About a month and a half ago, I can proudly say that I graduated high school. It was a moment I had anticipated for years and years, and to officially say I am a high school graduate feels incredible.
High school was an absolute whirlpool of emotions, self-discovery, and truth. However, here it is mid-July, I’ve found myself reminiscing about my time as a high school student and all I went through to get to where I am today. Here I realized how my experiences could help out incoming freshmen (much like my sister) and hopefully help ease the transition they are about to go through, or how my endeavors compare to those of others.
Without further ado, here are the top five things I discovered and learned while being in high school.
#1: It’s different.
While you may be thinking “well, of course, it’s different,” you aren’t wrong — there are just many factors that differ between middle school and high school. For one, maturity levels are absolutely one of the biggest differences in my personal opinion. The older you get, the more you mature and tend to take things seriously. At my school, it was typical for upperclassmen to dread the arrival of younger classes, and that’s simply because of the way they act. If this happens to you, don’t worry too much; just mind your business and everything will work out fine! Another major difference I will be touching on in the next section is how these years matter the most and why you should take them seriously.
#2: Hard work pays off.
What I didn’t learn until eighth grade was that all of my hard work and good grades during middle school basically meant nothing when I began high school. However, the transition is a clean slate for every single student; what you did in middle school doesn’t matter at all, but what does matter are the next (and last) four years of your schooling career. These last couple of years are the most important and how you do will be a factor that impacts your future. No pressure, right? What you need to remember is that you are expected to contribute more and work harder because high school years are the most vital. You need to take your classes seriously and try your absolute best to maintain a solid grade point average (GPA) that colleges will be looking at when you start applying. I’m not saying you need to study every single night, but you do need to observe how you can achieve your goals, do well in class and meet expectations.
#3: Friends will come and go, and that’s okay.
This topic used to be really difficult to talk about, but now that I’ve matured and gotten over the situation, it feels liberating to share my experience. Halfway through the sophomore year, I lost my three best friends, one of which I had known and been best friends with since the first day of kindergarten. It all started after I got a concussion in gym class (that’s a whole other story) and I noticed my friends start to distance themselves from me over the course of a few weeks. All communication on social media and through texting stopped, as well as face to face interactions. When I tried to address the situation to my so-called friends, they completely ignored my existence. I’m not going to tell you I was fine at that moment because I wasn’t, but losing them made me realize how things happen for a reason and that I could do so much better. This experience encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and make new friends. By doing this, I truly, 100% believe I met my best friend and soulmate, which I am more than grateful for. If this happens to you, remember that it will get better in time. Take all the time you need to recover and then put yourself out there to meet the friends you were destined to keep.
#4: Get involved!
No matter what you are into, I’m sure there will be a club or organization at your school that interests you. Whether it’s sports, theater arts club or history club, school’s offer an abundance of extra-curricular activities that tailor to a variety of students. There are many reasons as to why you should join, so I’ll just briefly list a few:
- Meeting new people - Joining a club forces you to interact with new people who have similar interests as you. And who knows, these people could end up becoming your closest friends!
- College applications - Extra-curricular activities look good on college applications and essays! Need I say more?
- Long-term benefits - There are more learning environments than just the classroom. In different clubs, you will utilize different essential skills that will prove to be useful in your everyday life.
#5: Enjoy your time in high school.
Everyone has probably told you at least once about how your last four years of school seem to ‘fly by’ and that’s because it weirdly does. I feel like I blinked and the next thing I know I’m walking across a stage to receive my diploma. With that said, enjoy your high school years since they are the most memorable. Live your life, make new friends and have fun in all that you do, these years are going to leave a lasting impression.
With all that said, these are the top five things I learned while in high school. I hope this helps someone in some way. Regardless, I wish all incoming freshmen the best of luck in high school; you are beginning the last chapter of your standard schooling adventure, and I hope you spend these last four years living to the fullest.