Advice for New Bees

1. Appreciate seventh grade.

Appreciate your teachers, appreciate Music, appreciate the amount of homework you get. Before you know it, time will fly, it’ll be June 26th and you’ll be looking back and wondering where the year went.

2. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS

This is probably the most important thing you’ll need in BSGE, and just life in general. Take the time to figure yourself out. Are you the type of person who procrastinates and works best under pressure? If so, congratulations, you are a part of the vast majority. The sad truth is, even though we might be given two weeks to complete an assignment, about 90% of us will end up waiting until 7:00 pm the night before to start working on the essay and actually printing out the essay during lunch. (Just ask any of the teachers. Or students in older grades. Or visit the college office/library the day an assignment is due). This will result in at least one mental breakdown, and a lot of unnecessary stress.

My advice to you is: figure out some way to put pressure on yourself, instead of waiting for the actual pressure of an imminent due date. One thing that works for me is timing myself. Also, the Self-Control App for Macs and Productivity Owl for Windows allow you to block certain websites (such as YouTube and Facebook) for a chosen amount of time so that you can’t procrastinate by surfing the Internet.

To be completely honest, though, procrastination is inevitable. If you procrastinate (and you will), take advantage of the printers in the IB office (room 105), College office (room 114), and the library (room 205). Either try to get to school early and print then, or take advantage of the fact that we don’t have recess and work on stuff during lunch. Also, there is a lovely blue couch in the college office. Take naps on it during lunch.

3. Get help from teachers when you need it.

If you have a test coming up and there are a few concepts you don’t understand, do yourself a favor and go to eighth period if you can. Ask questions. Make sure you’re confident with all the material that will show up on the test. Also, with writing essays (and this goes back to the whole time management thing), if you’re able to avoid leaving your essay until the last minute, ask your teachers if they’re willing to look over a part of your essay and give you feedback on it (seventh graders- you guys would ask either Mr. Anderson or Mr. Lakhaney, both of whom will usually look over your essays when you ask). Try to choose the section of your essay that you think is the best- that way you have a general idea of what the rest of your essay should look like. Make sure you have specific questions to ask the teachers about how to improve.

4. Befriend people in older grades.

Everyone from eighth through twelfth grade may seem gigantic and scary to you, but I promise you we’re not. We’ve all been through seventh grade already, and although we might not remember every single thing from seventh grade, chances are we can offer you advice. Also, you can always use us to answer questions you have about homework. (In case you’re sitting here thinking, “becoming friends with people in older grades sounds great, but how exactly are we supposed to accomplish that….?”, here’s how: walk up to us and say hi. That’s it. The majority of us are fairly friendly; we don’t bite, I promise).

5. Google Drive will become your best friend.

Seriously. Google Drive is amazing. You probably won’t receive the details for your BSGE account until second semester when you have Technology, but your username is: TheyearyougraduateYourlastnameYourfirstinitial (for example, mine is 19salehd). Your password is your student ID. If you have questions you can always ask Shantanu, who’s in the room right across from Mr. Mehan. Or just ask Mr. Mehan. Or any of your other teachers, for that matter. They should all be able to help.

Basically, Google Drive will allow you to have access to all of your documents for school quickly. Everything will be in one place, and easily accessible, instead of having some stuff on your flashdrive, some stuff on your computer at home, etc.

6. Try not to get caught up in drama.

As the year progresses and you all get comfortable around each other, social “drama” will start to appear. The vast majority of drama won’t be worth it. Focus on your homework, making friends and having fun. You will save yourself precious time, energy and brainspace.

7. Don’t place too much importance on grades.

As I’m sure most of your teachers will tell you (or have already told you), grades are not something that you should stress about. This is a gentle reminder that a 5 here is equivalent to a 6 or 7 in other public schools. You are taking courses that other people are taking in high school. It’s okay to feel stressed out; in fact, it’s completely normal. But don’t expect to start getting great grades immediately; it’ll take a while for you to adjust.

8.Use your locker!!!

Think of your locker as a godsent gift. Literally. Your locker will make your life so much easier if you use it. For example, instead of having to carry your “A” and “B” day binders back and forth everyday, you can use a take-home folder to hold all the sheets that you would need from your binders, and then leave your binders in your locker. It may seem annoying, but your back and shoulders will thank you for it later.  Also, put your coat in your locker instead of carrying it around during the school day in the winter. If you really don’t feel like using your locker and you plan on leaving it empty for the majority of the school year, be kind and donate it to a junior (they have to share lockers).

9. Join clubs.

Although we may not have an excessive amount of extra-curricular activities in comparison to other middle/high schools, we do offer quite a few clubs (MOUSE squad, Math club, French club, Yoga club, Zumba club, DECA/business club, Film club, Drama club, and of course our very own Bacc Rag newspaper team).  It’s important to have a balance between school/homework and social activities.

10. Be polite, stay to the right.

Please do not block hallways. It’s common knowledge that the hallways are incredibly small, and people blocking them really doesn’t help. Everyone just wants to get to class. Keep moving and everyone will avoid lateness, thus preventing students (especially upperclassmen!) from getting irritated.

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