Freshman Year

  • College Bound Freshmen are urged to take a challenging curriculum. However, there is no point in pressuring them to take a combination of courses that will become unmanageable, and cause them to do poorly during their first venture in high school. Parents should not push college visits and SAT tests at this stage!   Many well-intentioned parents who have been frightened by publicity about the competitiveness of the college admissions process actually do more harm than good by passing their anxieties on to their 13 and 14-year-old  freshmen.  Kids can be demoralized by being forced to take advanced college preparatory classes along with the PSAT this year - tests that were designed to be taken by high school juniors!
    Although colleges have different course requirements, the majority fall in line with the "a-g" subject requirements outlined by the University of California. At Oak Park High, (with the exception of foreign language) our graduation requirements will guarantee that students have taken courses that fulfill these requirements, so don’t worry! Of course, “minimums” will not be competitive enough to get into the "highly selective" colleges.Freshmen should focus their efforts, and attempt to become the type of students who can be described as “working to their potential.” There is no greater praise of a student. Students should also begin building relationships with their teachers. Their input may become critical as they inquire about colleges and as they do their course planning for the sophomore year - 7th period is a great time to do this!
    Freshman "To Do" list:
    • Maintain an excellent attendance record. Missing classes can have a very detrimental impact on your learning and success.
    • Work at developing solid study skill habits. Consistently, always, regularly, concertedly do your homework! You can’t always control the results of a test, but it is just plain wasteful to miss points because you failed to submit homework.  
    • Remember that your freshman year IS important. It is just a myth that “the freshman year doesn’t count.”
    • Become vocabulary conscious, look up words you don’t understand. They will become words you will be expected to KNOW on national tests.
    • Read…Read….READ…This is the best preparation there is for doing well on reading/writing national tests. There is a direct relationship to how well students do on the writing/reading parts of the SATs and with how much they read. So, turn off the computer and the TV and READ. It is too late to begin this habit as a junior hoping it will improve your SAT scores!
    • Participate in service activities and keep a file to maintain a record of your efforts. Become “specialized” in an activity or activities that you enjoy – a sport (or more than one), or a club, or a church group, or a community endeavor, or student government – whatever you want. But don’t try to do too many things because it could interfere with your academics and that is a booby-trap you want to avoid. Also, don’t become a club “groupie” where you are just a member but don’t have the time or the interest to get very involved. As mentioned above, freshman should go out of their way to pursue school-related extracurricular activities. Campus clubs provide students with a wide range of interests to meet other like-minded students, as well community service & leadership opportunities! 

    Campus Clubs

    Campus Clubs provide students with a wide range of interests to meet other like-minded students, as well community service & leadership opportunities!
    community serviceWe have a webpage devoted to external community service leadership & volunteer programs which you can access by clicking on this Community Service, Leadership & Volunteer Opportunities hyperlink.
    College & Career Ctr.

    College & Career Center
    All students should become acquainted with our "College & Career Center, which is located in C-6, next door to the OPHS Student Store. You can investigate colleges and careers that seem to suit your interests and then gather information about them. 
    Naviance Student is a web-based program for academic planning, college, and career research.  If you do not yet have a passcode contact the College & Career Center ASAP. You will need to become very familiar with this program as this will be the primary vehicle you use to research colleges, request recommendations from your counselors and to order transcripts. If they have not done so already, Sophomores should complete/respond to the following assessments: the Do What You Are personality assessment, the Career Interest Profiler, the  Strengths Explorer, the MI Advantage and the Learning Style Inventory. These assessments will help students learn more about themselves, and what careers and college majors to consider. Students should continue to record their extracurricular, community service, and volunteer activities in the Resume section of Naviance.  click here Click here or on the Naviance logo above for more information about Naviance. 
    NAVIANCE STUDENT For an update on the new updates coming to "Naviance Student" please view the video below.
Last Modified on December 20, 2020