If only I knew this when I was a freshman…


Janae Rushing

Now that I’m a senior and people give me advice about college and education, I think to myself, “If only I knew this as a freshman.”

In my junior and senior year, I feel I have learned so much about college that I should have been taught my first year of high school.

For example, learning that Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) graduation requirements are different from college admissions requirements can be a big help.
As a senior applying to college, I was confused. What OUSD finds acceptable, colleges don’t.

Another big thing freshmen should learn is that even if you can graduate high school with D’s in some classes, colleges require at least a C to consider you for acceptance.
Students who learn that too late and received D’s, now have to come after school to make up courses in Cyber High. They could have done the work needed to get at least a C during class time, not their after school time.

As a senior, you can feel overwhelmed because you have only 10 months to make sure the credits from the previous three years and the current year will be enough to get your diploma on time.

Students might not be educated on how transcripts work.

If students don’t do well during the first through third marking periods, those three grades average out to become your semester grade. And that is the grade that shows up on your transcript. That is the only grade colleges will see.

When you’re coming into high school, there are so many pressures to be and do certain things.

For example, people skip school and don’t take grades seriously. Then when they’re finally put up to speed on the effects of their decisions, they wish they could have done it differently.

Everything we do from freshman year to senior year plays a big role in our lives during and after high school. Not valuing education and not going to college closes off many opportunities.

Students also don’t realize they absolutely need to develop relationships with their teachers.

A great way to keep your grades up is to actually talk to your teachers on your own time outside of class.

Communicating with your teacher will help you be more successful in school because they can help you one on one.

You might not like a teacher, don’t let that be an excuse to not do your work for that class.

If you have an issue, talk to the teacher. Not talking to your teacher because of personal reasons doesn’t affect the teacher; it affects your future.

As a senior, there are so many “I wish I woulda” statements you will make. It’s best to start off high school as a freshman strong, so when senior year comes, you will have no regrets or mistakes that you have to go back and fix. You will not have to say “I wish I woulda.”