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Need some advice. Decided later to actually take HS more seriously

MetalHead666MetalHead666 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hi guys, I am a new member on here and I have been looking around on the website for about a week or so and really like what I see on here and find a lot of this very informative.

So what I wanted to discuss is my current situation in HS. So I am in my sophmore year and I am just now starting to realize that I need to take school more seriously and I need to do other things that will advance me.

I started off last year not really caring about school, I would do my HW (I would just get it done, didn't care about the integrity of it), do fairly well on tests (NO C's), and I was proficient in most classes. My Freshmen year my cumulative GPA was a 3.455555 and now this year I am taking honors geometry and ap Us History.

I have never really studied hard or had to do anything really school related outside of school and I would also add that my work ethic for school is probably in the substandard range. I do other things outside of school like guitar and it is something that has taken over my life in terms of what I dedicate most of my time to. Other than that I started my first job at 15

I would like to get into a good college and I have been talking to my friend who has been thinking about this stuff way before I ever did and it has kind of intimidated me thinking that I cannot do aswell as I had thought I would.

I have been told that I need to join a lot of clubs, but the things is a lot of them do not interest me in any way and I heard that having a couple of clubs that you actually like instead of 6-7 that you superficially like. I am apart of FBLA, a political club, and I am going to join ski club this year. I also do not know what I would like to major in or have as a job when I am older.

Going back to what I stated earlier about my work ethic, I have always thought of school as a job in the sense of you clock in and clock out. I would never do homework outside of school, always ended up doing it in study hall or during classes.

Anyways I have been going off on a rant here and I don't want to make this too long. Any advice is appreciated

Replies to: Need some advice. Decided later to actually take HS more seriously

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,360 Senior Member
    School is a job, but a professional salaried one where you do bring work home with you :)

    Good news is that you are early in your HS career and are figuring it out now. Colleges like to see upward grade trends, and some don't even count freshman year grades.

    You don't need to join "a lot of clubs". Find a few you really enjoy and participate fully. Paid work experience is great too and does count as an "EC".
  • CaMom13CaMom13 Registered User Posts: 677 Member
    edited October 11
    You're not too late. A poor freshman year performance can be made up for easily.

    My advice to my kids was to always do "their" best rather than competing with other people and my husband encouraged them to find and pursue their passions - the combination of those two pays off. If you develop a background in the areas you are most interested in and you work your hardest even at the stuff that bores you, you'll end up with a good resume and school record without needing to be following someone else's lead. Don't stress about the occasional poor grade, take some risks, learn to fail and persist. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you need to be perfect to succeed. You need to be the best you possible and you already have everything you need to get there.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,972 Forum Champion
    You are doing fine.
    You realize you can step it up and are taking steps to do so.

    Yes it is good to have ECs. But you don't have to join clubs that you are interested in.

    Check out "How to be a High School Superstar" by Cal Newport.

    "The basic message of the book is this: Don't wear yourself out taking as many classes as you can and being involved in every club and sport. Instead, leave yourself enough free time to explore your interests. Cultivate one interest and make it into something special that will make you stand out among the other applicants and get you into the toughest schools, even if your grades and scores aren't stellar. Newport calls this the “relaxed superstar approach,” and he shows you how to really do this, breaking the process down into three principles, explained and illustrated with real life examples of students who got into top schools: (1) underscheduling—making sure you have copious amounts of free time to pursue interesting things, (2) focusing on one or two pursuits instead of trying to be a “jack of all trades,” and (3) innovation—developing an interesting and important activity or project in your area of interest. This fruit yielded by this strategy, an interesting life and real, meaningful achievements, is sure to help not only with college admissions, but getting a job, starting a business, or whatever your goals."

    Check this book out from the library and read it.

    What you need to do is to figure out how to make the guitar your ECs...
    you want leadership and community service for college.

    You could:
    Take part in competitions
    Teach little kids how to play
    Be the leader of your band
    Play for a house of worship/nursing home
    Join the marching band (yes, they have electric guitars in the "pit")
    Play for the school musical
    Play in the talent show

    Also jobs are ECs. You can also show leadership there if you get promoted or train people.
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 801 Member
    You've got a B+ average and the time and motivation to get it higher, and you've got a job, talents, and interests, so I'd say you have something to work with! If you can get a B+ not studying at all, how much would you have to work to bring it to an A-... one hour a night, maybe? That's doable, right?

    As @bopper suggested, think about how you can take your guitar playing to the next level. Once you get some momentum going, it may be easier than you think.

    If you have some spare time, enroll yourself into a test prep program. You'll be a bit on the early side, but you might as well do it while your homework is light, because it doesn't get any easier junior year.
  • MetalHead666MetalHead666 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @momofsenior1: Hi thank you for your response. I have a lot of new experiences coming up as my dad is moving jobs to Cali and i will have a lot more opportunities/ possibilities being here including stuff for my guitar. I have a lot of opportunities through him that I could use and he has tools I can utilize aswell. My dad went to Cornell and I believe he played a huge part in the alumni and other really significant things.

    I will try to do better as if I can do B+ avg. with not really any studying I can probably get to an - A or A if I just study a bit more

    @bopper : Hi thank you for your response. I want to dedicate at least an hour a day in studying for school and all that, but like my whole life I never needed to do it and now I do not have the developed skills as others had when they were studying years before me. I do not know how to utilize my time efficiently for studying to make sure that I am learning new things and making myself more proficient instead of just glossing over things I already know, making me believe that I know everything in the subject.

    Also I will check out that book. For my guitar I live in ohio right now, and for what I want to do with my guitar and all that, nobody around me shares the same ideals. Most people want to do rap and hip hop and pop music and I am the far opposite. I am though moving to california so hopefully I will find others who will want to do the same things as me so that is a possibility. If not, I plan on learning how to record and do all the studio stuff for recording my guitars and such so maybe having a start on that as a new skill that I actually care about and could have proof of it by posting covers of songs that I record the guitar and mix and master it and such.

    I also have other opportunities aswell. My dad works in the casino business and he can get me in with people who work at an amphitheatre and I can learn how all of that works. I am just trying to think of the little things that I might actually enjoy that could be of good use to show. I rather try 10 things that I potentially might like and only find 2 that really sparked my interest than 10 things that I have no interest and wasting my time in finding no interest in any of those.

    @Groundwork2022 Well for the homework/studying side how do I do it efficiently and make sure I am above proficient so that when a test comes around it just feels easy and natural instead of having moments of being freaked out because I don't know how to answer a question.

    As far as guitar goes I can take two routes that I know are doable. A.) either join a band and get stuff going or B.) Learn how to do recording and mixing and editing of recording guitars and making covers and uploading them as proof that I have actually done something with it. Another potential thing I could do is join Jazz band.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,972 Forum Champion
    Read this book: How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less by Cal Newport. It helps you with things like time management and how to figure out what to write about for a paper, etc.
  • sta3535sta3535 Registered User Posts: 265 Junior Member
    A 3.45 overall GPA during your freshman year in HS is actually pretty good IMO. Now, my freshman year GPA was better than yours during my high school years and I never took any AP classes, so maybe that's why I cruised through high school with little to no studying. However, if you take any AP classes in the near future, then you may want to study some more. Even then, you still have some time to improve your grades every year, but you just have to work for it.

    On an extra note, I think that it's good that you want to take school more seriously.
  • MetalHead666MetalHead666 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @sta3535 Hey man thanks for the response. I am taking AP U.S. History this year and Honors Geo. I was recommended for honors english, but I decided to pass on it since I felt that if I am gonna do an advanced class, it would rather be something that I enjoy doing and learning topic/subject wise. For me Science and English have been those two classes that I hate to do.

    I plan on studying more and buying the book that @bopper has recommended for me. I also want to just improve and try to graduate HS with at the bare minimum a GPA of 3.65 or higher. Either I will barely make it to that point, or I will go higher, only time will tell. As long as it is over a 3.5 or at it so that I could be apart of national honors society which is just another thing that a college would like to see
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,972 Forum Champion
    Colleges like to see NHS because NHS indicates that you have done well academically and have done community service and leadership.
    They like those things without the title of NHS as well.
    But parents sure do like NHS!
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,554 Senior Member
    edited October 16
    I think that if you start working hard now, then you still have plenty of time to get into a very good university and do very well in life. Your freshman year is going to be a lot less important than your sophomore and junior year. A few universities do not even look at your freshman year of high school other than to make sure that you passed your classes.

    You probably should participate in those extracurricular activities that you are interested in and that you want to do, but only so much as it doesn't take time away from studying. A very small number of really top schools (Harvard, Stanford) expect students to have straight A's in hard classes and also have great ECs. Other universities including many exceptional schools expect students to be human. Perfection is in general not needed. I wouldn't do any ECs just to look good for admissions.

    I might add about jobs: Some jobs expect people to clock in and clock out. In many cases the highest paying professional jobs really don't. Many professionals are thinking about work while they are doing other things. I have solved work problems in my mind while gardening, while on an airplane flight, while watching TV, and in many other "unconventional" situations where others might not have known that I was working.
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