Hey, you! Yes, you, reading this article—are you a high school freshman? Do you know a high school freshman? If you answered yes to these questions, then this article is for you! This is just some advice and information I wish I would have known when I started high school.

1. Get involved


This is the most cliche thing people say all the time about high school, but honestly, it's the truth. The more involved you are in high school, the better off you will be. By this I mean the better your scholarship applications will look, and the better off you will be with your time management and planning skills.

When you find the thing you like the most, thrive in it and let it make you happy. Sometimes your freshmen year can be hard, and by getting involved in something you love, it will help you find your place.

2. Write your homework down


Homework is an everyday thing in school. However, when you are in high school, you become accountable for yourself, meaning no teacher is going to be telling you to turn it in and reminding you to do it. They may ask for it, and some may even put you in detention until it's finished, but some teachers will just mark your grade down as an "F." Just like how a teacher won't tell you to turn it in, they aren't going to remind you what the homework was, so listen closely all the time and write things down.

3: Go to all the school dances


So many people talk about "if I could do it again, I'd go to my senior prom." High school dances are some of the best times ever. You get to dress up and be pampered for the whole night and eat really good, expensive food. But the best part is the dance itself. You get to take off those horrible, foot-cramping shoes and those horrible ties that make you look nice and you get to be packed together tightly in a small cafeteria. Hot and sweaty people dancing and screaming and laughing, it is some of the best fun you will have— so be sure to go to Homecoming and prom.

4. Apply for all scholarships


This is something you do closer to your junior and senior year of high school, but it is very valuable information. Tuition is VERY expensive and scholarships are free money. Basically, it's money that is gifted to you that you do not have to pay back. Try to get as many scholarships as you can; it beats having to pay back thousands of dollars in student loans after college.

5. Know that your ACT does not define you


College admissions tests are a JOKE. So many people stress about their ACT and SAT scores, but truth be told it doesn't mean anything. The only thing it determines is how many scholarships a college will give you your freshmen year. Because something they don't tell you is that even though they include your GPA when considering you for financial awards, your ACT holds more weight in the factor. But here is the thing— even if they don't give you a lot of scholarships your freshmen year because of your ACT score, you can apply for more scholarships once you have a year's worth of college education. After that, your ACT doesn't mean anything.

These are small things, things you probably didn't even think about or have thought about. But these are things that will start to matter very quickly. To high school freshmen everywhere, do all you can, do the best you can, and enjoy every single minute of it.