Freshmen! Congratulations on making it halfway through your first year of high school! I’m sure you had a lot of new experiences this year, and we all know that you are probably so hype for summer. But there are still some things you should do this year to set yourself up for success.

1. Understand your graduation plan

It’s possible that you have no idea what you plan to do when you graduate high school, and that’s OK! If it fYou should have already created your graduation plan with the help of your school counselor. Students in Indiana are required to have a graduation plan (also called a four-year plan), but that isn’t the only reason you should take another look at yours! Planning your classes helps you choose electives that you find interesting, like music, cooking, shop and more! You can also look for classes that challenge you and help you prepare for college classes, like taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes or dual credit classes. Your grad plan doesn’t lock in choices you make today, but it can be a good guide for the remaining years of high school.  

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2. Participate in extracurricular activities

Extracurricular or service activities can be a lot of fun and can be a great way to meet new people! Your school probably offers a wide variety of activities you can join. You can also perform service or volunteer activities. By joining activities outside the classroom, you will learn about things that interest you and help you meet people who are interested in the same things.

3. Start planning for what comes after high school

I know it seems like graduation is really far away, but it will happen quicker than you think! You should start thinking now about what you might like to do after high school. Many people think that if you want to continue your education after high school, you have to go to a four-year college and get a four-year degree, but the truth is, that’s not the only option! You may prefer to take classes at a two-year college like Ivy Tech University or Vincennes University. You can earn a two-year degree or even a short-term certificate that only takes a few months.

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4. Be organized

We don’t expect you to be the next hosts of the home edit, but with everything you have going on, it is really helpful to be organized! You need to be able to keep track of school assignments and upcoming tests, but you also need to stay on top off activities, appointments and maybe even an after-school job. One option is to use a physical planner that you write things down in, and you can even use different pens or markers or stickers for different things you have going on. You can also use an online planner or download a planning app on your phone if you prefer to keep track of things digitally. 

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