STUDENTS | July 30, 2021
Transitioning between eighth grade and freshman year can be full of changes for students, especially if they have been attending the same elementary school for close to a decade. The district’s Freshman Connection program has long been a way to ease students into their respective high schools, giving them an opportunity to explore their new school building, meet other freshmen, and familiarize themselves with the academic and social expectations that will help them reach their full potential.
Bakari, Brennan, Davion, Janiyah, Lakira, and Taniyah are six members of the Class of 2025 at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School who will be ready to hit the ground running on August 30, 2021—the first day of school—after participating in Freshman Connection this summer. We sat down with the six of them to hear about their takeaways from the program and the parts of high school that they are most excited about.
What have you learned from participating in Freshman Connection at King?
I think I’ve mostly learned about communication and my personality by really getting to know who you are. A typical day of Freshman Connection is going to different classes and doing different activities, and it’s a great way to get to know your teachers and fellow students.
How are you looking to grow in high school?
I definitely know that I want to improve my writing because I know that colleges will be very rigorous when it comes to writing. To succeed academically as a freshman, I know that I will need to figure out how to manage my schedule, including extracurricular activities and work.
How are you preparing for your freshman year?
I feel like one of the best parts of Freshman Connection is getting advice from students who have already been going here. I know that, in high school, I want to be able to form my own opinions and not just go here and be told what is the right way to think.
What are some of your interests outside of the classroom?
I really want to go to film school and make movies one day. Other than that, I really like to skateboard. I’ve been watching skateboarding at the Olympics and think that Yuto Horigome killed it.
What have you learned about King through Freshman Connection?
I learned that high school is not only about schoolwork and that it’s important to be friendly with others because you are able to socialize. I’ve already met some seniors and am going to let them introduce me to other people. I really like it more than elementary school because the work is harder and you get more freedom.
What subject are you most looking to grow in next year?
The only thing I’m nervous about is how my first semester is going to go. Academically, I want my weaknesses to become strengths, and I know science is what I will need to work on the most.
What advice would you give other students to help them prepare for freshman year?
My takeaway has definitely been work ethic, and I’ve learned that you have to stay on top of your work from the beginning because freshman year is a really important year. In high school, you don’t stand in line with the other students anymore and definitely become more independent.
What extracurricular activities will you be pursuing and do they connect with a potential future career?
I know that I want to take part in volleyball and track in high school. I’m excited for all the new people and new opportunities, especially those that will help me get to college because I am thinking about nursing school.
How would you describe a typical day of Freshman Connection?
It’s been really fun. I’m getting to know my teachers and the other students around me. We’ve been doing activities that are fun, and my favorite part so far has been getting the lock for my locker.
What are you most nervous about for the first day of school?
I’m not really nervous about anything because Freshman Connection has made me extremely comfortable with everything. We’re already learning some things and I know my way around the school so I won’t be confused. I’m most excited to see my schedule.
What have been some of the highlights of Freshman Connection so far?
We went to Loyola University, and it was really fun to tour around the school and see the views. This program is all about getting to know each other and realizing that what we do here matters for our future and what we want to accomplish.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I want to grow mentally in high school by choosing classes that are right for me. In high school, you have more of a choice on what you want to study. I eventually want to be an engineer or an architect because I love building structures, so I know that math will be really important for me here.
Make sure you’re as prepared as these six freshmen for the first day of school! Visit cps.edu/b2s for all the information you need for a successful start to the school year.