The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Things freshman need to know to survive high school


by Michelle Brooks | sports editor

When you first come to Johnson, you’ll probably feel as if you are in a corn maze and be as confused as a baby. But, here are some major things that you will need to know to survive.

Exam exemptions

Exam exemptions are at the top of this list because it’s one of the most common things that are not emphasized to freshmen enough.It’s one of the best things created that can save your grades and a lot of stress. Exam exemptions are for your exams at the end of each semester. You have the option to exempt, or not have to take, up to 3 of your exams, but, they are based on your attendance. Furthermore, the higher your average, the more likely chance you won’t have to take that exam. So, make sure you keep track of your attendance from day one – and tardies do count!


This ties into the first one as well. You should try only to be absent when it’s excused, which means doctor or dentist appointment, family emergencies, and school business. Even though being absent or tardy may not have any tough consequences, it is hard to catch up on work, especially in harder classes. Tardies and absences count for exemptions, but  if you also have too many absences, you can get Saturday school. Who wants to come to school on a Saturday?


Rank is one of the most important things colleges look at once they see your application. Starting off strong your freshman year can land you a high rank and will help sturdy your position for the rest of your high school career. Some people always have low ranks because they never tried freshman year but, there is also a chance you can increase your rank if you don’t like your freshman year rank. The only way to do that is to take a lot of AP and pre- ap classes – lessen the amount of work you have by exceeding in your freshman classes.


The hallways are a very tricky place to navigate, especially when you’re a freshman. Not only are you not sure about where your classes are at, but you have to push your way through the crowded and irritating hallways. Since Johnson contains a lot of students and teachers, the hallways are like 281 in the heat of traffic. It’s almost impossible to get through them easily.Never mind that you have 5minutes to get to classes, whether they’re on two opposite floors or are across the building from each other. You can walk and talk with your friends but make sure you all walk fast and don’t stand in the middle of the hallway!

Lunch Lines

Recently, our school adopted new options for breakfast and lunch lines. In the morning, there is a gab and go breakfast line that serves breakfast that can be taken to class or eaten on the way to class. This is a great option if you’re running late or just want a second breakfast. But, fair warning, some teachers won’t let you eat in your first period but, you just have to get to know your teacher to see if it’s cool. There has been several new options for lunch. It has expanded into a more variety of food.

Stress/time management

This is one of the most important things to learn in high school. You may be bombarded with a bunch of work from all your classes, but if you master time management and how to separate assignments, you will be less overwhelmed. Time management can be a form of stress management because if you take away some of the work one piece at a time, you won’t be as stressed. However, it is not the only technique for stress management. There are several ways to relieve stress from your academic duties, such as playing a sport, watch a little bit of tv, or take breaks to rest or do some of your favorite hobbies. Stress and time management will help keep you from a nervous breakdown when school gets too much for you.


AVID is a class offered to all Johnson students when they first come to Johnson. It is a college preparatory class that helps students get ahead so that they will be ready to graduate and go to college. Usually, students take it all four years to get the most of it. AVID students are given trips to colleges and are given more time,help, and information on important things, such as dual credit and college essays. It is helpful for any student that feels they need help to get through high school.


Although NHS is offered to only juniors and seniors, it is important to get ahead on volunteering so that you can put it on the application. You also need to be aware that a select group of teachers decide who gets into NHS as well. It also is for students with GPAs over 90. So, if you’re looking for a great thing to put on your college application and help a part of your community, make sure you keep your grades up, remain respectful to all teachers, and volunteer a lot in your community.


There are many clubs available here and there is almost a club for anything. You can also create your own club as long as you have a good purpose and a teacher as a sponsor.

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Things freshman need to know to survive high school