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In this article, I will discuss many topics that come to mind when I think about how to thrive in high school, or at least get through it. If you ask most adults they’ll say, “High school is the best four years of your life!” But I’m sure anyone that’s currently going through high school (like myself) would say that’s not the case. However, here are some things that may help you or someone you know get through high school while still maintaining your sanity. I may not have the most credibility about how to survive high school being someone who hasn't yet, but as I approach my senior year this fall I've realized a lot of things that helped me throughout these tough four years that just may help you.
Just breathe, it’s not the end of the world.
One thing that been in the back of my mind since the beginning is, not every argument or inconvenience is the end of the world, really. I know from experience that it can be hard to remove yourself from a situation and see that it really isn't a big deal, but sometimes that might save a friendship. After all, the teen drama that comes with high school is basically a rite of passage which prepares you for future relationships. One very important thing if you're looking to survive high school is to have friends, so some words of advice that I'm sure you've heard a thousand times are, forgive and forget.
If you're one of the many people who decide to date in high school, you may have seen that it's easy to get sucked into an argument and then spit back out single. But one thing that I have learned from being in a year and half long (and counting!) relationship is that not every argument has to end in a breakup. Now maybe I'm the only dramatic teen that has jumped the gun on breakups, but even those nights where you cry yourself to sleep over a guy or girl may be totally necessary to building and growing the relationship. That is if you actually want to continue being with that person. Just step back and take a deep breath, because even if it ends in heartbreak, it'll get better, because after all, it's not the end of the world.
Do your work!
I know this may seem obvious, but trust me do not fall into a pattern of not doing homework. It is a very hard habit to break and only leads to many meetings with your guidance counselor scrambling to figure out how to get into college, take it from someone who has been there. During my freshman and sophomore years, I adopted this complex that I could do whatever work I wanted because I still had a couple years to fix it. This, however, is not the case. When I started my junior year it hit me that colleges would look at all four years, not just my junior and senior years. This led to extreme stress and multiple mental breakdowns trying to exceed in or even just pass every necessary class. This really affected my mental health.
What I started to do my junior year was use my study halls to their full potential. I would start work the same day it was assigned to avoid doing a whole project the night before it was due. I also stayed with my teachers after school and asked for help, which really helped me pass all my regents and finals. One thing I didn't do was study. I never took the time to sit down and study which is probably the worst thing I could've done for myself because even now I still don't have study skills.
Play sports or join clubs.
Throughout high school thus far, one thing that has saved me was playing sports. During every season I have picked up a sport and it really has helped me. Playing sports has taught me time management and kept me motivated to pass classes in order to be able to play. The physical activity has kept me in shape and taught me how to be passionate about something. Not only did playing sports teach me many things but it also helped me make friends. There's nothing like the bond you make with your peers when you're on a team together. Also, being able to get away from stressors and electronics for an hour or two works as a form of therapy and helps clear your mind.
I never joined any clubs because I was so busy with sports, but if you really aren't into athletics, clubs are perfect for you. At least at my school, there is a multitude of clubs you can join that teach you the same values as sports and help you meet people who are interested in the same things you are.
You don't have to join either one if you want to be solely focused on school work, but I recommend that you do because clubs and sports look great for college, and if you really set your mind and heart into a sport, it could help you get a scholarship to play for greats schools. Also, if you're not so great at school, having your schedule jam-packed with activities and sports might be a saving grace when applying to colleges.
Other Helpful Tips
I recently started going to a therapist in order to help me cope with the stress and anxiety that comes with high school and being a teenager, and it has definitely helped. I believe that everyone should have a therapist but obviously not everyone is open to the idea. However, if you're ever contemplating it I would say for sure try it out, because it just may help you more than you think.
Form good relationships with your teachers because it will come in handy. Even if you're shy, it is so important to have relationships with teachers not only because it's nice to have someone on your side, but because one day you'll need letters of recommendation for college and if you're like me, you're going to need a good one.
Take every day as it comes because before you know it, you'll be walking across the stage receiving your diploma. I know everyone says it but seriously, high school goes by so fast, so enjoy every friendship, relationship, football game, and dance because you only have so many.