Freshman Boost Camp: Creating a Positive Energy

Word image with hands holding a world

Freshman Boost - Part 3: Creating a Positive Energy

The first year of high school is a year of incredible change. Students (often) are in a new building with new teachers, new staff and new expectations. It’s our goal here at NexTech to support all of our new students, especially our new 9th grade class. The blended learning model is an additional new item that our new students need to get acclimated to. This series of posts is targeted at new high school students for NexTech and tips for their success in their first year. 

Creating a Positive Energy

Your social and emotional health is an essential priority for not only your success in school, but your success in life as well. As a culture, we need to make sure we honor the importance of taking care of yourself! Self-care goes beyond a nice haircut or a pedicure. Self-care is the continuous routine that you have to make sure your environment and your energy is positive. Here are a few simple tips and pieces of advice for you as you start to build your world. High school is one phase of your life and if you use this time to build healthy strategies for social and emotional health, you will have a stronger foundation for the next step in your life. 

  • Building Confidence
    • Use your Superman (or woman) pose! If you are feeling unsure or nervous, head to the bathroom or another private space. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Stand tall and take four or five deep breaths. This Superman/ Superwoman pose naturally builds confidence and helps you feel more certain. Try it! It seems silly but it really works!
    • Remind yourself that no one is perfect. Even if you do make a mistake, these mistakes are really opportunities to learn and grow. You really are your worst critic in these situations. If someone does “get mad” at you for your mistakes, this person is not really someone who is in your corner anyway. Mistakes are a part of life, and we all go through phases where we feel like we are messing everything up.
    • Embrace and accept all of yourself, including your imperfections. It’s a beautiful thing when we accept what we are not strong at and use our support network to help us when we need it. 
  • Control vs Influence 
    • You are responsible and can completely control your actions, your feelings, and your attitude. You can not control the actions, feelings, and attitudes of others. While you lack the ability to control others, you do have influence. Think of the ways that you can influence others in a positive manner. When conflicts do arise, center yourself in areas that you can control. 
    • Always assume the good in others and in all situations. Stephen Covey talks about “seeking first to understand” others before we jump in with our own feelings or assumptions. Often in conflict, there are things beyond our control and things happening that we just don’t understand. Assume there is good in all situations, and spend time and energy to understand what someone else is dealing with before you make assumptions about the negative. You may find out things that will help you understand the situation better and help influence a more positive outcome.
  • Building Positive Relationships
    • It is important to build your network of supportive friends and adults. Who are the people you can go to who not only listen to you, but help pull you out of “the pit” when you are feeling negative? These adults or friends shouldn’t be people who you see are responsible for your feelings (remember… they can’t control this for you) but they are trusted and you value their opinions.
    • Stay away from negative social media influences. On most social media platforms, you can hide or mute people or accounts that bring you down. It is easy to think “it doesn’t really bother me” or you may feel you are not impacted by the things you see. The research, however, says otherwise. These influences impact our lives and our attitudes. Taking a proactive stance behind what you see, read, and watch on social media will have a substantial impact on your life.
    • Set healthy boundaries. Have the courage to help others but know where your line is. Set these boundaries up to protect your own emotional safety. You do not, for example, want to help others to the extent that you feel like you are the “fixer” and you place all of your self-worth on fixing others. In your relationships, protect yourself and your own emotional health always!

When you engage in high school for the first time, remember that there are so many new experiences and many new opportunities for growth. Things do not always go as planned, but that’s part of learning and growing. Reach out and make sure you are connected to the people that care about you. Even if you can’t describe why you need help or the reasons behind what you are feeling, using a non-judgemental support group will help guide you back on track.

Next up: 
Freshman Boost Camp - Part 4: Sleep, Snacks, Breaks… and other things to talk about