Freshmen year of high school is both terrifying and exhilarating. By the time your senior year comes to end, you'll look back at the "˜kid' that started 4 years ago and be amazed at how far you have come!

BUT before all that amazement is yours to ponder, you have to start somewhere! If you've already made your school's cheerleading squad, then you already have a built-in support team to start your year off right. Besides having your team as friends and mentors, keep these tips in mind:

Don't be an elitist. The fight against bullying starts with you. If you refuse to treat any student as an outcast, you are sending a clear message to your classmates and hopefully inspiring them to follow your lead. As a cheerleader, you may have some instant popularity with your classmates. Choose to use that power to make the student better overall.

Make friends by being friendly. Most freshmen are feeling as insecure and nervous as you are! Even if it is hard, push yourself to smile at and talk to new people. The friends you make in the first year of high school are likely to become some of the most important people in your life!

Go to class. Most athletes have to meet strict standards for their academics. Don't get yourself benched from cheering at games because you were tempted to ditch. Missing too much class will make it harder for you to understand the lessons and pass the tests. There is a benefit to being in class, don't slack off. If you mess up your grades your freshmen year, you'll probably never be able to completely recover your GPA.

Be organized. You'll be balancing a lot as a student athlete. Organization is going to be your key to sanity. Start perfecting your organization skills as a freshmen and you'll be set for the rest of your high school career.

Make some goals. Make some goals that you hope to accomplish by the end of your senior year. Whether you want to make team captain, be the Valedictorian, or get into a specific college, keep yourself motivated through high school by remembering your goals.

Get familiar with your school's rules. Most people transfer to a new school for their high school years. This means new teachers, new expectations and new rules. Get and save a copy of your school's agenda and be sure to look over the rules. Something that might have been OK in middle school might get you detention now.

Good luck during your freshmen year! High school may not be the BEST years of your life in the long run, but they will certainly be GREAT years if you want them to be!