Now, being in the third year of high school, I have realized how much I messed up academically and physically. My grades could have been amazing if I only had been more focused freshman year. In the first year of high school, I basically studied poorly for all my tests and ended up blaming all my teachers because the upperclassmen said my teacher was the "worst".
I just kept that assumption and did not seem to care about it. I told myself that "Oh I have three more years, I can bring up my grades but that obviously did not happen." Also, all the administratives encouraged us freshman to join multiple clubs to get involve and show colleges that you are doing other extracurriculars.
However, I did not take as much of an advantage than I should have. I was only in two clubs and was barely involved in them. The only contribution I made was I paid the club fees and that's pretty much how I was involved. I should have taken the advice given from the counselor by taking freshman year more seriously and by joining multiple extracurriculars.
Sophomore year was not that bad actually because I started on a more serious note after seeing how bad freshman year was. I started to learn how to manage time and stay away from your phone. I still kind of blamed my teachers for the grades I got however I was still working on that. Plus, I got more involved in extracurriculars and even competed for events in those clubs. What I should have done was just prioritizing what needs to get done first instead of looking on social media forever.
Overall, my favorite year so far is sophomore year. Then junior year hits me. The workload is unbearable. This is the peak of high school where you grades matter the most!
Sometimes it's so bad that when I have 4 tests in each of my classes the next day, I would just fake being sick just so that I could have more time to study. All the teachers randomly decide to put all the tests on the same day to the point where having mental breakdowns become a norm. Also, at this point in high school your classes are very rigorous, meaning you are probably taking 4 to 5 Ap's and on top of all that there are standardized testing.
SAT or ACT whichever one you took was another barrier in your path. These standardized tests were an addition to the loads of work given in AP and honors classes. I have to stay up past 2am at night because I have to cram in information for tests and taking practice tests for SATs.
I often have no time to just focus on my physical or mental health. Juniors also have to start thinking about what college to go to and what they want to do in the future which can be scary! On top of all that, junior year needs to be the year where you are truly passionate about a club and are some type of officer or leader for that club.
Now imagine how much stress has been put on you; you have to study for the SATs which is in a few weeks, all your teachers have put the tests on the same day and you have two meetings with your club members twice a week after school. After going through all this here's what I suggest.
Start taking freshman year more strict, get work done on time and most importantly be involved in multiple clubs as possible. From those clubs narrow down to the top 5 clubs that you are going to be committed to it. Next, start preparing for the SAT/ACT because you think you have time but in reality the next thing you know you are taking your first SAT/ACT.
Now, I know no one wants to study for the SAT/ACT this early but trust me this will only benefit you when the other kids during junior year are just stressing about how to manage time for SAT/ACT and maintain a good gpa.
Don't take the first two years of high school easy because it will only haunt you back like it did with me!