High school was a very difficult and challenging time for me, and probably most of everyone else in the world. On top of the hours of homework and pressure to do well in school and fit in, you are going through so many changes, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. You’re still finding out who you are.
I wish I had known a lot of things in high school that I know now. In fact even a lot of the things I know now, I was told a bagillion times, but never believed or realized it until later in my life. Here’s a list of things that I wish I had known while I was still in high school.
1. Being Popular Doesn’t Matter: Now, I already knew this, and tried my hardest to be different, but I still wanted to be popular deep down. I felt I didn’t fit in though, and to make up for it I chose to be extremely different. That being said, it’s okay to be popular and have tons of friends, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not a necessity. You DO need friends though, it’s healthy, it just doesn’t matter who those friends are which leads to my next point.
2. Pick Friends Who Are Uplifting: I had a lot of different friends in high school. Some were really positive and supported me, and others made me feel horrible about myself. It definitely affected me and made me more insecure. One of my friendships I had, I was only keeping because we had been friends for over 10 years and I didn’t want to let that go. It wasn’t until college that I realized it was affecting who I was in a lot of ways. I think we both needed time to learn and grow before we could have a healthy friendship. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been friends or how great they are, the bottom line is if they are making you feel bad about yourself, they aren’t really friends with you to begin with. It’s okay to have a talk with them about it if you really want to keep your friendship, but if it keeps becoming a problem it’s time to say goodbye to them. No one deserves to be treated that way.
3. Your Teachers Are People, Too: Yeah, I know teachers can be really frustrating sometimes and you feel like they’re out to get you, and yeah, sometimes they are! However, they are people just like you. There’s probably a reason they’re so frustrating. Students can be so incredibly rude and difficult. Multiply that by 200 and that’s probably what they go through every day. Sometimes being nice to them helps. Kill them with kindness. They are the ones in charge of your grade at the end of the semester. And trust me, they can really be nice about that, or really make it hard for you. A lot of times though, teachers can be people you talk to just to let your feelings out, and, no I don’t mean taking things out on them. I mean literally venting to them. They’ve already been through high school so they probably know what you’re going through.
4. Don’t Let Anyone Else Decide Your Future: As high school went on, I developed my skills in dance and piano. I had such a passion for them, especially piano. I decided on majoring in piano. I started telling people my major and everyone, even my family, told me what an awful idea it was. I wouldn’t make any money, there are barely any jobs that I could get with that major, no one cares about the arts anymore. After hearing all these things, I changed my major to Social Work and then to Nursing to make everyone happy. Well, it did make everyone happy, except for me. My grades were dropping and I hated going to class because I wasn’t interested in anything that was being taught. After years of this, I decided not to care anymore, and changed my major to piano. Don’t let anyone, not even the closest people tell you where your future is going or what you should do with it. That is for you and only you to decide. In the end, you’re the one that is going to work every day with the job you chose, so make it one that you love.
5. The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You: I heard this a lot, but didn’t really get it. I honestly think it’s too hard for teenagers to understand, haha! You don’t need that $50 shirt, it’s not the end of the world. You don’t need to go to the mall, you don’t need a car, you don’t really need anything. Unless your parents aren’t providing you with love, shelter, food, and clothes, you’re fine. It wasn’t until I was entirely on my own, without being dependent on someone else, that I completely understood this concept. So, I don’t expect anyone in high school to learn this, it’s just something I wish I knew at that time.
6. Maturity Isn’t Based Solely On Age: I actually didn’t know this until recently. In high school, I thought if you were an adult, you were more mature than a teenager. I even thought a 16 year old was more mature than a 15 year old because they were a year older. This is not the case at all. Everyone is different. We all have different backgrounds and were raised differently and make our own decisions. I know 8 year olds that are more mature than some 50 year olds I know. I just expected maturity from people who were older than me, and expected immaturity from people who were younger than me and was dumbfounded when I realized this wasn’t the case.
7. You Aren’t Ugly: I never realized how pretty I was until I went to college! Everyone is beautiful and don’t let anyone else tell you any different. You might look different in high school and if that’s the case, you’re fine! I changed a lot after high school and feel even more beautiful than I was in high school. Don’t give up! You’re amazing.
8. There’s No Need To Be Critical: One of the reasons high school was so hard was because everyone was so critical of each other. I felt like I was under a giant microscope the entire time. I was even critical myself. There’s no need for that. If someone else is different, let them do their thing there’s nothing wrong with that. Laughing at someone else’s expense doesn’t help you at all. It actually does the opposite. It’s so much easier to be nice!
9. You Fit In More Than You Think: Looking back on high school I realize I fit in a lot more than I gave myself credit for. I was so insecure so if something happened, it was the end of the world and I’d be friendless until the end of eternity. Relax. Seriously just relax. Even if you really feel like you don’t fit in at all it doesn’t matter! What matters is that you’re happy.
10. Don’t Forget To Be Happy: If you don’t like doing something, then don’t do it. You’re allowed to like the things you like. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you like. That doesn’t make any sense. Don’t date someone if you don’t see a future with them. You’ll be a lot happier waiting for someone nice to come along than dating the first thing you can get. Trust me. Being happy is so important! Make sure you are always happy and if you’re not, then change something!