As a person who is graduating high school very soon, I have advice for students in
high school or students who are soon going to be high school students. Many of
these are based on regrets that I have made or regrets that people I know have made.
I don’t consider myself to be an authority figure or a professional of any kind and
I do not mean to be condescending or professorial. Many of these may be obvious to
you, but these are a list of things I wish I was told before I during my early years
of high school, and I am sure others can benefit from reading this
1) Do Not Be Too Quick To Judge
Do not value first impressions highly. Don’t dismiss a person or idea too early
just because you immediately get a bad impression from it. You will miss many
opportunities because of that. Just because something seems bad at first
impression, does not mean it is bad. Try to give everything a fair chance.
2) Do Not Let Your Friends Slip Away
If your friendship with someone is slowly weakening, take iniative immediately to
try to repair it instead of allowing your situation to exacerbate. Identify a
possible reason why the friendship is weakening. If you think is your fault, try
and make ammends immediately.
3) Do Not Ever Hold Grudges
Holding a grudge is like holding a trade embargo. It is intended to hurt the other
party, but it hurts you equally. Spending your high school years focusing on the
tension between you and another person is not pleasant. Be quick to forgive.
4) Do Not Seek Revenge
Unless revenge is entails little effort, will be effective, and puts you at no risk
for consquences, do not seek it. Just let it go and move on. If it’s tension
between a person from your school, you will never see them again in a few years.
5) Do Not Get Into Drama
If the problem doesn’t involve you, don’t get involved. As tempting as it seems to
get in a conflict, mediate, take sides, and try to resolve it, it just isn’t worth
it. It may give you enemies, it is a huge waste of time, and it produces no
benefits for you.
6) Pick The Right Classes
Once you pick a class, you are stuck with it for the whole year. Don’t pick a class
that you won’t want to take for the whole year for a stupid reason. There are so
many classes and only a limited amount of them you can take, so think carefully.
High school is an opportunity to learn about so many things, so just pick courses
that you always wanted to learn.
7) Have Respect For Authority
No matter how much you may dislike them at the time, just remember that teachers and
parents care about you and are only doing their job. Listen to their advice and
heed it. Don’t argue with them and just obey them.
8.) Get Your Driver’s License Right Away
Keep that on a high priority. Pass the written test as soon as you can. Get as
much practice as you can and pass the driving test as soon as you can. Don’t push
this off until later. Get this out of the way as soon as possible.
9) Don’t Be A Victim Of Fads
Wearing the latest fashion, getting the newest electronics, getting a popular
haircut, and spending much time trying to follow the latest trends is all a waste.
Fads don’t matter in a few months and they are not in your interest - only in the
interest of giant corporations who market to the masses.
10) Don’t Try To Please Everybody
There is no way you can please everybody or get everybody to agree with you. Don’t
spend any effort trying to please others who will never like you. It is a huge
waste of time.
11) Do Not Draw Negative Attention
Don’t say anything offensive and do not be a pessimist. Don’t have bad hygeine or
act immaturely. It takes a lot of time to repair a bad image and it is better to
have no attention at all than to get negative attention.
12) Join Several Clubs / Activities
It is a great way to meet friends, take up new interests, augment your college
application. What’s not to like? If you don’t, you may be missing on several
13) Do Well In Academics
That’s the one thing that you don’t want to screw up. Develop good academic habits
for college, absorb the information being taught to you, and walk out of high school
with a good GPA. If not, you are making waste of the most important function of
14) Create A Set Of Goals
Ask yourself what you would like to accomplish by the end of high school, make a
plan on how you would like to reach them. There is a lot of room for improvement
and there is no reason not to improve.
15) Learn To Say The Word “No”
Saying “Yes” to everything is an awful vice. It can easily allow you to be
encumbered by selfless tasks which are at no benefit to you. And if you say “Yes”
to one thing, as a natural consequence, you have to say “No” to something else. So
just learn to say the word “No”, a lot.
16) Make The Right Friends
Friends who use others, friends who engage in criminal activity, friends who
immature, and friends who you can never have a serious relationship with are a waste
of an investment. Make the right friends rather than being influenced by the wrong
17) Remember That You Are Young
You are immature: physically, mentally, and emotionally. You are comparatively dumb.
There is a lot of room for improvement and growth, so don’t deny yourself that
improvement and growth because you think you are superior to your elders.
18.) Your Views Will Change
The views you have now, even if you hold them 100% firmly, will most likely change
as you get older and begin to mature. Your political views, your opinions, your
beliefs, your interpretation of your past, everything. So keep that in mind that
what you think now might not be true at all.
19) Learn To Take Responsibility
Doing whatever you want regardless of the consequences because your
parents or teachers are there to fix it. It’s an awful habit. Learn to be
accountable for yourself and learn self-discipline.
20) Stay In Healthy Shape
Get a sufficient amount of sleep, eat healthy, take vitamins, exercise, and avoid
reckless behavior. You only get one life, so be well in it.
21) Educate Yourself Outside Of School
If school is your only source of knowledge, you will be ignorant and will probably
never even open a book after you graduate school. Learn as much as you can outside
of school: about finances, politics, marketable skills, useful skills, etc.
22) See Things In Other People’s Perspective
The decisions people make, may seem odd to you, but try to step in their shoes and
try to imagine why they would do the things that they do. Were they a victim of of
something, do they have good intentions, do they have something to gain out of what
they are doing, are they thinking illogically, or are you thinking illogically?
23) Plan For After High School
You shouldn’t have a specific plan on what you want to do early in high school, but
as the years pass by, make sure you have a plan. Whether it is college, a
vocational school, or the military, just make sure you have a plan for something,
and make sure you are working to acheive that goal.
24) Be Thankful Of Everything You Have
There are many people in the world who are poor, starving, uneducated, and on the
verge of death, and there are millions of people in history who have suffered from
war, famine, and slavery. So be thankful for everything you have.
25) It’s All About The Habits
Bad habits are hard to break and remain with you for a long time. Don’t fall into a
trap which can hurt you your whole life. Simultaneously, develop good habits which
you would like to carry with you your whole life.
26) Understand The Value Of A Dollar
The labor of a high school student is worth minimum wage (about 7.50 per hour and
possibly part time). The labor of someone who has graduated college is a salary of
around $30,000-90,000+, so understand how the money you have during high school
means almost nothing and that the money you will be making your whole life matters.
27) You Have A Lot Of Time
You have very very very high amount of free time on your hands to use however you
wish. You can waste it in front of a television screen or you can use it
productively. The choice is up to you.
28.) Realize High School Isn’t The Real World
High school is not the real world. The real world isn’t a closed environment. It
is a free society where people accept responsibility for their actions. What is
rewarded in high school (popularity, athleticness, rote memorization, obedience) is
different from what is rewarded in the real world. If high school isn’t working out
for you, you may find yourself better in handling the real world.
29) How Will This Impact Me In Five Years?
Ask that question with every big decision you make.
30) Understand The Difference Of Scale
High school is four years long. The rest of your life is statistically sixty years
long. So ask yourself what is more important: to be more concerned with those four
years or to be more concerned about the future.
A lot of these are general, and people who read this will still probably make some
of these mistakes, but the important thing is to try not to make mistakes and learn
as much as you can from them if you do.
Please share your thoughts on this list.
Author sn: swansong