Freshman year is a huge rite of passage for students, and it comes with all sorts of excitement and anxiety.

To help you and your freshman prepare for the opportunities and challenges ahead, we’ve dug into the Signet archives to compile our top resources for 9th grade students. You’ll find tips and tricks on everything from course selection to standardized tests to college admissions (don’t worry, there’s not much to do on college admissions just yet). We’ve even included recommendations for family movie night!

Tips and Tools to Avoid the High School Whirlpool

--It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of comparing your achievements to the (perceived) successes of others. This article will help you identify that temptation, get out of the whirlpool, and start defining success and achievement on your own terms.

Does Your High School Plan Set You Up for College Success?

--Entering high school inevitably brings up questions (and anxiety) about the “right” to a good college and, ultimately, a good career. We encourage freshmen to approach education one step at a time while still putting some thought into longer-term goals.

A High School Road Map for Freshmen

--Without the right tools in place, navigating the high school journey can be overwhelming. This piece gives freshmen the tools they need to to orient themselves—without missing the landmarks, shortcuts, and byways that make the journey worth taking.

Why Seeking Mentorship in High School is Important

--Every high school student needs at least one good mentor. Here are some pointers on finding potential mentors and cultivating mentoring relationships that last.

Organizational Skills for Ninth Grade

--The transition from eighth to ninth grade brings a host of new opportunities and new responsibilities. Self-management is key. This piece lays out the fundamentals of organization and how to build and improve organizational skills.

Why Choosing Challenging Classes Matters

--High school students find lifelong success when they learn to direct their own education. Part of learning is growing, and challenging oneself to grow begins with the classes your freshman chooses. Enrolling in challenging courses and choosing the right courses now can set your freshman up for a smoother college admissions process down the road.

10 Tips for Student Well-being

--High school marks a transition in the parent-child relationship. We’ve got some pointers for parents who want to nurture their student’s growing independence while ensuring that their student is prepared for the wide range of experiences that high school has in store.

A Brief Guide to Building Strong Student-Teacher Relationships

--A strong relationship with the teacher can mean the difference between a class your freshman passes and one in which they flourish. We’ve got advice on how your student can make a good first impression and turn their teachers from adversaries into allies.

Should I Ask My Teacher for Extra Help?

--Some students mistakenly believe that asking for extra help from a teacher is a sign of being a slow learner—not so! In fact, asking for extra help can be a simple way to gain access to all sorts of unexpected benefits, including deeper understanding and better relationships.

Freshman Year Study Skills: Where Are You Stuck?

--Self-motivated students must learn to honestly evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses. When students are feeling stuck, frustrated, or discouraged, a few simple questions can change their perspective and spark ideas for new solutions.

Freshman Year and Standardized Testing

--Many students and parents dread the standardized testing of high school, but a little understanding and information can go a long way to alleviating that anxiety. This no-nonsense primer explains what the major standardized tests are, why they’re important, and how to prepare for them wisely (and with less stress).

Five Movies Every High Schooler Should See

--Check out these quintessential high school films to prepare your freshman for the characters, hijinks, and quagmires they can look forward to during the next four years.

Want more information on freshman year? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get timely updates on every 9th grade milestone!