High School Advice From a Veteran 

In honor of my officially checking out of high school today, I wanted to reach out to my readers who are about to enter high school or are currently in high school and leave you with some advice while it’s still on my mind. 


ITS ONLY FOUR YEARS

High school may seem like the biggest deal in your life right now, but if you think about it, by the time you graduate, those four years are less than a quarter of your life, and you’ve still got decades to go! 

TRY NEW THINGS

I was so afraid to put myself out there and try things outside of my comfort zone. Freshman year, join clubs that seem dorky! My friend and I showed up to the bowling club when it had three regular members, and by the end of the year, there were at least 50 kids regularly attending. Make it your own and have fun. 

LOSING FRIENDS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO FIND BETTER ONES

Sometimes, we think, “there can’t possibly be any good to come out of his situation,” but look for the silver lining! I lost the majority of my friends sophomore year, and that really shed light on some people. It felt like the worst thing that could never happen in high school,  but it turned out for the best. I found better friends who I liked being around more than the first. Don’t sweat it too much. 

BECOME FRIENDS WITH TEACHERS BUT NOT BY KISSING UP

Get to know your teacher in a real, friendly way, and find something more than high school to relate to. I’ve had so many teachers who have written me letters of recommendation or who have volunteered for me to put them down on resumes as contacts. Teachers are also more willing to work with you if they like you and if they see you putting effort their class. They realize that a bad grade doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. 

TRY NOT TO PROCRASTINATE

I have realized that it is almost impossible to start a project the night before it is due from scratch. Whenever you have time to get work done, do it! It doesn’t matter how little. It’s a million times easier to continue a project than to find the motivation to start it. 

GET TO KNOW YOUR GUIDANCE COUNSELOR

The sooner you get to know your counselor, the easier high school will be. Not very many high school students go out of their way to meet theirs, so if you do, your counselor will be more willing to offer their full attention. I have found it much easier to avoid poorly reviewed teachers and classes the years I knew my counselors well versus when I didn’t. 

TAKE CLASSES YOU LIKE

I know you might be thinking, “duh,” but I’m serious! If you only take required classses, school is going to get old very quickly. Find something that you look forward to every day! It makes getting out of bed much easier. 

PRIORITIZE SLEEP BEFORE HOMEWORK BUT STUDY AS HARD AS YOU CAN

Someone once told me, ” Sleep more than you study, study more than you party, but party as much as you can.” Basically, they were telling me there is a way to find time for sleep, school, and a social life if you prioritize them. 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES

 When you’re applying to college, most have seen thousands of applicants who have participated in National Honor Society or other service organizations. It’s definitely not a bad thing to be a member, but you’re going to want to be part of something that sets you apart from other applicants. My school had an ILC program that lets students work with special needs students, and it was awesome! Try to find something that your school offers that will really stick out on an application. 

YOUR STATUS DOESNT LAST OUTSIDE OF HIGH SCHOOL

No one at your college will know what you were like in high school, so don’t worry if you’re not the most popular person! Find your own group of friends and just have fun. 

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

I’m not going to say a whole bunch, except that no one has ever regretted refusing to try drugs or alcohol. 

KEEP TRACK OF ALL OF YOUR BOOKS

It is the worst when the school year is wrapping up and you’re told you still have a book checked out. Keep your library books and textbooks in a designated place and try to return them as soon as you no longer need them!

KEEP SNACKS IN YOUR BACKPACK

Keep a handful of granola bars or fruit snacks or whatever you like to eat in your backpack all the time! Eating will help you focus in class, and they’ll save your life if you forgot money or food for lunch. 

SET YOUR CLOTHES AND BACKPACK OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE

If you’re running late, a pre-laid out outfit and a pre-packed backpack can honestly save your life. My brain is already functioning super slowly in the morning, so when I’m running late, it takes me longer to do something than it would if I was on schedule because I’m so stressed out!

FIND A 5 MINUTE MAKEUP ROUTINE THAT WORKS FOR YOU

It doesn’t necessarily have to be makeup, but find a super quick bathroom routine that won’t slow you down when you’re running late. 

That being said…

DONT BE AFRAID TO WEAR SWEATS TO SCHOOL

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never worn sweats before, everyone has those days when they don’t really feel like getting ready. Honestly, if people really do think anything about your scrub outfit, they’re probably wishing they were wearing it too. 

Here are a couple of more tips that don’t need explanation:

  • FIND A PLANNER THAT YOU LIKE AND USE IT
  • STUDY WITH FLASH CARDS
  • DONT LEND OUT PENCILS IF YOU WANT THEM BACK
  • MAKE A TABLE OF CONTENTS IN YOUR NOTEBOOKS
  • BE FRIENDLY WITH EVERYONE BUT NOT FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE
  • CARRY GUM BUT KEEP IT HIDDEN
  • DRINK WATER ALL DAY LONG
  • DONT MISS SCIENCE LABS
  • LEARN TO ROCK A MESSY BUN

I know it’s a lot of information, but I wish someone had told me these things during high school! Share this post with anyone you think it may be helpful to, and let me know if there is anything I should add to the list! 

xo, A


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