Top Ten Rookie Mistakes

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Alexis Garrison

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The first few weeks of high school help form the remainder of the year. Cliques, attitude, behavior, grades, classes and routines add up, shaping different high school experiences for every freshman. So why not make it an unforgettable first year and get a head start by avoiding these common newbie mistakes.


  • Believing freshman year does not really count
    Most freshmen believe that their first year does not matter, but in reality freshman year has much importance for students’ academic future. Avoiding responsibilities the first year will make it difficult to catch up later. Start thinking about the future and plan out goals and milestones; this will aid in keeping focused on freshman year and years to come.
  • Taking classes because of friends
    Students should not waste time in school taking classes that other people take, unless they genuinely want to take it too. Everyone has different interests and academic skills, so take classes that look appealing. Doing so will not only result in new friends, but enjoyable coursework as well.
  • Get involved on campus
    Most freshmen do not want to get involved in extracurriculars, but activities and clubs outside of school help maintain and improve personal social life. Making new friends, learning new skills and learning more about themselves will help students feel more connected to the school. Try a few programs and clubs for a few days to get a feel for it; do not sign up for everything all at once. A dedicated and active member in a few activities far outweighs a member who makes little effort in several.
  • Get to know counselors and assistant principals
    They may appear intimidating at first, but counselors and assistant principals help students throughout high school. They will assist with schedules, advise about future events and help students decide on majors down the road. They do not only want to support students academically, but socially as well.
  • Make connections with students
    New school, new people, new friends. Most freshmen probably do not know anyone in their classes, so during the first week of school try to meet at least one new person in each class. Do not get shy around upperclassmen either; try to make friends with a few. Upperclassmen went through the same process, so they can give out advice about the ins and outs of the school, like how to act around certain teachers, which cliques to avoid and details about clubs or sports.
  • Get to know the school’s map
    This sounds a bit nerdy and ridiculous, but do not toss aside the school map. Try to memorize it and feel at ease knowing the layout of the school. Mapping out routes and figuring out what halls to take and areas to avoid will save a few extra minutes when hopping from class to class.
  • Attend Cy Creek’s social events
    As a freshman, Cy Creek’s homecoming game or Lighting of the CC may look intimidating at first glance, but try to make an appearance. Social events such as plays, games, dances and club activities last year round, and they make a great way to meet new friends and provide a sense of community in Cy Creek. Going to events for the first few months will help develop a sense of what high school has to offer.
  • Do not stress about college yet
    Do not worry about attending a college or university quite yet. Instead, start taking the idea of college seriously in junior or senior year and begin to apply then. Foreign language credits, teacher recommendations, volunteer organizations and participation in various clubs will make certain students stand out from the rest of the applicants, so keep that in mind. Start developing these skills gradually rather than cramming them all into senior year.
  • Always pay attention in class
    Duh, right? Well, not with most newbies. Skipping class, blowing off assignments and not having a care in the world may seem cool at first, but most students regret it down the line. Besides, paying attention in class makes homework easier, allowing for more free time.
  • Make time for you
    Academics, clubs and sports can wear freshmen down if they do not take it easy. Make sure to leave in time for fun as well; do not spend every second stressing over a test or worrying about a playoff. Break away from a bustling schedule and make room for friends, family or just some alone time. Pushing to the limit everyday will not make high school enjoyable. Remember, having fun should play a crucial part in life.


Frequently Asked Questions: Freshmen Edition

  • What do I bring the first day?
    • Students should have standard school supplies such as notebooks, a backpack, paper, pens and pencils. Your teacher or advisor will inform you if you need more specific materials. Belongings that might become damaged, lost or stolen such as cell phones, headphones and cameras arise as the student’s responsibility.  
  • What will I expect from lunch?
    • Three lunches occur throughout the day, labeled A, B and C. Due to block schedule, lunch for Wednesdays depends on your 5th period teacher and lunch for Thursdays depend on your 6th period teacher. Wednesday and Thursday lunches may differ from your usual lunch period listed on your schedule. Leaving the campus for lunch goes against the district’s closed school policy.
  • Will I have enough time in between class without getting tardy?
    • The time in between classes limits to seven minutes in the hall. A warning bell rings when five minutes pass. A student with one foot in the door counts as present and should not have a tardy given to them. If you arrive late to a class, report to the nearest tardy station to receive a consequence and a pass to class.
  • What can I wear?
    • The dress code covers every article of clothing that the district deems acceptable. Pants, skirts and shorts should not exceed mid-thigh, wearing leggings or tights does not negate this rule. Having holes, cuts, or rips in material may not exceed mid-thigh either, this applies for both male and female students. Wearing excessively tight (e.g. Lycra and Spandex) and revealing (e.g. backless, strapless, sleeveless) articles of clothing go against dress code standards as well. Head coverings (e.g. hats, visors, beanies) denounce dress code requirements unless it has a school, medical or religious affiliation. The dress code allows facial piercings, but only small studs due to safety reasons. Tattoos meet regulation standards as well, but tattoos that appear gang-related, offensive or vulgar should remain covered at all times. Students who violate the dress code will result in getting a DMC and a parent conference. The CFISD Student Handbook should go into more detail about acceptable attire.     
  • How do I get a locker?
    • Students obtain lockers on an as-needed basis. In certain instances, students have preassigned lockers depending on their course. If you feel like you need a locker, please contact your assistant principal on whether or not you meet the requirements.
  • How do I get my schedule changed?
    • If your schedule does not match up with the course(s) you selected, see your counselor immediately and fill out a Schedule Change Request form. Please note that courses will not change unless it involves: a level change (e.g. K to L), an error correction (e.g. students who have already taken the course) or leveling due to master schedule changes. Schedules will not alter for elective changes or to accommodate teacher/lunch change requests.