The importance of friend groups:
whether it is for oral practices, sharing or communicate ideas with someone, have the courage to make friends with people is an important and interesting thing to do. In your classes, you’ll meet many different and amazing people and I encourage you to go talk to them. Some minor things are to practice English observe the culture around, and join clubs to find like-minded people!
Future College Decision:
If you really know what you want to do in life/major in college then you should take classes that will help you the most. If you love engineering then take robotics, advanced engineering, and etc. If you love chemistry, take AP Chemistry, Organic chemistry, biology, and etc. Otherwise, if you are still trying to find something, don't focus on a college major. Explore and find something you want to pursue and would be passionate about. Then devote your time to exploring it. As for resource and preparation, mainly look for which colleges were the best for the major that you wanted to study and what programs they had. You should search their websites, Reddit forums, and other of that sort. If you have time, going on a campus trip might also be a great option.
Most people would take the SAT or ACT test in junior year. There honestly isn't much difference when to take the test, but doing it in the junior year gives the student more time to prepare. That being said you should not start preparing every day in freshman year. It's important but not some time to be super stressed about that you spend every single minute studying for it.
In addition, the main difference between SAT and ACT is that the ACT has a science section and the score it out of 36 while the SAT is out of 1600. The SAT has two English sections and two math sections along with an essay while the ACT has two English sections, one math, and one science along with an essay. The ACT is generally easier but both require some depth of English. If you are already good at math, you should spend more time studying English and Reading sections.
Schedule and extracurriculars:
It would help with the study efficiency when students create a schedule for each week. First block out times for stuff you can not ignore. You would include all activities in school, and after school, like extracurriculars, churches, and that sort. Then divide and conquer the rest of the time for work. Also, make sure to have some time to rest otherwise you'll be massively burnt out. This will take practice to get down but once you get the hang of it, you'll find that the workload will be much easier. As for improving efficiency, try to not multitask and put aside distractions. Focus on the subject and try to enjoy your work. A lot of this is easier said than done but I think it's worth it. Moreover, extracurricular is basically a term that is used pretty loosely. You can just interpret as some activity you do that is not part of school classes. To be honest, you won’t really need them. That being said, you should view them as something you enjoy than extra work for activities. If you love to talk and interested in modern-day topics try out speech and debate. Find a sport you like and join the school team. Outside research, choir, instruments. All of these counts as extracurriculars. You can do them in school or outside of school. View it as something you want to have fun and be passionate about.