Preparing for Back to School? Older Jags’ Top 4 Tips


Graphic by Gabriel Medina

Trisha Villanueva, Staff Writer

   Bye to online learning, hello to in-person learning. The students of Pembroke Pines Charter High returned to school on August 18th. For the freshmen and sophomores, it is their first time stepping foot into the campus. The juniors and seniors, on the other hand, are back for their second and third time. Here older Jags and upperclassmen are passing their tips down to the underclassmen.

   With the new school year starting, what is some advice upperclassmen have for the underclassmen? 

  • Have a social life and form relationships

   “Regarding social life, it’ll help you see if those you currently surround yourself with are there to support you and if they will contribute to your success,” says sophomore Victoria Valdivia. In high school, friends come and go, but the right friends stay no matter what. Don’t be afraid to make new friends! 

   Form relationships with teachers because it is beneficial. They will be the ones that write the recommendation letters. Not only that, teachers may help alleviate some stress by giving any advice on possible problems. They were once high school students, so they understand some of the things that happen in high school.

  • Set short-term and long-term goals

   Each grade may have pretty different goals, but general ones include getting straight A’s, being involved in a club or two or even more, graduating with the AICE diploma, and getting into one’s dream college.

   In regards to classes, Charter offers Honors, AICE, and AP classes. Whichever path feels right, go for it. Take challenging classes, but try not to put too much pressure on yourself. At the end of the day, mental health matters and should be prioritized.

  • Be Involved in School Events & Clubs!

   According to Nathan Pothuganti, a sophomore, “If you haven’t already, find a club, sport, or extracurricular that you really enjoy and can put a lot of time into, especially group-based things. This will help improve your confidence, social skills, self-esteem, make friends, and literally everything else—seriously, it’s definitely worth it!” Charter has a wide variety of clubs and sports; there is something for everyone. 

   To name a few, Mu Alpha Theta, National English Honor Society, Best Buddies, Village Mentors Club, and Key Club are clubs that give student volunteer hours. Other clubs include Science National Honor Society, National Honor Society, Culinary Club, Rho Kappa, Fashion Club, Chorus Club, Girl Power, and Indian Student Association.

   Mu Alpha Theta is the math honor society club where students tutor students who need help with math. The club also has a branch called FMAT, where students can participate in math competitions. Additionally, National English Honor Society is not open to freshmen, but open to the rest of the grades. Emma Schenker, a junior and NEHS’s Atala Editor, states, “NEHS allows you to partake in some great activities like writing and reciting poetry and prose and reading books to kindergarteners. We also run a literary journal called Atala that publishes student poetry, fiction, art, and more!” NEHS hosts events such as Poetry Out Loud, Recite Night, Poetry Slam, and Poem In Your Pocket Day. 

   Best Buddies is a club for students who want to make a difference in the lives of students with disabilities. Senior Zayna Diaz expresses, “Best Buddies strives to spread the message of inclusion by volunteering with people with disabilities. It’s a club where you can actually see the results of your contributions every time you volunteer, seeing how you’re helping make each buddies’ life better.” Best Buddies has events such as Winter Wonderland, Best Buddies Friendship Walk, and Best Buddies Movie Nights. 

   Finally, Key Club is for students who want to be involved in the community or students who are looking for volunteer opportunities. Junior and Key Club secretary Trinity Tang says, “Events can be as simple as Harvest Drives and Christmas cards, to cooperative events like District Committee Meetings and Car Washes.” The school is known for the blood drive that occurs later in the year where students of age donate blood to save a life. 

  • Participate, stay on top of things, and don’t procrastinate

   Try to participate if the teacher asks questions in class. Don’t worry about getting the answer wrong; it’s part of learning. If the lesson or concept is hard to understand, don’t be afraid to ask the teacher for help. They are more than happy to help. It may seem scary at first, but it’s better than not getting any clarification at all.

   Stay on top of things and avoid procrastination. Even if the work is due on a later date, finish them earlier. That way cramming and staying up late is avoided. 

   A last piece of advice would be to enjoy high school and everything else that comes with it. School is important, but it is not everything. Go to football games, school events, pep rallies, and other fun activities. Dedicate some time to relax and unwind from the stresses of school.

Good luck with the new school year, Jags!