How to Survive Your First Year of Online High School

For most students, the transition from middle school to high school is daunting. The workload is heavier, the expectations are greater, and the social scene can be overwhelming.

But with a little preparation and some commonsense advice, you can make your first year of high school successful.

There are a few things you can do to make sure you have a great experience while attending online high school. Here are the top tips for surviving and thriving during your first year of high school:

1. Get to know your learning style

The first step to success in online high school is understanding how you learn best. Do you prefer visual aids? Do you like to listen to audio recordings? Do you need to interact with other students to stay engaged? Once you know your preferred learning style, you can tailor your studies to fit your needs and maximize your potential.

2. Set up a study space

One of the challenges of online high school is creating a quiet, distraction-free environment in which to study. It’s important to find a dedicated space in your home where you can focus on your work and get away from any distractions. This could be a corner of your bedroom, the kitchen table, or even the local library.

3. Get organized

With online high school, you’ll be responsible for managing your own time and keeping track of your assignments. This can be a lot to handle at first, but there are several ways to get organized and stay on top of your work.

One method is to create a weekly schedule that includes time for class, homework, and extracurricular activities. You can also use a daily planner to jot down assignments and due dates. And don’t forget to set up reminders on your phone or computer, so you don’t forget an important deadline!

4. Find a study group

One of the best ways to survive in online high school is to find a study group or partner. Having someone to bounce ideas off of and collaborate with can make the learning process much easier. You can also use your study partner as a sounding board when you’re struggling to understand a concept.

5. Stay connected

When you’re attending online high school, it’s important to stay connected with your classmates and teachers. Whether you’re participating in a discussion forum or video chat, make sure you’re actively engaged in the class. This will help you build relationships and feel more comfortable asking for help when you need it.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you’re having trouble understanding a concept or completing an assignment, don’t hesitate to reach out to your teacher or a classmate for help. It’s better to ask for assistance than to struggle on your own.

7. Take advantage of office hours

Most online high school courses offer office hours, which are a great resource for students. During office hours, you can get one-on-one help from your teacher and ask any questions you have about the material.

8. Seek out extra resources

In addition to your online course, plenty of other resources are available to help you succeed in high school. Look for online tutors, study guides, and practice tests to give yourself an extra edge.

9. Make time for yourself

It’s important to make time for yourself outside of school. Take breaks when you need them, and don’t forget to schedule in some fun! Whether it’s hanging out with friends or exploring your hobbies, make sure you’re taking care of your mental and emotional health.

10. Manage your stress

With everything that’s going on in high school, it’s normal to feel stressed out from time to time. However, it’s important to find healthy ways to cope with your stress. Some good options include exercise, journaling, and deep breathing exercises.

11. Get to know your teachers and classmates

In an online environment, it is easy to feel like a faceless name on a screen. But making an effort to get to know your instructors and fellow students will make the whole experience more enjoyable and human. This doesn’t have to be anything formal, just introduce yourself in the forums, send a quick email or chat message to someone new, or wave hello during virtual office hours.

12. Get to know your learning platform

Whether you are using Blackboard, Canvas, or another type of learning platform, take some time to explore all the features and tools it has to offer. This will help you feel more comfortable using the system and make the most of your classes.

13. Be active in class

Online learning requires you to be an active participant in your classes. This means engaging in discussions, completing assignments, and participating in group work. This can be a challenge if you are used to being a passive learner, but it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and actively participate in your education.

14. Get feedback

One of the best ways to learn and improve is to get feedback on your work. Ask your teacher for help when you don’t understand something, and give yourself time to revise and edit your work before turning it in.

15. Find a balance

With online learning, it’s important to find a balance between your studies and your personal life. Make time for your hobbies and interests, and don’t forget to spend time with family and friends.

16. Be patient

Online schooling is a big adjustment and there will inevitably be some bumps along the way. Be patient with yourself as you navigate this new learning environment. And if you ever need a break, don’t hesitate to take some time off. School will still be there when you’re ready to come back.

17. Persevere

There will be times when online learning is challenging, but it’s important to persevere through these tough times. Remember why you decided to take this path and keep moving forward towards your goals.

18. Take a break

It’s important to take breaks from your studies to avoid burnout. Step away from your computer, go for a walk, or do something else that you enjoy. This will help you stay refreshed and focused on your work.

19. Avoid drugs and alcohol

This is one of the most important tips for any high school student, but it’s even more crucial for those attending online school. Why? Because drugs and alcohol can easily lead to academic problems, including lower grades and missed assignments.

If you’re struggling with addiction, many resources are available to help you get sober and stay on track with your studies.

21. Seek out social activities

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Just because you’re attending high school online doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the social aspect of the teenage experience. There are plenty of ways to connect with other students, both in-person and online.

You can join clubs and organizations, participate in sports, or simply reach out to classmates through social media.

No matter how you choose to spend your time, the important thing is to enjoy your first year of high school and make the most of the experience. With a little effort, you’ll be sure to thrive!

22. Focus on the positive

One of the best pieces of advice for surviving your first year of high school is to focus on the positive. Yes, there will be challenges and difficult moments, but there will also be plenty of good times.

So instead of dwelling on the negative, try to remember all the reasons why you’re excited about high school. Maybe you’re looking forward to joining a new club or taking an interesting class. Maybe you’re just looking forward to seeing your friends every day. Whatever it is, keep your eye on the prize and stay positive!

23. Find a mentor

One of the best ways to survive your first year of high school is to find a mentor. This could be an older student, a teacher, or even a parent or family member. Your mentor can offer guidance and support when you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed.

Online high school can be a great option for students who want more flexibility, but it’s important to be prepared for the challenges that come with this type of learning. By following these tips, you can set yourself up for success in your online courses.


The transition from middle to high school can be difficult for students, but with the right tools and support, it is possible to make this first year a success. High School of America provides an environment that helps students adjust and thrive in their academic careers.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or your student survive and excel during their first year of high school.