How Freshman Year Really Does Matter


Kyleigh Larson and Maddy Chesley, Journalists

High school is a significant turning point for many people. It brings the opportunity for new friends, different teachers, and new responsibilities you need to take on. Challenging yourself is essential over the four years of high school. Finding your place freshman year can be a struggle for most students but participating in extracurricular activities or sports can help solve this struggle. Most colleges look for upward growth patterns in your grades from freshman to senior year. Colleges understand that your first year of high school is the most difficult but you still need to try your very best.

Parents can play a large role in their children’s first year of high school. Freshman year students gain a lot of independence, but they need a lot of parental support because the amount of academic work increases and the student is trying different things; new friends, new clubs, and new sports. Some parents like to let their children take charge of their own work while other parents take charge of their education and make sure all of their work is getting done to the best of their abilities.

In order to see where high school freshman stands academically, we interviewed two students about their views on high school. We started by asking, how important do you think your freshman year grades are? One student replied, “Very important because it sets off your GPA, so if you do bad now it will affect where you could go to college.” This is a true statement, and although most students are being taught this by counselors and teachers, it can be very difficult to live by it. We also asked if it was hard adjusting to high school and why. One student responded, “Yes, very. The work is so much more and the expectations are so much higher. In middle school, we were treated like babies and now it feels like college. And in middle school, there weren’t hard deadlines, but in high school, there are no excuses and you have to learn to use time management.” With so many new distractions and freedom, it can be hard to pick your priorities and stay focused.

We then asked one senior about their high school experience. We first asked if you could change one thing about your freshman year to academically succeed more what would it be? She responded with, “To try harder and go to school.” When asked about her best and worst study habits for freshman year, she told us not spending enough time and effort studying.” Lastly, we asked which year she had the lowest GPA. She said, “Sophomore year.” She told us, “I regret not trying my hardest when I was an underclassman. If I could change anything, it would be to challenge myself and put in the time and effort because it will pay off in the end.  The biggest mistake students make is not realizing freshman year matters. It is an important year because it affects your class rank as well as your starting GPA.  Sometimes students get off to a rocky start, but as long as students have an upward trend in grades, it will be noted. Colleges do look at your freshman year grades but if you don’t do well. all is not lost because colleges realize that your first year of high school is the time to adjust and discover new things about yourself and others.