Dear Sophomore…

August 20, 2016

Dear Sophomore,

Congratulations! You’ve made it through your first year of high school last year, and now you have earned a new set of opportunities during your 2nd year of high school. Despite the fact the original Greek meaning of sophomore means wise moron, here are a few tips to make the most of your sophomore year in high school.

  1. Determine to make your school different and better.

    Now that you’ve been in high school for a year, how can you improve your school? Sometimes the best way to see what can be changed is to have a fresh perspective. You have been around long enough to know how high school works, but you’re also new enough to still have that fresh perspective to know what can be improved. How can you make your mark on your school? Be thinking and looking for ways to make your school different and better. You won’t make it different or better by complaining, but you can run for a government position, start a new club, or talk to other influential leaders who have the position to implement changes. It may take you a few more years to actually see your changes take place, but be on the lookout now for how to make your school a better place.

  2. Know your role.

    For the first time in high school, you now have an entire class looking up to you. This is a big responsibility considering you are closer in age to the incoming freshmen than anyone else. Don’t take your new role lightly. Incoming freshmen are looking to older students to know what they should do and how they should act. You have a better understanding of what a freshman goes through than anyone else since you were just a freshman yourself. Lead freshmen by example.

  3. Challenge yourself with AP.

    If you have the ability to take Advanced Placement classes, take them. Yes they will be harder, but college recruiters would rather see a “B” in an AP class than an “A” in a regular class. AP classes show that you are challenging and stretching yourself. Don’t settle for easy classes.

  4. Start looking at colleges.

    Most colleges begin accepting applications at the beginning of your junior year. Before you apply to a college, you will want to know what kind of college you want to go to. Begin researching which colleges have degrees in what you might want to do in a career.

  5. Chunk your time.

    The harder your classes become, the better you have to become at managing your time. Hopefully you have already learned how you learn best and have eliminated your distractions while studying. Now it’s time to get even better at studying by “chunking” your time. “Chunking” your time means that you create blocks of time that you dedicate to just one activity at a time. Spend one 30-minute chunk of time to study math, another 30-minute chunk dedicated to studying English, and so on. This will help prevent spending all of your studying time on one subject and neglecting other subjects. The concept of “chunking” your time is a habit you should implement for the rest of your life rather than attempting to multi-task.

  6. Be responsible.

    Typically during your sophomore year you will begin taking drivers ed classes and prepare to get your drivers license. However, extra freedom is earned, not freely given. You likely won’t be able to get your license if you have not proven to be responsible already. Be responsible with little things and you will be given more freedom.

  7. Don’t waste your freedom.

    As you earn more freedom, don’t be stupid. Just because you have earned more freedom doesn’t mean it can’t be taken away. If your parents expect you to be home at a certain time, be home at or before that time.

  8. Don’t text and drive.

    Texting and driving is illegal in most states, yet it remains one of the leading causes of death in American teens. Make a commitment and take the pledge to drive distraction free.

  9. Mean what you say.

    Your word should mean something to you. Don’t make promises or pledges that you don’t intend to keep. It is better to not make a promise than to make one and break it.

  10. Love with action and truth.

    As you continue to show compassion to others by looking for ways to actually show that you care. See someone eating lunch alone? Invite them to sit with you and your friends. See someone getting bullied? Stand up for that person.

  11. Be intentional.

    You won’t be successful as a high school student by accident. Be intentional about staying connected, completing homework, and fulfilling responsibilities. The habits you are forming will shape you for the rest of your life.

As you begin your 2nd year in high school, remember that the best is yet to come. Continue to take high school seriously and you’ll create more opportunities for you in the future.

Have a question about your sophomore year in high school? Send me an email or post a comment below and I’ll do my best to personally get back to you.

Best wishes,
Matt Signature

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