by Lauren Holzmann | arts and entertainment editor

As you walk in the double doors of your high school, you look around and see an overwhelming amount of unfamiliar faces and start to panic just a little bit. You were at the top of the food chain just a few months ago and now you are back at the bottom of the barrel. However, many students seem to get caught up in this mindset that they often forget the importance of grades and how much they actually count towards their overall GPA that will soon be sent to colleges.

“Well when you think about the final, official GPA that is recorded on a senior’s transcript, it’s from seven semesters,” lead counselor Courtney Tarbox said. “But that’s not until January. So really, if our seniors are applying for colleges in the summer or early fall, there is really only six semesters. So that freshman year would be a third of their GPA.”

With the option of taking up to two AP classes during sophomore year, some students may choose to utilize certain opportunities, such as taking more rigorous courses, being involved in clubs or organizations, volunteering, and more.

“We do have some students when we have course selection in the spring of freshman and sophomore year, we will see students that realize they want to bring their GPA up and they decide they want to challenge themselves with more advanced classes to get that multiplier,” Tarbox said.

With a freshman class of well over 700 students, there may be some students who put in a little more effort than others.

“Of course there’s a mix of students that are very studious and taking their grades very seriously,” Tarbox said. “I think there’s some students that may not always realize the importance of their grades and they think they have lots of time to bring their grade up.”

The counselors try to meet with all of the classes in the fall to try and check in with the students to see how they are managing their classes, and ensure that students are meeting the requirements necessary for graduation.

“The counseling team, we definitely work with students and we meet with every grade level, so we meet with ninth, tenth, and eleventh and twelfth grade in the fall,” Tarbox said. “We always remind them of the importance of their grades and how every semester counts towards their GPA and we do really impress that upon our freshman and sophomores.”

Even though that transition from middle school to high school may come as a big shock at first, the freshman have many resources available to them that help make the transition run a lot smoother.

“Freshman year is a big transitional year coming from middle school so we know it can be very challenging but we do want to remind our students to always just be trying their very best and seeking out help and utilizing all the resources available,” Tarbox said. “If a student is really struggling with their grades or if they’re in an advanced class and struggling to talk with their teacher and their counselors to see if they need to be in a more appropriate class to do better.”

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About The Author

Lauren Holzmann is a senior at Johnson High School and is a second year writer for MyJagNews. She is currently the Arts and Entertainment editor. She is also involved in orchestra where she holds an officer position as well as a member in the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Friends Club and is a peer tutor for the special needs students. When she isn't working, Lauren is usually hanging out with friends or binge watching multiple shows simultaneously on Netflix. She is also perfectly capable of remembering every Parks and Recreation episode ever made and wishes she was able to try waffles from JJ's Diner. She has 3 dogs, each more stubborn than the next and a younger sister with whom she shares her birthday.

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