The phrase “high school” invokes varying responses and emotions in any given individual. Some may remember it as the time of their lives, while others may wish to banish those four years forever. However, everyone must face the depths of these stigmatized halls eventually, and for this reason, I have compiled a list of advice that I wish I knew when I entered high school. Below are ten essential focal points that every student should remember as they proceed on their journey from freshman to senior year.
1. You will change catastrophically every year.
Four years leaves a lot of room for growth in any given individual. Upon entering high school, you may find yourself in a totally different headspace than when you graduate. Each passing year submerges you in a different environment, and as a result, you will be influenced greatly. Be sure to self reflect and notice how you are changing with time. You will make a lot more progress than you realize.
2. You do not always need to agree with your teachers.
You will be exposed to many different instructors with varying types of personalities. There will always be some you may not agree with or necessarily like. Take the high road and be respectful to these people; your opinion of them may change with time. It is essential to maintain positive relationships with your teachers for future recommendation, cooperation, and the best chance for success.
3. It will not be easy to maintain your grades; everyone has other things to deal with.
Outside of the classroom, every student battles with many conflicts within their home life. It is imperative to remember that school should remain a top priority. These problems you are facing now will not last forever, but how you perform these four years will impact your future. Many times you will feel as if you should give up, but pursue in spite of this; great things will never come easy.
4. It is important to get involved in school activities.
To colleges, grades are just one small component of the kind of student they want attending their school. The things you choose to do within these four years matter. Find at least one to three activities and stick with them; it will look great in the future. You will also be exposed to many interesting environments and people as a result.
5. You will make many friends, say goodbye to some, lose touch with others, and keep a select few forever.
Not everyone you become friends with will stay by your side forever, and that is fine. Learn to let those people leave and proceed independently. There is a sense of power in solitude.
6. You are capable of handling more than you realize.
Many times, I found my opinion regarding my capabilities differing from my teachers. You know better than anyone else the classes you are able to handle. Do not sell yourself short, and do not let others determine what is best for you.
7. There will be times when you absolutely hate high school, and others when you love it.
A common misconception is that high school is fun and glamorous; however, this concept couldn’t be more wrong. There will be drama, stress, and sleep deprivation. There will be times when school is the last place on earth you want to attend. But through these bad experiences, there will be many occasions where you realize you are going to miss your high school memories forever. Cherish your laughs, classes and the people around you because these are the times you will remember.
8. It is much easier to focus on yourself than on others.
Being concerned about your own character, work ethic, and affairs will save you a lot of drama than worrying about other people. It is not worth it to judge others or disapprove of their actions. In the end, only what you do matters.
9. It will take time to find your “people”– be patient.
The initial friends you make are not necessarily going to be the ones you stick with throughout your years in high school. There will be many opportunities to get to know new people, and you should jump at every opportunity you get. The friends you make may even be the ones you would never see coming. Even though it may take years, you will meet your most trustworthy friends with time.
10. Every choice you make matters significantly.
Throughout these years, each class you take, person you meet, and lesson you learn will impact who you are forever.