As I enter my senior year, I want to help others get the best out of their high school experience. Here are five tips to help get the best out of these four years.
1. Be prepared for the roller coaster ride. Even if high school is mostly good, there’s always going to be that off day, week, or even month. Try not to let it ruin things too much. A good friend once told me that high school is just a part of my huge journey. That I shouldn’t get discouraged because I can’t see the good at the end of it just yet. Things get better we have to stick out in order to see what happens. It’s difficult when all you have to measure for your life is a relatively short time (teenage years). It fells like everything to you because you don’t know anything else. Look ahead to your 20s and being an adult. Even if it’s scary, it’s also exiting to be taking the world on in a different way.
2. Finding the right friends. Everyone knows there are groups in high school -- from jocks to nerds, it's endless. Now you may feel the pressure to fit into one group, but don’t limit yourself. Be an all around type of person and try to make new friends from different groups. That way you don’t have all your eggs in one basket and you can make more relationships with people who can teach you a lot. Stay away from those who don’t deserve your time. Finding reliable friends isn’t easy when everyone is trying to figure out who they are, but patience is important. The ones who matter will show themselves to be true over time no matter what happens.
3. Doing what you want to do even when you don’t know what you want to do.
Confusing, right? Well, I am talking about getting involved during high school. Whether it's sports, music, dance, clubs, volunteering or just hanging with friends. Don’t regret not going for it. Those four years of high school go by ridiculously fast. You blink and you are already in your senior year. Trust me I know.
You’re only young once (YOYO) do not ruin it by spending the majority of your time on what-ifs. Now you could this question back at me and say "practice what you preach." To which I would say I do, but in small steps. What works for you is different from me. You just can't be afraid to try. You have the power to choose.
4. Start thinking for the long term. We all know high school is where it gets serious. I am talking about preparing for the future. What kind of job do I want? What the heck am I doing after high school? For some the answer may be easy but others are really at a loss. This is where you have to stick with what you love and with what truly interests you. The problem with that is the things we love may change and that’s a process we have to go through. Try volunteering in a field that catches your interest. Or look for internships or someone who can talk to you about your interests. Check online for resources. Starting now can save you tons of time and money down the road.
5. Enjoy it. Balance is extremely important, so work hard and play harder. People come from all different situations. One thing that can be true for everyone is to enjoy the advantages of being young. We will never again get to be 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18 years old.
These years are precious and they go by faster than they should sometimes…. take a moment to smell the roses. Try to take each day for all its worth and don’t forget to smile and laugh…a lot.