Insider's Guide to High School

New to high school? Make the most of opportunities

In a time before covid-19, students at Manduar Community School in the western region of The Gambia were preparing for school to start. (Banna Sabally/YJI)

Banjul, THE GAMBIA – Going to high school is something students all over the world anticipate because they want to know the impact it will have on their lives. Hearing so many stories from other people who have experienced it makes students more eager to be enrolled and start right away.

I can remember when I was about to start high school. I was always thinking about my new school and the new friends I would have and whether it would be like my former school, where I had so many friends.

But as I started, I realized that high school is really a great place to get experience. It’s where we learn many things about our strengths so we can do better.

My first advice to any high school freshman is to always know that your purpose is to acquire knowledge to shape your future. You should be thankful you can be there.

Other children are also longing for an education but could not get access to school, either because of financial reasons or other natural circumstances.

Grab the opportunity and make best use of it.

As a freshman, make friends. Speak to your fellow students and build friendships with them and make them feel comfortable with you.

If you just do things alone, you might not enjoy your high school life, because many students will not count you as a friend. They will think you are proud of yourself or that you think you are better than them.

It is also important to know that in high school you should always be mindful of the type of students to make friends with, because there are some students who can really have a negative impact on your educational career.

Be wise and don’t get involved with bad students who are smoking or not attending classes.

Get involved in school activities. Join a club in the school to realize your hidden talents.

People explore their talents in different ways. You can be a journalist by doing well in press clubs. You can be a lawyer by joining debate clubs and you can become an actor by joining the drama club. The same applies to being part of other clubs.

Finally, be punctual and respect your teachers. Make sure not to miss lessons and notify your teacher if you will not be coming to school to avoid being penalized.

Respect your teachers and treat them like parents in the school. Remember teachers will be willing to teach students who are disciplined and contribute their opinions in a respectful manner. Read your notes every day to do well in exams because you will not want to fail at the end.

Undoubtedly high school is very interesting and you will surely have a lot of fun. Do not be too shy to stand out from the crowd.

Banna Sabally is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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