’s talking about. I did too, but the truth is, none of that is so important.

Sure, get into the trends and stuff, but don’t be a completely different person for someone else. You will lose real friends that liked (or will like you) for who you actually are.

Check out this post on How to Be Yourself by Lifehack.org

Focus on Extracurricular Activities

It is more important than taking a really hard AP class. Save yourself and your grades by taking decent classes, but focus on doing other things. Join a club you actually care about. Heck, start a club for something you actually care about!

There are a lot of great opportunities for doing things outside of school that will benefit you. Plus, it looks a lot better to colleges.

There’s A Difference Between Experiences and Being Stupid

I totally think you should gain experiences like dating, fun activities, and going to new places. However, experiences like experimentation with drugs and alcohol is simply a waste. Don’t do stupid things when you’re out with friends either.

I hate to bring it up, but I lost a good friend because she was hanging off the side of a car. It’s not worth it to do what your heart thinks is wrong. Stand up for yourself and just say no.

Start Turning a Passion into Something

If you really like something when you are starting high school, do something about it. For example, let’s say you love drawing and you’re really good at it too.

Start a club at your school, upload your drawings to social media, grow your passion, and form a solid base. It can pay off in the future for something to keep you occupied and maybe even make some money from.

Related Post: 5 Ways to Make Money as a Teenager

Stay Active

After 2 years of P.E. or sports, you are usually not required to take any physical type of class. Do yourself a favor and stay on that sports team, go to the gym after school, or whatever else you want to do to stay active.

I noticed a lot of my friends got lazy and even gained a little weight from not doing any exercise. Be the one to care about your body and your future by staying active.

Go for That Girl/Guy

Now is not the time to shy away from the things you want or are curious about. Don’t be afraid to make friends with that cute girl/guy in your grade. I promise you they’re just as human and as insecure as you are.

You never know, you can get a girlfriend/boyfriend out of it one day. So, don’t be afraid to go for it with a few people in high school. It’s great experience.


Starting high school is not scary. The experience you have will depend on how you want it to turn out.

If you put in effort to meet new people, join clubs, and study hard, then things will turn out alright. If you don’t, then that’s okay too! Just don’t think that your magical expectations of knowing every kid in the school is going to come to life.

At the end of the day, you should enjoy your experience, because one day you’ll look back at it knowing that it was just 4 years of your life.

Good luck!

If you guys have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments section below. What’s something you are curious about for high school? Let’s talk!

  1. Putting the idea out to kids that it’s their fault if they are bullied is horrendous. You are victim blaming. Laughing along with bullies gives them more ammo to throw at you because they think you are okay with it and you think it’s funny. Take this dangerous point of view off your website. 1 in 5 students are bullied, and it is NOT THEIR FAULT.

  2. Hi Sheri,

    You’re absolutely right that it’s not their fault. I completely understand your viewpoint and quite frankly, I agree with you. The message that “bullies aren’t real” was more of a motivational saying to give students a stronger mindset going into high school. Hope that makes sense!

    Take care!

  3. Thank you for the reply. I understand the purpose of the message you’re making. However, I’d still encourage a rewrite because saying “bullying is only possible with two participants” is directly telling the bullied student that they are at vault/to blame.

  4. You have any tips for me an incoming freshman that you might not have mentioned in the artical.

  5. Hey Bryan,

    Another thing I would add is to remember that you still have a life. What I mean by that is… your entire existence doesn’t have to revolve around school if you don’t want it to. Get your homework done, study, and then use the rest of your time to do the things you love or try new things in general. Hope this helps! Good luck freshman year!

  6. Hey so how did you know when you were doing to much or taking on too much in high school? I’m starting this year and my day is already packed.

  7. Hey Lyla,

    Every person will be able to handle different loads of work, so it really depends on how stressed you’re feeling. For me, I knew I was taking too much when I felt like I couldnt breath for a second in the day from homework, sports, and extracurriculars. If you decide to drop something, make sure it’s one of the less important parts of your day/class. Good luck this year!

  8. Do you know what I could do if whenever I get home from school I feel bored because I have nothing to do? I want to do something but I don’t know what…

  9. Hello!. I’m a student in 8th grade in their final year of middle school. School’s been great now with decent grades above 70, and I’m trying to go for 80 or above for high school and now. I have a 71 in math currently that is improving day by day because I have a online math tutor, so Im doing quite well. I was checking out your page so im aware for my 4 years in high school, and your advice truly helped. Thanks a lot. Have a good day!.

  10. Hi Mr. Friedman!
    I am currently in the process of trying to transfer from homeschool to the local highschool. The thing is, I have severe social anxiety and HORRIBLE studying habits–I’m practically failing all my classes and I’m horrible at math. I know I want to focus on passing this year before thinking about going to public school but it feels very overwhelming. Do you have any advice on what I can do to take steps to make better study habits/feel more motivated to pass?
    Thanks for this article, it helped a lot!

  11. Hey TC! I completely understand where you’re coming from and good for you for wanting to improve your habits in school! I’d recommend browsing the blog a bit more for some other related articles. Try searching this blog for “time management tips” and “homework tips”. You might also find the article “how to get back on track in college” useful even as a high school student. The tips are pretty universal and can help a ton. If you read those articles and still have any questions, feel free to leave another comment on any of the posts! Hope this helps😁

  12. I am going to start highschool in 8 days and have been really nervous but your advice helped a lot

  13. I agree with Sherri.
    My mother had the worst experience in all her years of K-12 and so did her siblings. Talking back to them didn’t work, ignoring them didn’t work, nothing worked. My mother had so much problems with bullying that she had a mental breakdown at school and tried to tear off her face. She still suffers from low-self esteem issues and mental health issues.
    And because her and her siblings were targets of bullying and became known as the ‘weirdos’ and the ‘bullied’, even the nice kids stayed away from them in fear of being targeted themselves.
    Ignoring them (most) of the time doesn’t work; in many cases it makes it worse actually because they’ll try harder to catch your attention.
    Victim-blaming is very common with bullying. I was appalled when I heard that my one relative (who was popular and had friends who were bullies in HS) claimed that “bullied kids are weak” and how ‘they can’t let the bullies get to them’.
    We can’t deny that bullies exist. Bullies are real, and we need to prevent it.
    The way the passage addressed bullying was just wrong.

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