A Senior’s Advice to Freshman


Sophia Stone

Original artwork for the Herald

Julia Gilmore, Staff Writer

Hey Science Hill freshman! Looking for some tips to get you started this year? Don’t know what classes to schedule or what to get involved in? Here are some tips given to you by your fellow seniors who are invested in your future and excited to watch you succeed as a Hilltopper. 

Get Involved in the School

The most important thing you can do during your four years here at Science Hill is get involved in something. Whether that is a club, sport, or extracurricular academic team; our school is so unique in that we offer numerous opportunities to be engaged with our peers both in and out of the classroom. With almost 50 clubs and organizations to participate in, it can be hard to choose which ones suit you the best, therefore I advise you to research what’s available under the “programs” tab on the Science Hill website. 

Getting involved doesn’t just include connecting with your peers, but your teachers too. It is incredibly important to establish good relationships with your teachers, despite your love or hate for the subject. The teachers and staff here at Science Hill are the best of the best and do their part to provide an outstanding educational experience. Not only will it benefit you and your future to have these connections, but it truly will make you more excited to learn, and will increase your understanding 

Class Scheduling

Although it can be daunting and difficult, try to figure out what your future plans are after high school, whether that’s attending a two- or four-year college, trade school, a military career, or other. This is extremely important when deciding what classes, you will take these four years. Here at Science Hill, we offer numerous career pathway classes through our CTE programs, therefore I would advise you to investigate which of those electives interest you. 

When thinking about taking AP classes, my best advice to you is to enroll in as many as you can. Yes, the curriculum may be faster and the exam at the end of the year may be intimidating, however, these classes will impact you more than they will hurt you and our AP teachers are the best! Another decision I wish I would have made was to take more than two credits of a foreign language, as these classes are very fun and will help you after high school in everyday life or if you are planning on attending college. Get your harder classes over with earlier, this will give you less stress your senior year (trust me, you will thank yourself).

Lastly, whether you are good at math or not, you should “double up” on math courses your sophomore year. This would mean if you took Algebra 1 (honors or regular) your freshman year, take geometry and Algebra 2 your sophomore year therefore you are prepared for the ACT, and for higher level math courses. 


You will have the opportunity to take the PSAT the fall of your sophomore year and junior year. This is a pre-SAT exam that will give you the opportunity to qualify for a merit scholarship, so I advise you to study for this test. The ACT can also provide many scholarship opportunities post-graduation, therefore you should begin preparing for the ACT your spring semester of sophomore year. Some of you may think that applying for scholarships is useless at this stage however, there are millions of opportunities for you to get scholarships both locally and nationally, therefore it is never too early to be thinking about them. Also, the counselors have a page on their newsletter that lists big scholarships, some which include all grades. 

As you begin to research what scholarships are available, you will realize that many of them evaluate your activity within the community. In order to graduate, you will need 40 hours of community service. Trust me when I say that you do not want to leave this until your senior year. Not only is it required, but it is important for both you and those in Johnson City to participate in some sort of philanthropy throughout your time as a hilltopper. Many clubs such as BETA Club, HOSA, and SAC take part in the community and will help you to reach these 40 hours as well. 

We wish you luck during your journey these next four years and we can’t wait to see the impact you will make on Science Hill. Never be afraid to ask for more advice and always be willing to grow!