As graduation approaches, I can’t help but think about everything I have learned in high school. I don’t mean that I reflect on how to find the circumference of a circle or where the medulla oblongata is in the brain. High school teaches us so much more than what we learn in the classroom. To all those starting high school or those who still have ways to go, here are 10 tips to surviving one of the weirdest and hardest times of your life:
1. Grades are not everything
Yes, grades are VERY important but they are not everything. The kind of person you are is what you should be most focused on. Find ways to give back to your community and make sure your morals and principles are clearly defined so you can recognize if you are being negatively influenced and that you are the person you want to be.
2. Go to school events
Go to as many dances, sporting events, musicals, plays, and other school related events as possible. Most importantly, attend graduation! This may seem like an obvious one, but many students don’t attend graduation. You only get to live through high school once. While you are there, you might as well have some fun and make some memories with your best friends whom you might not see as often after graduation.
3. Be a part of something
Play a sport or an instrument. Start or take part in a club. Being a part of something makes you feel like you have a place at the school, which is something students often struggle with. It also makes it so much easier to make friends because you meet many people who share common interests.
4. Don’t stress out about the things you can’t control
Stress is physically and mentally draining. Stressing out about things you cannot control is pointless. Everything happens for a reason. If it is something you can control, just do your best and that is the best you can do, but be honest with yourself. Are you actually doing your best?
5. Know that respect should be mutual
Students should always respect their peers, teachers, and coaches at school. However, sometimes people get big heads when they’re in positions of authority. Always stand up for yourself (appropriately) if you feel that you aren’t being respected for no reason.
6. When it comes to making friends, choose quality over quantity
Making friends is not always easy and many people feel like they must have a lot of friends. In reality, your friend group will change throughout high school. You will learn who your true friends are, and who was just there for a short ride. The amount of friends you have won’t matter as long as the ones you have are true friends. A true friend supports you and accepts you for who you are.
7. Find someone you are comfortable talking to
For most teens, high school is not a walk in the park. You will most likely encounter many difficulties. Whether they may be academic, social, or personal, it is important to talk to someone whom you trust and is willing to listen your problems and can help you. This person could be a teacher, coach, family member, or even a therapist. If emotions are kept bottled up, they can lead to bigger problems.
8. Enjoy it
Make memories with these people while you can. High school is not as long as it seems. Have fun but be responsible!