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If you're a freshman and are still having trouble getting into the swing of things, never fear -- the "freshman 15 are here. These are 15 tips designed to help you survive freshman year with the least amount of trouble. After the first few weeks, get a clean slate and prepare for the rest of the year by following these guidelines.

1. Stay positive. If things aren't going well yet, that's normal. Don't get discouraged.

2. Try something new. High school is a new experience anyway, so why not? You may find something you didn't even know you loved.

3. If you don't know anybody, don't worry. This is a chance to come out of your shell and show people the real you that your old classmates never knew existed.

4. Participate in class. Your teachers probably have tons of students, so don't get lost in the crowd. Even if your answer's wrong, it shows you're trying.

5. If you're struggling, ask for help. If you did number four, the teacher knows who you are and that you're working hard. It never hurts to ask.

6. Don't get behind in your schoolwork. Do your homework, hand stuff in on time and study for tests. Things will go much smoother.

7. Join a club, group or sports team. It's a great opportunity to have fun and get to know more people.

8. Work on your time management skills. When you have a meeting after school, a big test tomorrow and homework, you shouldn't be doodling or talking to friends during your entire study hall.

9. Learn a way to study that works for you. Index cards don't work for everybody. Singing your notes to your favorite song might work for you. Just don't start singing out loud in the middle of study hall -- oops!

10. Stay organized. Organization is the key to being prepared for class no matter what.

11. Be friendly toward upperclassmen. They went through the same struggles and survived. If you're friends with one of them, that person could turn out to be a lifesaver.

12. Make good decisions. Don't do something that you'll regret later and will ruin your reputation.

13. If you're taking a Regents class for the first time or if it's a tough subject, www.regentsprep.org is a great study tool. Some teachers may even take test questions off the site.

14. If something embarrassing happens, laugh it off. It'll probably be the funniest memory to talk about come senior year.

15. Make good impressions now, because they can last all four years.

With the help of these tips, freshman year may be be a lot easier. Don't worry about making mistakes -- it's inevitable. Just have fun and look forward to what could turn into a great year.

Kristina Macro is a sophomore at Holy Angels Academy.