More advice for incoming freshmen

First Posted: 8/5/2014

Ask, listen, learn and find a way to contribute.

These are some of the suggestions Pamela Murray, Abington Heights High School principal and members of the high school’s transition team offer to incoming freshmen.

The transition team, which is currently in its second year at the school, is comprised of upperclassmen that will be on hand during throughout the school year to help students adjust to their new surroundings. On the first day of school, team members will be easily recognizable with neon green T-shirts over their collared dress code shirts.

A few of the key ingredients in the recipe for success at the high school are self-discipline, self-confidence, preparedness, and organization, according to Murray and the team.

“The most important thing that came up (at the meeting with the students) from the upperclassmen is the fact that resources are here to help the students really learn…,” said Murray. “They should learn to take advantage of those resources.”

And it’s not too early for parents and students to have a conversation about the challenges the new school year will bring.

“I think if they (kids and parents) sit down and have a conversation… they start to see school as an opportunity to learn and be involved. They will see it (school) is really a stepping stone to get them to wherever they want to be in life,” said Murray. “Parents can help create that structure and hold them accountable, but ultimately it’s the student who has to follow through.”

During the dialogue between kids and parents, Murray said, “They should sit down and think about a plan so they (students) can maximize their time in an efficient manner in order to keep up with their work and then also make that time in their schedule to look ahead to the next lesson. I think they will find that if they’re prepared they are one step closer to reaching their goals and meeting their success. School is an opportunity to be involved and truly develop skills help to prepare students for whatever they choose to do after high school. It’s also an opportunity to serve and give back.”

Murray also told students to find their niches and create their own high school experience from that.

“Find something you are passionate about. Those are who are truly successful find that passion that drives them,” Murray said. “Everyone’s experience in high school is different…They’ll pick different courses, be involved in different activities and in the end they all graduate with the same diploma but everyone’s experiences as they go through should be unique. They should see how it’s beneficial to them.”

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