Tips for Freshmen and their Parents

Transitioning from 8th to 9th grade is probably the most important transition in you and your child’s education.  The stakes increase tremendously and many 9th graders really don’t “get it” and find themselves late in the game of 9th grade worrying about how to end the year with a better GPA.


  • Go into the first marking period with high goals and expectations for yourself.
  • Set a plan for staying after school.  (At YHS, 9th period is an extra help period when you can get individual assistance from your teachers.)
  • Schedule homework and study time.  Study a little bit every night, even when you don’t have homework. You can always review your notes or go on the teacher’s website.
  • Understand that the work gets harder and the work-load increases.  
  • Be honest with yourself, your parents and your teachers about how you are feeling about the workload and your adjustment.  Help is there, but you need to seek it out!

GET ADEQUATE REST!  High School starts even earlier than middle school. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) most teens need 9-plus hours nightly to have optimal sleep. The NSF poll data indicate that most teens fall short of this goal, many by a considerable amount.

MAKE GOOD CHOICES! Friendships and choices of what teens do in their free time start to change in high school.  Stick to your values and remember your goals for the future, what you do in high school WILL impact your future.

GET INVOLVED!  There are so many choices of activities and sports in high school.  Review the choices early and set up goals and plans for how to get involved and stay involved.  

Many parents worry that extracurricular activities will inhibit their children’s performance in school. Various studies have shown that students who participate in extracurricular activities excel in academic performance more often than children who do not. The National Center for Education Statistics states, “Extracurricular activities provide a channel for reinforcing the lessons learned in the classroom, offering students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a real-world context, and are thus considered part of a well-rounded education.”

VOLUNTEER!  Community service serves many goals.  First, it looks great on your resume when you are applying for college or jobs.  Additionally, at YHS, if you earn enough, you get a special recognition at graduation.  Even more importantly is that involvement in community service and your community in a positive manner reinforces positive self esteem and builds self confidence, allows you to learn new skills and meet new people.  All of which serves you lifelong!

Start high school prepared to do your very best and remember…next year you’ll be a 10th grader!

By Karen J Profita, LCSW, Social Worker Yorktown High School