The Medieval Times

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The Medieval Times

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The Medieval Times

Freshman’s Guide to High School: Issue #2—Finding Your Place

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If you’ve managed to find your way around the school in a physical, directional sense, the next step naturally is to find your place within the school interpersonally: you’ve found where to go, now it’s time to find where to stay 

In truth, being invested in your school goes beyond just showing up to class. Invest in a community, and eventually choose a path.  

Namely, finding your place relates to getting in touch with your inner self. In determining where your place is, consider what you do best, but ultimately choose for yourself what you want to do best. 

By playing an active role in what occurs at your school, you can effectively shape the future, sowing the roots of opportunity, and eventually reaping the accomplishment. You are offered priceless developmental learning; social and collaborative opportunities—chances to “better” yourself by mastering real life skills, all in the development of a school community. 

The main way learning preferences are tailored is by scheduling (classes are chosen usually on an annual basis and are subject to change bi-annually—by semester). While the current year schedules have already been set in stone, it’s not too late to be thinking about scheduling for next year.  

Freshman: I urge you to constantly think about the future. Though it may seem daunting, I assure you that proper foresight will lead you to make more informed decisions in the long run. 

Here are some useful tips to think about when scheduling.  

-If you don’t know what you want to do, experiment: 

It’s important to distinguish between personal interests—hobbies; freelance pursuits—and a career: what will make you money and eventually financially sustain the rest of your life. 

However, the first two years of high school are essentially what I’d like to call “free roam” years; they’re defined by decisions specific to your personal interests, and subject to experimentation. 

I recommend choosing a variety of different classes. By allowing for a healthy mix of subjects (including core classes) you can determine what hobbies you truly enjoy. As cliché as it sounds, the phrase “you never know you like it until you try it” rings true. 

These choices assist in helping you discover whether your ideal interests represent a financially viable career. 

Additionally— 

-Take “downtime” classes 

This phrase I have personally coined represents what you would consider “easy,” entertaining classes that offer necessary “breaks” amidst otherwise crowded, rigorous schedules.  

These classes often inform you of niche topics, typically of underlying interest, further providing you with additional consideration in choosing your path. To this extent, you can earn basic credits working in a relaxed environment, without the struggle of a “serious,” more diligent core class. Also— 

-If you do know what you want to do, optimize. 

Sure, some of you may have known what you wanted to do in life since you were toddlers. However, precedents of life often change quicker than you realize. It’s important to be flexible and impartial to change, regardless of how certain you are of what you want to do. 

Knowing what to “do” is easy enough, but you must ask yourself: will this interest be successful or at the very least be part of a sustainable career? In other words, possessing the ability to honestly evaluate the longevity of your interests is crucial.  

Though it may be difficult, in becoming a practical adult, you must abandon immature and ineffective interests for more realistic pursuits, which will inevitably foster greater overall benefit. 

If all else fails, you can always take “general electives” which serve to instruct students upon broad or generic topics, qualifications that are relatively essential to any given career path. 

Some general electives include foreign language (American Sign Language I; Spanish I; Russian I), communications (Journalism I, Newspaper, Mass Communication I, etc.), philosophy, art (Art I; Ceramics and Pottery I; Digital Photography I; Painting I, etc.) and sociology (Sociology).  

Ultimately, in conjunction with this information, know how to choose your classes wisely. Whether the classes you choose teach you more about yourself, or more about legitimate academic concepts, you will certainly be rendered all the wiser for it. 

Another important factor in fitting in a school community— 

-Join extracurriculars; clubs, sports, and other groups. 

Some extracurricular involvements include football, basketball, baseball, soccer, swim, track, cross country, band; R.O.T.C., FFA; speech and debate, “key club,” etc. I urge you to be prideful and facilitative of the opportunities provided by your school. 

By rooting yourself into interpersonal groups, you will inevitably build a network of acquaintances, and furthermore, friends. 

-Make friends. 

The prospect of “making friends” can seem all the more intimidating if you lack connections. Learn to be open, and decisive. Not trying is often worse than attempting and failing. Find common ground between yourself and others, because mutual experience unites.  

By these means you can develop a sound support system; a source of positive reinforcement and encouragement. Not only are these factors critical to your well-being, but they also contribute to the larger, conjunctive welfare of the school community.  

-Be a vessel for positive change. 

Finally, I urge you to incite change within your school community; be involved. Understand that “different” is not always bad. Groups like student council and National Honor Society represent crucial leadership roles within the school, producing positive change. Effectively, with the right mindset, you can influence your surroundings as much as they influence you. 

Ultimately, fitting in can be a struggle, but equipped with necessary tools in understanding where you want to go can make the process more seamless and effective. In finding your place, you will inevitably develop a strong sense of community while simultaneously investing in your surroundings and corresponding interests. Life is dull enough already when you’re always being handed assignments: you might as well find a way to enjoy it. 

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