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10 Tips for Incoming Freshmen: A Senior’s Take on the Transition to High School

1. Don’t be afraid to come out of your shell!

It’s easy to think that you’re the only one nervous about starting high school, but it’s important to realize that every one of your classmates will be just as nervous as you! My advice for you is to just relax and enjoy the beginning of your freshman year. There will be so many opportunities for you to meet new friends that will shape the course of your high school career, starting with the Freshman Retreat on Friday, August 18. Until then, go with the flow and take in everything that makes Concordia special!

2. Take advantage of everything that Concordia has to offer!

If there’s one piece of advice that you will hear from every upperclassman, it’s to get involved! With 21 athletic teams, tons of fine art opportunities, JROTC and countless other clubs and activities, Concordia offers something for everyone, no matter your passion. Go check out our activities page to find out where you’ll fit into the mix.

3. Challenge yourself to reach new academic goals!

High school is a great opportunity to reset your academic life with a clean slate. It is the hope of your parents, teachers, administrators and even myself that you push yourself to make the most out of the time spent in the classroom and to take courses that will keep you motivated to further your learning. To help, each of you have been assigned a guidance counselor based on last name to help choose your classes and prepare you for the road ahead:

  • Bolinger (last name A-G)
  • Miss Nash (last name H-M)
  • Campbell (last name N-T)
  • Ober (last name U-Z)

4. Get to know your schedule!

Lots of freshmen worry about forgetting which class is next or not being able to get to class on time. My advice is to save a picture of your schedule as the background of your iPad/MacBook, so you’ll never forget! Also, it’s important to know how room numbers work at CLHS. All room numbers range between 100 and 300, depending on the floor. For example, if your biology class with Mr. Geischen is in room 302, that means it will be on the third floor. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers, upperclassmen or other freshmen for directions to your next class. We’re all in this together and gladly here to help!

5. Keep track of all the little things!

No matter what you choose to get involved in, keeping track of all the homework assignments, test dates, football games and club meetings could be one of the biggest adjustments you will have to make once entering high school. To help keep track of it all, I suggest downloading a planner app on your iPad or Macbook. There are many free options, but the app I use is called iStudiez Pro and is available in the App Store for $2.99. It allows me to organize all my class deadlines and extracurricular commitments in one place and even sends notifications to my phone at the end of the day to tell me what to pack in my bookbag. If you’re a pen and paper person, buying a spiral bound planner at the store is also a great option!

6. Speaking of school supplies…

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear from freshmen and their parents is what school supplies to get before the school year. At Concordia all students will need an iPad/Macbook and a TI-84 calculator. To learn more about these options, click here. Besides that, purchasing some black or blue pens, pencils, erasers, a pencil bag, lined paper, and a binder or two is the best way to prepare for the first day of school. Your teachers will let you know of anything else that you will need during the first week of school.

7. Lockers: Your Home Away from Home!

You know you’ve made it to high school once you’ve officially put things in your locker! Since you’ll use it every day, it’s important to keep it organized by using stackable locker shelves (locker dimensions are 10.5” x 11.5”). All freshmen lockers will be located in the freshmen hallway on the first floor, according to the locker number. If you’re having trouble opening your lock, check out this YouTube video for instructions or see Mrs. Friend in Student Success.

8. Get to know your teachers and administrators!

One of the greatest things about Concordia is its faculty and staff. Within the first few days you’ll see that teachers at Concordia care deeply about your future and are there to answer any questions that you may have. I encourage you to connect with each of your teachers by participating in the classroom and getting to know them on a personal level. Believe it or not, they too were once in high school, many of them even at CLHS!

9. Allow your faith to grow!

At Concordia we are given the unique opportunity to worship our Lord and Savior whenever and however we want. It is easy to take this blessing for granted, especially for those coming from a Lutheran grade school. I challenge each of you to evaluate your faith and explore new ways to share it on the CLHS campus. Concordia offers many great opportunities to incorporate your love for Jesus into your everyday life, including your Koinonia group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, choir, band and just about any other class or activity available to you. Heaven’s the limit for what you can do!

10. Make the most out of your high school career!

It may sound corny, but it’s very true — high school flies by way too fast! It feels like just yesterday I was walking through the front doors on the day of freshmen orientation. Here I am now, already starting my senior year! Above all, remember to enjoy high school while it lasts. Soak in every class, Koinonia meeting and chapel service. Show your school pride during spirit weeks and cheer as loud as possible in the student section. Build strong relationships with your peers because Cadet friendships last a lifetime. And of course, always stay strong in your faith and keep Christ at the Center.

In Him,

Drew Amstutz ‘18, CLHS Senior Class President