There is less than a month left of high school and I can’t believe how fast it went by. To think that I’m graduating soon and leaving my family and friends is surreal. Lately, I’ve been looking back on my past four years, thinking about all the things I did and didn’t do, things I said and didn’t say, my accomplishments, and my failures too.
Some people say high school is the best four years of your life. I wouldn’t go that far, but I definitely think it is one of the most important times of growth because you learn so many important lessons that will carry on throughout the rest of your life. High school has taught me who I really am, who my true friends are, and what I really want for myself. I wish that I could restart high school with all the knowledge I have now as a senior. So much stress, drama, and sadness could have been avoided if I knew back then what I know now. Here are a few of the many things I wish I knew before I started high school.
Don’t just do something because everyone else around you does it; do what makes you happy. Don’t buy a pair of shoes because 6 other people in the school have them. Buy them because you genuinely like them. Don’t miss out on a sport that you like because your peers think it’s stupid. Disregard their opinion and play it because it makes you happy. Trying to be someone you’re not is exhausting; be yourself and you will have a lot more fun.
He probably isn’t the one, so don’t dwell on it too long. Breakups in high school can feel like the end of the world, but they aren’t. Eventually, you’re going to get over him. You’ll be happy again and you might even find someone new. The chances of finding your “soulmate” in high school are slim, so just remember that he most likely is not the one and understand why your relationship didn’t work out. You will come out of it 10 times stronger and happier too. My mom had a boyfriend throughout most of high school, and she always tells me she regrets spending so much time on boys and wishes she spent more time making memories and bonding with friends.
Go to the football game. Go to as many sporting events as you can. Trust me, you’ll regret staying home once the opportunity is gone. I’m definitely going to miss cheering in the stands of Kusel Stadium for Friday night football.
Don’t let other peoples’ opinions make you feel bad about yourself. In high school, everyone gossips. You’re going to hear things people say about you, even from your closest friends. No matter how mean or hurtful the comments are, don’t let them bring you down. Most of the people that are going to talk about you do it because they’re jealous of you, and it’s a way for them to feel better about themselves. Their opinions are irrelevant if they use them to put you down. Stay above it.
Talk to your mom and listen to her advice. Not all of her advice will pertain to your situation because her high school experience is completely different from yours, but she knows what she’s talking about. If she has a bad feeling about a friend or boy, she’s usually right. Talk to her about things that bother you, tell her your good and bad news. Your mom is always gonna be there for you, so take advantage of it.
Do your homework and study. Not caring about your grades is just going to make your life harder as you get older. If you don’t care about school work, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. You’ll be behind in classes and your college decisions will be limited. It’s not “lame” to be smart or do homework, and anyone that tries to make fun of you for doing so is just jealous that they don’t have the work ethic to do the same.
But, don’t freak out over school work; missing one assignment or flunking one test isn’t going to kill you. Although working hard and getting your work done is important, it isn’t the end of the world if you miss a homework assignment or get a D on a test. No one is perfect, so just try your hardest and don’t freak out if your grades aren’t perfect.
Try not to gossip. Although it may help you socially, it’ll eventually come back to bite you. Picking on someone just to fit in is unnecessary. If you have to do this to fit in, you’re in the wrong group.
Be honest with your friends. If your friend asks you for advice, don’t just tell them what they wan’t to hear. If you don’t think their boyfriend is good for them, tell them. If you think they are being mean or selfish in a situation, tell them. If you think they could find a cuter dress for the dance, tell them. At first they may get defensive, but in the end they will thank you.
Take as many ACTs, practice ACTs, and prep classes as you can. Starting this process early will benefit you so much in the long run. I regret starting ACT prep during junior year; if I would have started earlier my score would have been a lot higher and i wouldn’t have felt as pressured to do really well because I would have had more time to understand the way the test works.
Go out whenever you get the chance to. Whether your friends ask you to go to a party with them or go get ice cream, do it. Don’t stay in to watch Netflix and be lazy… you will regret the moments you missed. It’s okay to stay in every once in a while, but don’t waste every weekend sitting at home.
Not everyone is going to like you. This lesson has been one of the hardest, and I still struggle to accept it. When someone dislikes me, it drives me insane. I used to bend over backwards to get the approval of people that didn’t like me because I couldn’t stand it. Over the years I have learned that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for everyone to like you. The people that like you outweigh the people who don’t.
My high school experience would have been a lot easier if I knew all of this, but learning from mistakes and situations is a part of life that is essential for one’s growth. I wasn’t always happy over my last four years, nor was I drama free. Although it wasn’t perfect, I wouldn’t trade the things I learned and the people I met in high school for the world.