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Welcome incoming Freshmen! Refer to this year round checklist as a guide for your year in high school!


Winter (December - February)

1. Explore colleges: What kinds of schools should you be looking for?

2. Worried about how you'll pay for college? You can prepare for college expenses now

3. Find volunteer activities that benefit you and the world

4. Think about taking SAT subjects tests while the curriculum is still fresh in your mind 


Spring (March - May)

5. As your peers are losing momentum, refocus your study habits and finish the year off right. (NO SLACKING OFF WHATSOEVER!)

6. Set yourself up for college success with a sophomore class schedule that emphasizes college readiness


 Summer (June - August)

7. Use your summer to explore jobs and careers that interest you

8. Get yourself to campus! Visit colleges to start finding things you like and don't like about campuses

9. Prepare for a new year by finishing your summer reading and AP prep. 

A Student's Survival Guide to Enjoy High School

For many, high school is a HUGE transition. Sometimes when you walk around the hallways, and you think to yourself "Dang, I'm in high school!" It seems like just yesterday you were playing hopscotch or tether-ball with your friends. High school will only be stressful if you don't set your priorities straight. Get involved with school activities & have fun because you only have four years in high school! Don't regret any mistakes because high school is just that, high school.


      1. The first impression is the most important

  • Have a good night's sleep they day before & a healthy breakfast so you have energy for the school day.
  • Cleanliness is key. Don't forget to brush your teeth so you have a bright smile to share!
  • Wear something comfortable and expressive. People judge by appearances so you'll attract people with similar interests/style.
  • Don't be late for class! Know where your classes are beforehand. 
  • Participate in class. Your teacher will be impressed & your classmates will be thankful that they didn't need to answer it.

      2. Learn how to make friends

  • Don't be afraid to talk to new people.
  • Be open! J.F.K. is one of the most diverse schools in the district including many personalities.
  • Befriend your locker buddy. You are more or less going to see that person everyday, say hey!
  • No one liked Napoleon- You don't have to have supremacy or be rich to impress others.
  • Don't focus too much on popularity. The idea of a clique is very cliche and not important.
  • Remember people's actions are usually good-nature and at heart therefore respect everyone.

       3. Stay focused in class

  • The main priority to be in school is to have an education.
  • Make sure you have all the supplies you need (ex: paper, pens, pencils.. etc.)
  • Only have conversations with other people when the time is right, not during a lecture.
  • If you don't understand what is going on, don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Don't interrupt someone and let other students have the opportunity to talk.

       4.  AP/Honors: Should you sign up?

  • The experience will definitely make you a stronger student and prepare you for future academic challenges.
  • Prioritize your time and figure out if you have room for more dedication to your studies.
  • Signing up for higher level classes looks good for colleges, but if you're struggling & not getting good grades, it isn't worth it.
  • Don't make yourself suffer to make other people happy. Choose the classes you know will make you more successful.
  • If you're not sure whether to take the next step talk to your teachers & counselors. Ultimately, it is YOUR decision.

       5. You should develop your own skills and talents

  • Get involved in school! Kennedy offers many sports & clubs, so don't be afraid to join!
  • Extracurricular activities are what make your time worthwhile in high school. 
  • Joining an organization is an easier way to make new friends.
  • Every group has a purpose & you should be a part of that experience.
  • If there's something you're interested in but we don't have a team or club, start one. 
  • Don't join to put it on your application, join to have FUN!

       6. Don't expect perfection

  • Dances, Classes, Sports, Relationships, etc. These are all like tests, sometimes you are destined to fail. 
  • Always keep your head up high! Releasing negative vibes can affect others around you. 
  • If you have always been a straight 'A' student, getting a B is not the end of the world. Pick yourself back up.
  • You are not a superhero; you are the only one who knows about your limits.
  • Accept that you may get rejected so don’t be too dramatic. Just try to make the most out of it.

       7. Time management is crucial

  • Balance your schedule between education & fun!
  • Set your after school priorities, make a lot of time for homework and independent studying. 
  • Set a time limit to how much time you put in for every class. Don't overkill yourself for one subject & push others aside!
  • Use a calendar to remember important dates.
  • Think about how other non-educational activities will affect your schedule.
  • Find your own personal time to take breathers between studying, so you won't be stressed.

        8. Look forward to lunch

  • This is your only time in the school day where you won't be locked in a room, use it!
  • Don't neglect your health. Just because you have short period of time don't just buy bag of chips.
  • Off-campus lunch should be spent wisely so you won't be late for class. Plan before you leave.
  • Be open to someone who is sitting by themselves, have lunch with them! You might make a new friend.
  • Some teachers might have their classroom open, use this opportunity to seek for help.
  • Don't listen to your iPod excessively, it makes you isolated and no one will feel comfortable to start a conversation with you. 
  • If you want to save some lunch money, pack a nice meal from home for yourself.

         9. Procrastination is a problem

  • DO NOT put the PRO in Procrastination!
  • Students often leave off an assignment if the due date is not tomorrow. Change that stereotype!
  • Study in a place far away from distractions (computer, television, etc.)
  • When working, only bring supplies that you absolutely need to finish you desired task.
  • Start brainstorming on a project once it is assigned, don't wait until last minute.
  • To complete 40 hours of service learning, DON'T wait until senior year. Use the free time you have in the beginning of school.
  • It is better to be prepared a day before than cramming.

        10. Be yourself & have FUN!

  • Freshmen Year: Don't change yourself to impress others.
  • Socialize & meet new people!
  • Join groups that interests YOU, don't just follow the crowd.
  • Have a better understanding of the high school setting & schedule

 **Note: I see you. As a high school student, you were probably too lazy to read the little bullet points. Refer back to this guide when you need help!