High school is going to be a big step in your life. It's a right of passage and everyone has to go through it. It will not define you as a person but it will help you discover the person that you want to be. Some choices you make will be regretted and others you will want to continue living, over and over. My advice to you would be to take your schedule seriously, make plans, and be involved in your school and/or community.
High school is the path to college. If you make a mistake along the way in your classes, that mistake will affect your chances of getting into your dream college. If you do fall behind or fail a class, take adult school. Don't let yourself get so far behind that you can't catch back up. If you have anything below a C- in a class, retake that class instead of moving on to a more difficult class and failing that, as well. For example, if you barely passed geometry, DON'T take Algebra II. It looks better on transcripts if you have retaken a class and succeeded instead of barely passing a class and doing the same in the next class.
Procrastinating is never a good idea and only causes you to fall even more behind and put yourself in a worse situation. Taking your classes seriously will only better you and your education. By taking school seriously it will better your chances of getting into a better college. By setting your schedule to fit your needs and wants you will be eager and willing to go to classes rather than dreading it. By taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes it will help you out more with college and look great on your transcripts, but make sure you're ready to take on that challenge. AP classes are a big commitment and you have to be ready and willing to take on the homework that of a college student. Taking AP classes will give you the challenge you don't normally receive in a basic College Prep (CP) class. If you decide to accept the challenge of an AP class, don't overwhelm yourself. Choose the subject that you are best at so you have a better chance of succeeding. For example, if you are interested in a science or math career, take AP statistics or AP chemistry, not AP US History or AP English. The AP Science and Math will benefit you and the AP US History and English will not. Colleges would much rather you get an A in a CP class rather than a C- in an AP class. You should really get to know what you want to pursue and what classes you're good in first, before you decide on what classes you want to take. On top of school curriculum you should also find time to be involved in your school and/or community.
Community and school involvement is important for many reasons. It not only benefits you but it benefits others as well. Community involvement helps out your city's well being and makes you feel better as a person for doing good deeds. School activities help you create bonds with other people, memories, and friendships. Schools provide clubs, sports, and groups for you to enter into. These activities help you find yourself and enable you to become a better person. People believe that you have to choose between one or the other but that's not always the case. You have to create a balance in your sports, clubs and academics just like you have to in life.
High school will be some of the best times of your life. You will have unforgettable friendships, memories, relationships and times that will be remembered forever. High school will fly by and before you know it, you’re going to be walking across that stage and collecting a diploma. The next four years after 8th grade are going to be precious. It’s the last time that you are allowed to be care-free and not have adult responsibilities. Cherish these times. Don’t try to rush through and just “get it done.” High school gives you the chance to make mistakes and learn from them without major consequences. It should help to shape you as a person but not define who you are completely. Good Luck!