The Cardinal

High School Survival Guide compiled by Seniors

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Freshmen year:

  1. Do all your work

  2. Must have earphones

  3. Must have food

  4. Get involved in clubs & sports

  5. Work out

  6. This year counts, so DO NOT fail!

  7. Don’t feel pressured to be someone you’re not

  8. Have fun!!!

  9. Do community service!

  10. Sign up for supportive programs like Aaron Price Fellows and Cardinal’s Interact

  11. Get used to rejection early; nothing is always going to go your way.

  12. Venture out and invest yourself in things that will help you discover yourself

  13. Make connections with teachers and other adults to have a good support system. They will be helpful when you need advice, recommendations, or just someone to talk to.

  14. Pick the right classes! Know which classes you need and talk to your

    counselor. Be your own counselor. Take it into your own hands I planned our my whole schedule and classes from 9th-12th grade when I first came here and I have more than enough credit to graduate.

  15. Start cherishing your memories. Your high school years WILL fly by in a blink of an eye.

  16. Take language classes to fulfill your requirements early. This will be less stress for you when you approach your senior year, especially since that will be your most stressful year.

  17. Start forming good relationships with your teachers. They are the ones that you will go to for letters of recommendation!

  18. Be openminded and step out of your comfort zone
  19. Pick your friends wisely.
  20. Maintain a great GPA (If you wanna graduate with a white cap & gown: GPA must be 4.0+ ; Graduating with a yellow academic cord: GPA must be 3.5+)



Sophomore year:

  1. Have as much fun as you can

  2. Mature

  3. Talk to new people

  4. Keep working out

  5. Maintain good grades

  6. Challenge yourself academically (preferably with Honors/AP classes)

  7. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

  8. Continue getting involved!

  9. Do not fail PE. It is one of the easiest class you will have in high school and might even be your only source of exercise for those of you that are lazy. You do not want to be the only senior taking PE. It sucks and it’s embarrassing. So pass all your classes the first time.

  10. Make sure you keep in touch with your counselor throughout the year. You do not want to go into senior year and realize that you don’t have enough credits or the necessary classes to graduate.

  11. You’ve gotten the hang of high school. Now you have three more years. Maintain a good GPA. Having a 3.0 GPA is recommended. Grades play a huge role in school. If there is any problems or trouble at home or in class, just let your teacher or a staff member know. They are here to help you succeed, not watch you fail. If you’re having a hard time understanding a lesson, don’t be afraid to ask questions!

  12. DO COMMUNITY SERVICE & INTERNSHIPS!!! Colleges love that stuff. You might want to pick up a summer job to save up for the cost of SENIOR YEAR! It’s never too early to save up, especially since college expenses is SO MUCH.

  13. Start thinking about what colleges and careers you are interested in. It
    may seem early, but trust me, it’s never early enough. Next thing you
    know, you will be at the beginning of your senior year not knowing what you will be doing after you graduate.

  14. Join Yearbook/Publications. You learn important life skills and experience in a really fun and freeing class environment. You also become more aware about current events in your school and community.

  15. Be openminded and don’t be afraid to ask for help
  16. STUDY
  17. Look into scholarships
  18. Make up your freshmen year credits if you failed
  19. It goes by fast.
  20. Stay humble.



Junior year:

  1. Continue working out DO NOT stop for any reason

  2. Concentrate in school

  3. Apply for scholarships

  4. Save up for a car

  5. Get your permit


  7. You will stay up late for AP classes, so stock up on caffeine and snacks

  8. AP classes = no social life. Make study groups, take advantage of all your tutors, mentors, and educational programs. They definitely help.

  9. Start finding natural ways to relieve stress like journaling or hiking

  10. This year will be one of your busiest year besides senior year. You will have to take many tests like the SATs, ACTs, and school standardized tests like the SBAC. Just make sure you are prepared for these test.

  11. Start early on research for colleges and scholarships. You won’t have as much time when senior year starts.

  12. Take a leadership position. It will help you for college and make you a
    better student and person. You and your community will benefit a lot
    from it.

  13. Keep up with your A-G requirements

  14. Go to college trips so you can think about colleges more

  15. SBAC testing is really tedious, but it helps with your entrance exams for college. Take it anyways.

  16. Do not fail any classes!

  17. Join talent search

  18. Get a part-time job. This is not recommended if you have a really busy schedule, (education first!) but a part-time job will look great on your college applications. It will also give you work experience and form resourceful references. You’re going to need a lot of money for the huge expenses of your senior year!

  19. Prioritize your left
  20. Put your education first



Senior year:

  1. Don’t talk to annoying person

  2. Don’t get senioritis. It is inevitable but you can make sure it doesn’t hit
    you hard. Balancing extracurriculars, sports, and academics will be
    hard, especially with all the AP tests, college applications, scholarships, and financial aid.

  3. Party

  4. Go to Gradnite

  5. Apply for as many scholarships as possible and don’t be afraid to try for ones you don’t think you have a chance to win because you never know. The more money you have for college, the less stress and debt you will have.

  6. HAVE FUN! This is your last year of high school and as a kid. You’re off onto college and bigger things, but now you’re an adult. So go hang with your friends, attend school events, and of course enjoy the senior activities!

  7. Remain friends with those who are close to you

  8. Apply to FAFSA early

  9. Take your senior portrait!

  10. Take AP Government with Mr. Reardon. Seriously one of the best classes I have ever taken at Hoover. Mr. Reardon is such a great teacher and his rigorous AP class really helps you prepare for college level work.

  11. Be mindful of all the important deadlines and requirements. Check your emails constantly and make sure you are on top of all your senior and college requirements.

  12. Do not procrastinate on your personal statement. If you are applying for a UC, put a lot of thought in your personal statement. Invest a good amount of time in composing it and get as many eyes to read it as possible. Your personal statement could be the make-it or break-it factor of your acceptances.

  13. Attend all senior events. It’s your last year in high school, and it is your last year as a teenager. You are going to grow up in a short 10 months, so take advantage of these activities. Homecoming, Prom, GradNite; attend them all!

  14. Thank your parents
  15. Appreciate your friends
  16. Make time for yourself
  17. Take advantage of the FREE admit weekends UC’s provide for you. They are intended to help your final college decision, so take advantage of it! Go, even if you don’t know anyone. It’ll be fun and eye-opening.
  18. Make your college decision on behalf of you. Don’t let your decision be swayed by your friends and family. College is an experience entirely for you. Choose what is best for you.
  19. It is okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed with everything going on. Remember, your mental health is really important. Seek out your support group if you need to vent. Relax and remember that senior year is just a step towards your future.
  20. Don’t take anything to heart, you’re going to be graduating.


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High School Survival Guide compiled by Seniors