Advice to the Class of 2023

Survival Guide



Freshman Advice

Freshman year can be scary. Actually, any year can be scary. Scratch that- any month, week, or day can be scary. It’s all about asking for help, experimenting, and finding out what works for you to properly adapt to the hectic Wilson environment. Through our years at Wilson, we have found the ins and outs of what it really takes to make every day a “great day to be a bruin.” 


Firstly, get to know your teachers and classmates. Although it may seem redundant, scary, or unnecessary, teachers are human too, and you should get to know them in order to be comfortable to ask for help when needed. Also, make friends around the classroom! Not only will you get a chance to make great friends, but they will also be able to help you with classwork and homework.  


Study consistently throughout the year for easier finals and AP tests. This should go without saying, but never copy your work! Homework is designed to help you with finals and AP tests later on in the year, so do the work yourself and review it periodically to aid your future, more stressed out self. 


Use a planner and stay organized. Buy an agenda ahead of time and use it! The extra step may seem unnecessary, but planning out your workload is the most efficient way to keep up with all of your work. Honestly, keeping a planner every year will help especially when involved in clubs, sports, and extracurriculars. You will soon find out that you will get busier and busier, so I beg of you, please stay organized. Make sure your binders are neat, notebooks are well ordered, and your backpack doesn’t become a trash can. This will become necessary especially when you are in more advanced courses. Organization can only help!


Do not buy too many school supplies. Hold off on school supply shopping until you have a list; on the first day of school, most teachers will hand out a syllabus and under the handy “supplies” section you will most likely find a list of things you need. Then, you can accumulate all of your supplies on a list and eventually shop for them during the first week of school. There is no need to feel rushed or frantic about having your supplies right away.


Read your teachers’ syllabi. Many classes have different grading scales, late work policies, and rules. When starting the new school year it’s always important to know what teachers allow and don’t allow. Knowing how your teacher grades tests and homework also comes in handy, because with that, you can set goals for yourself and work to maintain a good grade throughout the school year. Most times, the syllabus also gives you an overview of what you will be learning throughout the school year, which can help you be prepared as those topics come up. Overall, a syllabus is a wonderful guide to success in all of your classes.


Sleep when possible.  Students deserve and need at least 8 hours of sleep every night (10 is optimal). However, as freshmen, it can be difficult to manage after school activities and homework– resulting in late nights, early mornings, and minimal sleep. The best thing to do is complete homework early and prioritize sleep! Getting less than 7 hours diminishes brain performance and increases stress. 


Don’t freak out over one bad grade. The semester is long, and if it is early on or even mid way through the semester, you have time to bring your grade up. Communicate with your teacher during their conference period, lunch time, or before/after school to ask for help about how you can improve in the class. When it is the end of the semester and you don’t like the grade you ended up with, don’t stress out. I repeat, don’t stress out! Learn from your mistakes and move on.  Your grades doesn’t define who you are. It doesn’t mean you should slack off, but having one bad grade doesn’t mean your life is over. 


Refrain from procrastination. Procrastination often leads to stress, and with a gigantic load of work piling up, it is inevitable to feel overwhelmed. Doing your homework early can lead to reduced stress, and will also help you feel more prepared when walking into class.  


Do not accumulate detentions. At the start of sophomore year, the golden ticket– a lunch pass– will be waiting for you in activties. However, you cannot get one if you have uncleared detentions. If you avoid getting them this year or continually clear the deterntions, you can get a lunch pass ASAP next year. 


Utilize dual enrollment– especially summer classes. These LBCC classes are amazing resources that allow you to receive transferable college units, experience the setting of a college classroom, and learn about a distinct subject. And best of all… they are free! If you have free time over the summer, consider dual enrollment and pick up a form. Talk to your counselor and they can give you more information. 


Do not forget the night before a big test, or any time, to take care of yourself. In the end, one test will not determine the entirety of your future, and your well-being is much more important than a good grade. Slow down, remember to breathe, and don’t forget to be kind to yourself.  


Take time to treat yourself; hang out with friends and schedule me-time. Going into high school can be stressful and for many people. This can often lead to a sense of being overwhelmed with all your classes, sports, clubs, and extracurriculars. In the long run, this new environment can lead to a decline of your mental health. It is very important to understand when you need to take a break from school; do whatever makes you feel better and happier, whether that’s hanging out with friends or reading a book at home by yourself. Treating yourself will help your mental health and put you in a better mindset, and being in a stronger mindset will also help you perform exceptionally at school.


Join clubs! Clubs are genuinely a good way to meet new people with similar interests as you. You also feel a sense of accomplishment for the activities you participate in. By senior year, you tend to wish you had joined a club or two your freshmen year. 


Do not slack off with your grades freshman year. This is your very first year of high school and you want to have a brilliant start. Old habits die hard, and slacking off during your first year of high school will complicate the next three years of your life.  Don’t minimize the importance of your freshman year and take your classes seriously. Make sure you keep track of deadlines and that you meet them. When you settle for the minimum, you are not being the best student you can be and you diminish your grades. This year counts so take it seriously!