10 Tips for Sophomores in High School (The Ultimate Guide)

10 Tips for Sophomores in High School

Just finished freshman year and don’t know what to expect? Here are 10 tips for sophomores in high school to make things easier!

At this point, you’re probably familiar with your campus, what high school feels like, and all that other noob-related stuff.

Pat yourself on the back! You made it through your first year with some more confidence about how this whole high school thing works.

If you’re wondering what the main changes are going to be like in your second year of high school, this should clear a few things up…

What’s the Biggest Difference Between Freshman Year and Sophomore Year of High School?

Sophomore year of high school is considered harder than freshman year. However, it does offer a bit more freedom.

The biggest difference between the 2 is that sophomores can usually drive and have a bit more of a schedule to juggle between classes, work, volunteering, sports, and social life.

Teachers may be a bit harder on you since you’re no longer a newcomer in sophomore year.

Aside from that, high school is high school. It doesn’t really matter what grade you’re in after that point.

Tips for Sophomores in High School

Hopefully these 10 tips help you get situated more easily into sophomore year…

1) Get Ahead

Take college level courses to secure college credits early on in high school.

Whether you go to community college or university after high school, college credits will always be handy to finish everything earlier.

I personally don’t recommend taking AP classes (or at least not taking 5 APs in one semester). They are way harder than community college classes and require an AP test.

If you have the option to take AP or IB classes, only take them if you’re trying to prove that you academically challenge yourself in high school.

No matter which option you choose, they are both key components to getting ahead of your peers as you move forward into college.

2) Get Familiar with SATs and ACTs

Take the PSAT if you haven’t already. Download a few SAT apps on your phone. Spend a few minutes everyday getting yourself comfortable with questions.

Learn more about what you have to do to pass these standardized tests.

The more you casually study early on, the easier it will be when you have to study hard for these tests.

Pro tip: If you already know you’re going to community college (CC), don’t bother looking into these tests. Community colleges don’t care about them and neither do universities if you’re transferring from CC.

3) Make Good Friends

This is one of the best tips for sophomores in high school! Making good friends is more important than making more friends.

However, they tend to go hand in hand. Now that you have an established few friends from freshman year, use your circle to expand it even further.

More friends never hurt, but make sure that the ones you get close to are actually good people (hard workers, don’t do drugs, make good choices, etc.).

This is exactly the year where your friend group will change for the worse or for the better. It’s up to you to make it change for the better.

4) Organize Your Life

Freshman year may have been a bit messy. You might not have known how to stay organized with all these difficult classes and long agendas.

Use this knowledge to help you organize during sophomore year and ultimately do better in school.

Utilize binders, notebooks, reminders, calendars, and every other tool you have to make this year as seamless as possible.

Building good time management habits and organization skills early are the key to being this organized for the rest of your life.

Think of it as an investment in your future!

5) Make Grades Your Number 1 Priority

Out of all the tips for sophomores in high school, you probably would’ve guessed this one!

Your grades should come first this year. It will help keep your GPA high and show your strengths as you head towards college.

Keeping your grades high is #1 at school, but that doesn’t mean it’s #1 in life. Keep your mental health in check as best as you can.

Easier said than done, but find a schedule that works for you and still allows you to have fun.

6) Volunteer

Depending on what state you live in, you are required to complete a certain amount of community service hours to graduate high school.

If you haven’t started at all, sophomore year is the best time to start volunteering before things get too difficult.

The truth is, junior year is the hardest year in school, making it almost impossible to find time for volunteering.

Take advantage of it while you still have a bit more time!

You can volunteer at places like camps, nursing homes, day cares, community centers, animal shelters, and more.

7) Get a Job

If you have a car and your schedule allows it, a job is an excellent way to start making money as a sophomore in high school.

Any form of work is great at this point. You can start a small business, do paid chores around the neighborhood, find online work, or get a work permit.

A work permit is required for students under the age of 18 to work a traditional job while still going to school.

Ask your main office at school about how to obtain one if you want to start working!

8) Exercise

Stick with exercising for at least an hour per day, whether you’re working out during P.E., in a sport, or at home.

Falling off of an active lifestyle during such an early stage in life is going to haunt you forever.

Follow a simple full body workout at home if you don’t have any other activity during your day.

Staying fit is one of the best tips for sophomores in high school who want to succeed in life. It promotes brain activity and increases your overall mood!

9) Start Learning On Your Own

Unfortunately, high school does a terrible job of teaching teenagers what they actually need to know in life.

It’s your job as a sophomore to start taking initiative on your own and learn some of those necessary life skills.

Here are a few things to start learning now:

  • Finance
  • Time Management
  • Negotiation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • How to Cook

These are just a few of the things school doesn’t teach you. There are tons more that you can start learning.

Get ahead for the sake of becoming a better person than you were yesterday and learn these skills early on!

10) Find a Balance

Although you’re only 15 or 16, it doesn’t mean that the only thing life has to offer right now is school.

You are still human and should use your free time to do the things you truly enjoy.

On top of that, you should also actively pursue things that you think you’ll enjoy.

The point is, find a balance between school and real life. The moment you start merging them together is the moment you fall into the trap of high school.

Sophomore year is a super fun time to explore and learn if you do it right, so utilize all these tips and do it right!

Remember, your mental health is more important than anything as a teenager. Keep an eye out for it once in a while. 🙂


Hopefully these 10 tips for sophomores in high school have helped you understand what to expect during this next year. Good luck!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!

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