It seems like people have been telling us our whole lives that “high school is the best years of your life”. And for some that may be true (like my boyfriend, brother, and Mom) but not all of us feel that way. I hated high school. I didn’t have many friends, I was sulking in depression, and skipping classes to go home and binge eat. Not a roaring good time. But you know what? If I could do it over again, I absolutely would. Having the knowledge and clarity that I do now, I would create an entirely different experience for myself. And since I can’t (leaving the past behind us is where it belongs) I want to share some insight with those of you who may be struggling through high school right now.
1. Purpose and Potential
Don’t ever forget the reason you wake up so early in the morning, why for twelve years you lug around a backpack filled with heavy textbooks. It’s not because adults are stupid and they don’t understand and they’re trying to ruin your life. The reason you go to school is to learn. You are a little bundle of infinite potential and part of tapping into that is constantly gaining knowledge and improving yourself. Do you thoroughly detest the majority of your teachers? Hopefully you have one or two whom you really like, but hey, not everyone can be Ms. Frizzle. But you know what every single one of your teachers is there for? To teach you; to make you understand, which means if you don’t get something, you hound them and ask them to help you over and over until you get it and are confident in your newfound knowledge of it. Don’t be shy or apathetic. Don’t give them a break. You won’t look stupid for asking questions, especially not when it comes to exams. But it’s 100% not about good grades – it’s about you getting smarter. Never pass up knowledge when it is offered to you. Ever. And if anyone tries to get in the way of your increasing intelligence, tell ’em to shove it where the sun don’t shine.
2. Sociability and Support
I know, you’re thinking there’s more to high school than studies. Classmates, parties, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. Well first of all, separate your friends from your ‘frenemies’. You know that one friend who is always giving backhanded compliments and making you feel insecure about yourself? Cut them out of your life. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Don’t think that you need to subscribe to any kind of social hierarchy or socialize with people who you do not absolutely adore or who make you happy. Your true friends (and hopefully family) will make up your support network. The people who love you and encourage you and will always be there for you. I didn’t reach out to my best friends when I needed them most and it led to my downfall (damn hubris). As far as ‘popularity’ goes, it means absolutely nothing the second you graduate. And if you’re thinking you need it to survive those four years, please reread everything I’ve already said over and over until you start to see the strength within yourself and realize popularity doesn’t matter. When you’re faced with a conflict regarding other people, wether it’s cute boys or annoying classmates or mean friends remember this, it will make clear what you should do: live life for yourself. You are number one, alright? Your passions and interests come first. Your education and right to bettering yourself comes first. Your goals and ambitions come first.
Whew. Glad we had that talk.
Stay tuned for future posts on bullying, being yourself (read this one in the meantime) and battling bad guys.