Tips to Help Incoming High School Students Prepare for St. Agnes

St. Agnes Academy
Looking for simple ways to help incoming high school students prepare for high school? Read on for four easy ways to get ready for the next four years.
Entering high school can be an exciting and transformative time for any student. For those embarking on their journey at a school different than their traditional neighborhood feeder school, the experience can be even more unique and enriching.

To ensure a smooth transition into high school, preparing mentally, academically, and socially is crucial. See below for four valuable tips and insights to help incoming high school students prepare to thrive in their new environment, foster personal growth, and excel academically.

Four Easy Practices to Prepare for High School

Parents, consider sharing our guide with incoming freshmen to help them get everything out of the high school experience at St. Agnes. These tips for high school freshmen will prove to be incredibly valuable throughout high school!

1. Familiarize Yourself with the School Culture

Understanding the values and culture of your new school is likely why you chose this school in the first place.

  • Research the high school's mission statement, values, and traditions to give yourself a "why" to help guide you for the next four years.
  • Familiarize yourself with the dress code and any specific rules or expectations unique to the school.
  • Follow the school on social media to gain valuable insights into the school's atmosphere and community. Schools like St. Agnes Academy in Houston showcase weekly activities in and out of the classroom on social media
  • Attend orientations, open houses, and any available summer programs to get acquainted with the campus and meet fellow students. Starting the school year with a few familiar faces is better than nothing!

At St. Agnes, we offer Out of Box Training and Tiger Camp for all incoming 9th graders. These programs are essential for helping you make a smooth transition from middle school to high school!

Then, once the school year starts, make yourself at home by surrounding yourself with friends, teachers, and mentors who can offer you advice and guide you through the four years. High school is your time to learn and grow! 

2. Set Clear Academic Goals

Establishing academic goals early on will give you a sense of purpose and direction throughout high school. Review the course catalog and graduation requirements to determine your interests and potential focus areas. Take advantage of any pre-high school summer programs or bridge courses to get a head start and achieve good grades.

It's okay to make decisions with college applications in mind but don't let it control how you spend your first few years in high school. If you want to attend an Ivy League school, keep that in mind as you progress through your classes.

Are you looking to play sports in college? Start talking to coaches and trainers about the best paths you can take. Contact your academic support staff or wellness counselors if this topic stresses you. Many schools, including St. Agnes, have professionals on staff to help you make the right decisions based on your needs. 

3. Strengthen Your Study Habits

Young adults are met with rigorous academic standards in high school. While this should come as no surprise, building strong study habits is essential for success. Follow these tips to strengthen your study habits:

  • Practice active reading by taking notes and highlighting important information. 
  • Develop effective note-taking strategies that work best for you, whether outlining, mind maps, or flashcards. 
  • Use technology wisely, utilizing tools such as productivity apps or online resources to enhance your studying experience. 
  • Regularly review and consolidate your class notes, and seek clarification on any challenging concepts or topics. 
  • Practice time-bound test-taking strategies to improve speed and accuracy. 
  • Learn how to use a planner - digital or physical - to stay organized and manage your time.
  • Ensure you have a space at home dedicated to homework and studying. Maintain a healthy sleep routine and exercise regularly to keep your mind and body in optimal condition. 

Developing practical time-management skills to balance academics, extracurricular activities, and personal commitments during high school will help you into adulthood. 

4. Embrace Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities provide opportunities to explore your passions, develop leadership skills, and form lasting friendships.

Participate in clubs, sports teams, or volunteer organizations that align with your interests – no matter the opinions or stigma they carry. These activities will enrich your high school experience and demonstrate your commitment and well-roundedness to college admissions committees. High school extracurriculars are incredible stepping stones to learning your professional interests. 

Strive for leadership roles within these organizations, as they showcase your ability to take initiative and work collaboratively. Making friends in different organizations, sports, and activities is one of the easiest ways to get to know many kinds of people.

While many schools have service requirements for graduation, consider pursuing independent projects or community service opportunities outside of school, as they can provide unique experiences and personal growth.

Get Ready to Grow at St. Agnes! 

Transitioning to high school, especially a private college prep school, requires thoughtful preparation and a proactive mindset. Familiarize yourself with the school's culture, setting clear academic goals, strengthening your study habits, and embracing extracurricular activities. You will be better equipped to excel academically, grow personally, and thrive within your new community.

Remember to seek support when needed and approach each day with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a willingness to learn. You are not on this journey alone! Remember, there are classmates of yours feeling the same way as you even if no one shows it.

Enjoy these four years. Your high school years are an incredible opportunity for self-discovery and preparation for the future, so make the most of it!

Lastly, cultivate a growth mindset beginning with freshman year. Embrace challenges and seek help from teachers or tutors whenever needed, especially when starting high school.

For Parents: Help Incoming High School Students Prepare with Our Support

Is your daughter ready for a unique all-girls catholic school experience in Houston? Are you looking for more ways to help incoming high school students prepare for their next four years? 

Contact the Admissions Office at St. Agnes today to learn more about how you can help your daughter get ready for her personal journey.