10 Things I Wish I Knew In High School
If I could describe my freshman self in word, I would use naive. So naive. Because “when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them” is not the only thing I wish I knew when I was fifteen
1. Grades do matter. Take every class seriously and try your best
The movie Clueless is not what high school is like at all. You cannot, and will not, be able to convince your teachers to bump your C up to an A. You actually have to earn your grades. If you build strong study habits in high school, you will only carry your habits with you into the future.
2. Get involved. SERIOUSLY, get involved
I cannot stress this enough. Volunteer, play a sport, join a club, join ten clubs! So what if you lose a couple hours of Netflix time, you will regret not getting involved somehow later on.
3. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay
It used to be my mission to make sure that every person that I ever encountered at school or otherwise thought I was simply great. It was really stressful and time consuming, trying to say the right things at the right times, but not to talk too much. I formed a type of list in my head of who I should approach and who I shouldn’t speak to unless spoken to. It was a mind game of hundreds of names and faces, and I tried to remember what ticked people off, or what topics they loved to talk about. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I just completely stopped. I was getting exhausted and it wasn’t doing me much good. I came across a quote that has been in my head ever since I read it. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches”. Save yourself the trouble I went through, and don’t waste time on people who will not be a positive part of your life.
4. Friends WILL come and go
You’ve probably heard this many times, but I can attest to this. The only person you have at the end of the day is yourself, and that has to be enough. I spent several nights in a burrito of blankets with a bowl of ice cream in hand wondering why Friend A would say that to Friend B about me – what had I done? The answer is nothing. You can blame it on the Niagara Falls of hormones that seem to run rampant through the bodies of high schoolers or on the slow news day for the gossiping network, but that doesn’t change anything. Do not be afraid to up and leave at any time. But, we have bracelets that say Best Friends Forever, doesn’t that mean anything? It certainly can, but before you make that promise to yourself, you need to make a first agreement: never let yourself be treated poorly. Friends are only friends as long as you make each other mutually happy. You must be in control of your own life and your own happiness. Enjoy every moment with those who make good company, but embrace change if and when it comes knocking on your door.
5. Do not worry about the little insignificant things
Seeing photos on Instagram of a party you weren’t invited to isn’t the end of the world. The girls who betrayed you or the boy who rejected you will soon be forgotten. Also, stop dwelling on that one bad quiz grade. It’s not going to change the course of your future.
6. Parents know everything
Your parents will always be right. Your mom can spot a toxic friend before you and your dad can see a bad boyfriend before you see it. Believe it or not, they were once in high school and just as curious as you. They know all the tricks there are to being a teenager. One of the best things you can do is have your parents be your best friends. They only want the best for you and will always love and support you no matter what
7. Boys still have cooties
After entering high school, every girl kind of goes a little boy crazy. You will think you absolutely need a boyfriend or you will become the next crazy cat lady. I promise that you do NOT need a boyfriend, ever, especially in high school. Up until now, I always thought I needed a boyfriend to be happy because who was going to make me happy? Myself? Hah no way! I was head over heels for a boy for two years. He cheated on me, lied to me, controlled me, but hey I was in love so it’s okay, right? Wrong….way wrong. Just because a boy says he loves you, does not mean he truly does. You do not need a boy to make you happy. We think we need to be valued by someone to have worth; however, what we need is self worth. Love makes us think that we need a significant other to live life and to be happy. Although, we do not realize that the only person that can make us happy is ourselves. There are so many other things out in the world like traveling or sports that can make us feel whole than just a boy
8. You indeed do need sleep (unless you are a vampire)
You are not immune to exhaustion. You do need to sleep, perhaps now more than ever. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll suffer consequences. It’s as simple as that. My all time favorite quote is “our mental health comes before school baby, always. If its midnight, and you have an exam the next day but your hands have been shaking for the past hour and a half and you’re not so sure you want to be alive anymore, pull out that carton of Ben and Jerry’s and afterwards, go to bed. So what if you get a 68% on the exam the next day? You took care of yourself and at the end of the day that will always come before a high test score. To hell with anyone who tells you differently.” -Abbie Nielsen
9. Anxiety and depression are very real
If you are feeling sad or worried for no reason, even if you have a reason, please talk to someone. I cannot stress this enough. I have gone through some rough times in my life and guess what I did not do? Yep, you got it right. I did not talk to anyone about it. I was being bullied in school and I was too embarrassed to tell my friends or family about it because I was getting bullied for things I could not change. I got to a low point in my life where I did not care about anything or anyone. I didn’t even care about myself. Thankfully, some of my good friends noticed and helped me through it. I did learn one important life lesson from my rough patch, it’s okay to not be okay.
10. Life goes by too fast, so enjoy high school while you can
When I finally became a freshman, I could not wait until I was in college. When I turned 16, I could not wait until I was 21. I was always thinking about the future and not living in the present. I missed so many great memories and experiences because I always wanting to be somewhere else. High school is the time to make new friends, try new things, take risks, and explore! The last thing you want to have when walking to get your diploma at graduation is regret.