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Back to School: What to Expect Your Sophomore Year of High School

Navigating Your Way Comfortably into 10th Grade

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Congratulations! You made your way through 9th grade, and now you're probably wondering what to expect your sophomore year in high school. It's not as nerve-wracking as your Freshman year, where everything is new. Instead, being a Sophomore means knowing enough to start your focus on college and/or your career path after high school. Being a 10th grader means taking things a little more seriously while being more comfortable in your surroundings.

You're Not the Little Fish Anymore

Freshman Year is over! Thank goodness, right? You've gotten through one hurdle of high school. You know where everything is now. You're familiar with the teachers. You understand who the Queen Bees are, and you've found your group of friends that will probably be by your side over the next few years. What's nice is that, while you're still an underclassman, you have freshmen that are looking up to you this time around. It also means a little more responsibility to show those Christian values and lend a helping hand to the new kids who don't know how to get from the gym to room 202. Put yourself back in their shoes, just for a little bit, and remember how someone lent you a helping hand. Or if they didn't, remember how it made you feel.

Classes Get a Bit Harder

Now that you're a sophomore, teachers no longer baby you. You'll be expected to do more work and take more responsibility. It's expected that you built up your study skills during your freshman year that you can now take and hone during your sophomore year. The amount of homework goes up, and the classes get even more challenging. It's also your chance to make up for any mistakes you made during your freshman year. Maybe you struggled during 9th grade as you settled in. Now that you feel more comfortable, you can start thinking about building back up your GPA.

The PSAT/Pre-ACT

One of the biggest obstacles of your high school career will be taking the SAT and/or ACT. Some students take only one, but others will take both. If you're planning to go to college, these tests are pretty much mandatory, and they are weighted pretty heavily in admission decisions. The best way to improve your testing abilities is to take the pre-SAT and/or pre-ACT tests. It's important to learn this year the exam study skills that will help you focus. In the PSAT and pre-ACT classes available, you learn the components of the exams and how you can improve your testing skills. Taking the tests and the classes may not guarantee you a better score, but they certainly help many students stay focused.

Choosing Electives Begins to Matter

When you're a sophomore, electives begin to matter more to you both in honing your interests while also doing what will look good on college applications. Suddenly it seems like you're not choosing electives just to have fun, but instead to get into the places you want to go. Be careful here, though. You still want to enjoy high school, so even if you're doing after-school activities that you think matter, you should actually like doing them.

College Becomes a Real Thought

Suddenly your sophomore year becomes about thinking forward to college. You start to think first if you want to go to college. If you don't, what will you do? Then it becomes what college you want to go to. You know you have some time to decide where you're going, sure, but the thoughts start to seep in during this year.

You Get Behind the Wheel

Some sophomores are lucky enough to turn 16 during first semester, but most will turn driving age by the end of the school year. While there is all this anxiety mounting about the college talk, this is the year that you will likely get your driver's license. It's an exciting rite of passage for most high school students, and one of the scariest times for your parents (so cut them a little slack when they worry).

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