Things I Wish I Knew Before Freshman Year

reamads USAMember, Tallo Ambassador Posts: 1,095 🏆️ I Champion  
edited August 2 in High School Life

As a lot of us are going back to school, I just thought it'd be cool to talk about the things I wish I knew before high school! I think anyone should read this and follow my advice if you think it's helpful! Also, feel free to share any more advice.

  1. Your dream college will not stay your dream college. - My freshman year/8th-grade dream college was Texas A&M University. Once I thought about finances and school reputation it was no longer my dream school.
  2. It's okay to get lost. - I was definitely embarrassed... especially when I went to a camp that gave us a tour of the school (but my school is numbered funny in my defense...) Our school has volunteers for our first days (yes, we have two first days, if you want an explanation just tag me in the comments)
  3. Join clubs. -Joining things is so fun and you will get so many opportunities (like being a student of the month), but if it doesn't work out you have 3 years to try something new.
  4. It's okay to change interests. -I was 100% convinced I wanted to go be a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, but I am now considering a career in the military or the insurance field.
  5. College reaction videos are unrealistic. -I get it, it's exciting to watch people get into Stanford, but the majority of people don't. You do not need to worry about colleges until the end of your sophomore year.
  6. Your family is not always right. -In-state college isn't always cheaper. Out-of-state isn't always super expensive. (Case in point- state school giving me $3,000 a year max vs. $4,000-$5,000 at out-of-state schools that are similar schools with room to get more.)
  7. There is no one path to college. - Most everyone I know goes to community college (a great option for SOME.) But community college isn't for EVERYONE, nor EVERY MAJOR. Some majors are best at a 4-year college (mine case in point especially because there is no community college with that major in my state.) Plus, I would only have enough classes to have a semester and a half's worth, so there's not a point in staying FOR ME. If that's your path-follow it.
  8. Please do not only consider top universities. - Your chances of getting in a top 20 (or even top 30) are slim.


  • MonseC423
    MonseC423 United States📍Member, Tallo Ambassador Posts: 1,507 🦉 I Sage

    Thank you @reamads for posting this!

    I remember being SO overwhelmed for HS and your post would have truly helped so much. I thought that Harvard was the goal and that grades were the ONLY important thing. Your words are very reassuring and I hope the future freshman agree!

  • wandering_soul
    wandering_soul INDIA💫Member Posts: 421 🗺️ | Pathfinder
    edited August 2

    You are absolutely correct! @reamads

    When I was in grade 8th I was 100% sure I was getting admission to the Indian Institute of Technology, no after what happens, no matter how slim the chances are. But as time passed and my understanding of subjects developed more, I understood I wasn't made for maths.

    Afterward, I got an amazing history teacher in my 9th grade and thought I will take History for my higher studies.

    But now I am in 12th grade with BIOLOGY, PHYSICS(one of my hated subjects in grade 8th), and CHEMISTRY; and I can say that it isn't always true that the first thing you decide is to be your final outcome. You can never know what interests you and you can do best in it. For it to happen, of course, we must always be open to receiving opportunities. I remember I was involved in a Science Competition which is popularly called as National Childrens' Science Congress and that sparked my interest in Biology.

    So to sum up:-

    Never be afraid of HATED subjects. Instead, try developing their understanding more and more, who knows that might be the subject you will be receiving Ph.D.! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • reamads
    reamads USAMember, Tallo Ambassador Posts: 1,095 🏆️ I Champion  

    I knew I could get into TAMU, but after learning about some incidents on campus against marginalized groups, I knew that wasn't where I needed/wanted to go!

    While I've stuck with my same major, my college search has changed. So instead of the reputation, I think about the cost as well as the incidents on campus/how they are trying to correct them.

    So I can relate to being confident about a school and totally deciding that it is not for you!

  • cab
    cab Member Posts: 344 🗺️ | Pathfinder

    Great job on this post, @reamads! It is so important that freshman take the right steps early on so that they succeed in high school and college.

    One thing I wish I had done in my freshman year was to research community colleges. I knew I wanted to do dual enrollment in my junior year, but I had no idea what that would look like. By the time I began doing the research in the second semester of my sophomore year, I had no idea what I was doing and made multiple mistakes early. These ultimately hurt my GPA and even the college transferability of my credits. If I had put more time and thought into my future, I would not be stuck enrolling at two different colleges simultaneously right now to get my credits in. For those of you who are not seniors yet, use the time given you to plan out how you are going to finish high school. I would recommend doing that in your freshman year.

  • Angel_Scholar
    Angel_Scholar Member Posts: 144 💫 | Contributor

    @reamads this is so much information. I need this!

  • reamads
    reamads USAMember, Tallo Ambassador Posts: 1,095 🏆️ I Champion  
    edited August 4

    I agree! Except, our school only partners with one college, but I wish I would have researched what I needed for meteorology at most of my colleges. Biology is of no help and I'm taking biology...

    But on a positive note-there are CLEP tests by College Board. (Basically, AP tests, without the class, but a lot easier)

    Since there is a lot of classes my school doesn't offer, I'll be taking a few (3 or 4 depending on what my math class is because the teacher is saying different math classes than what I've signed up for...)

  • reamads
    reamads USAMember, Tallo Ambassador Posts: 1,095 🏆️ I Champion  
  • Rach_d2022
    Rach_d2022 Member Posts: 2,566 🔮 | Paragon

    Great post as always. I 100% agree that there is no one path to college

  • xoxorileyy
    xoxorileyy Member Posts: 110 💫 | Contributor

    Great post @reamads

    And you are absolutely correct on all of these. when I started high school I wanted to become a vet and I thought that was the path for me but after a lot of self-reflection, I knew I wanted to become a Nurse Practitioner. SInce I had decided that I wanted to change my career path that also meant my dream college and to do some more research.

    A piece of advice I would give to upcoming freshmen is do not procrastinate. Trust me this only hurts you in the end and will make college really hard for you. Also, read the post I made for upcoming freshmen that will also help. The link is:

    The tips I used can be applied all throughout high school by the way.

  • D_Thomas19
    D_Thomas19 Plano, TexasMember, Tallo Ambassador Posts: 503 🗺️ | Pathfinder

    Incredible Advice @reamads! Texas A&M was my dream College as well! However, I found Colleges that were simply better for me. And as you know, I'm pretty new to the whole "College Process", and as you told me, I must not only join a club but make an impact on it because that's what Colleges look at.

    And it's very cool how you want to be a part of the Military. I once dreamed of going to the Military, but discovered it wasn't for me.

    The Hard truth is the fact that you may have to do something totally different than what your family planned for you.

  • Mel
    Mel Compton, CA Member Posts: 789 🗺️ | Pathfinder

    Definitely wish I knew this before Freshman year! I was always told "Dont waste money on a degree" so i never looked at college a an option, now that I know my goals college is the ONLY option to reach them, okay not only but it adds to a resume.

  • blawson10
    blawson10 Member Posts: 4 👋 | Newcomer

    In high school, things start getting serious. Having a good GPA in high school is much more crucial than it is in middle school. Your state may offer money for having a good GPA and for doing well on the ACT. Don't slack on your schoolwork, especially math.

  • Rach_d2022
    Rach_d2022 Member Posts: 2,566 🔮 | Paragon

    Yes that is so true. It is important that you keep your GPA up and it feels good not gonna lie LOL.. But also it can decide on what college you can get into.

  • Rach_d2022
    Rach_d2022 Member Posts: 2,566 🔮 | Paragon
    edited August 15

    LOL yeah don't feel bad about getting lost. I knocked on the wrong door thinking it was my class and the teacher opened the door and everyone was looking. So been there and done that

  • VforVictory
    VforVictory Member Posts: 358 🗺️ | Pathfinder

    So what about the two first days? 🤣

  • VforVictory
    VforVictory Member Posts: 358 🗺️ | Pathfinder

    I also walked into the wrong classroom before. 😂

  • Rach_d2022
    Rach_d2022 Member Posts: 2,566 🔮 | Paragon
  • reamads
    reamads USAMember, Tallo Ambassador Posts: 1,095 🏆️ I Champion  

    So, we have a half-day which is technically our first day of school, which my district does to cut down on the number of days we attend but still get the same amount of state funding, but that allows them to not have to feed us lunch.

    So every year I have to take two first-day pictures. Very annoying.

  • VforVictory
    VforVictory Member Posts: 358 🗺️ | Pathfinder

    oh, that's less exciting than I thought it would be...

  • AbbyNicole
    AbbyNicole United States Henderson KentuckyMember Posts: 85 👁️‍🗨️ | Seeker

    Make some friends and hold on because it is run or be run over. Well at least in my school @reamads

  • Rach_d2022
    Rach_d2022 Member Posts: 2,566 🔮 | Paragon

    Yes so true. We all need true friends that will stick by our side

  • C_King_17
    C_King_17 United States. Plano, TX. Member Posts: 405 🗺️ | Pathfinder

    Thanks for the advice. This totally helped. Originally I wanted to go to Harvard, my big bro wanted to go to Texas A&M, Or the University of Austin, but after looking at the price, it's probably not going to happen. I've always wanted to be a Physical Therapist I just realized like 2 months ago I need a backup plan in case that doesn't work out. Thanks for the advice.