Updated: Nov 21, 2022
By Tiahna Osorio
SOAR freshmen are thrown into the wild when they enter SOAR. They are expected to completely manage a high school and college education as though they are adults. While some may feel prepared for the work, it’s hard to prepare properly during the time the school year picks up without a proper guide. Whether it’s physics or managing free time, there are many ways to have a successful freshman year.
To begin, it's unique to have physics freshman year, but SOAR is a unique school. It’s difficult for most freshmen to have such an advanced science class so soon, but it is possible to succeed in the class. First things first, study groups are an amazing asset. The previous physics teacher who has now been replaced by Mr. Todersac always used to say that in order to learn physics students need to “talk physics”. Create a productive environment with people and just talk about the material. Go over what’s discussed in class, compare notes, explain concepts, and get used to using the physics terms in the explanations. It doesn’t end at physics either. All classes could benefit from a study group.
In addition to this, most freshmen have heard the tales of the massive amount of work SOAR students receive. However, it’s not as bad as many have been led to believe. The work is manageable, and if students are overwhelmed the teachers are all very understanding. An important aspect of being a SOAR student is self-advocacy, and if you're having personal or medical issues it's important to stick up for yourself. It’s important to communicate an issue with an assignment as soon as possible as well, to ensure that you’re not stressed about any situations. Also, the work doesn’t build up unless procrastination is in play. So it’s important to complete assignments in a timely manner, to ensure that unhealthy cramming isn’t taking place. While it may seem like a good idea, in the beginning, procrastination slowly but surely leads to burnout, which isn’t fun.
Another thing all freshmen are aware of is the school’s abundance of available places to buy food, drinks, or even school supplies. On the AVC campus, we have five food trucks, Subway, the student store, and vending machines as possible options to waste money. While it may seem tempting, it’s important to not waste all your money as soon as possible. Save money for emergency water, snacks, or school supplies. It’s really hot this time of year and having an extra dollar can help pay for another water. The food truck food is delicious, but there are at-school options that let students save their money for a rainy day. . In addition to this almost all the products at the student store are overpriced, so students could stock up on snacks at a local store and bring them to school, rather than buying them here. It is not bad to indulge in what the campus has to offer, it’s just important to make sure that precautions are being taken.
Finally, something most students most likely don’t know is that SOAR can be a pretty stressful school without support systems. It’s important to be surrounded by people who encourage achievement and are okay with listening to rants about unreasonable college professors. Being surrounded by supporters and being a supporter are truly what make the SOAR community special. All SOAR students are a little overwhelmed, but that doesn’t make any of us stupid. We’re all trying our best and that's truly what's important.