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Five Things I Learned in High School BY ZOE DANIEL

September 1 2019

Whether you’re entering your senior year, or coming to a whole new school as a freshman, every year of high school comes with its own set of daunting challenges and opportunities. As a recent high school grad myself, I’ve picked up a trick or two when it comes to navigating the jungle. As a new school year rolls around, I’ve decided to bestow my wisdom on those who are trekking the path I’ve completed -- so you have guidance every step of the way.

1. It’s Okay for Friendships to Change

Whether you go to a huge public school in New York, or a small Catholic school in Virginia, every high school is made up of different people with eccentric personalities. Usually, you gravitate towards the crowd that most fits your interests. This often leads to good friendships, but just know that it’s okay if you and your friends outgrow one another. That’s life. We have new experiences, make embarrassing mistakes, and go through all sorts of different encounters that shape us into unique people. We are always growing and becoming better versions of ourselves, and sometimes people don’t grow at the same pace. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad friend or your friend is a bad friend, it just means you guys are in two different phases on your journey. Sometimes, it’s good to take a break when this happens. And who knows? Someday, you guys may stop at the same station once again.

2. Do Not Leave Anything to the Last Minute

If you only take one thing from this article, I want it to be this - “PROCRASTINATION HURTS”. Please learn while you’re in high school to work on things in advance. While this advice may seem obvious, it’s not only going to help you stay on top of your schoolwork, but it’s a lifelong skill that will serve you long after your high school career ends. When it comes to adulting, sticking to your schedules and planning out everything is so important. Procrastination hurts in the long run, so make sure you get a hold of it now.

3. The Only Person you Have to Make Proud is Yourself

Whether it’s joining clubs or taking APs, make sure you’re doing it for yourself first and foremost. Make sure you’re spending time doing things you’re actually interested in and nurturing your natural talents instead of just trying to stack up your resume with activities that sound good. If you work hard solely to impress your parents or colleges, you’ll always end up disappointed.

4. It’s Okay to Not Know Who you Are Yet

In life, we are always growing. In high school, it can feel as if college administrators expect students to have everything figured out. It’s totally okay not to know who you are and what you want to do with your life. Some people don’t even choose their college majors until their junior year. It happens! We change interests as much as we change clothes, and sometimes we want to do so many things at once. Anything is possible when you stick your mind to it! Just know that it’s okay to change paths, and you’re not behind the curve if you do.

5. Live Your Best Life!

Honestly, just enjoy high school. Join clubs, make a lot of friends, be yourself, and just have fun. Take advantage of this time when you don’t to pay bills and do taxes. Don’t rush to grow up. Make mistakes and make sure you actually learn from them. Learn how to walk away from situations that won’t help you grow. Knowing your worth is something you need to learn early. It’s a confusing, scary, and exciting world out there, and a strong sense of self will help you navigate any challenge life throws at you.

By integrating this advice into your everyday life, you’ll not only get through the stresses of high school, but you’ll also build a solid foundation for the future. Just remember, at the end of the day, high school is one big learning experience. So take the time to enjoy everything, go easy on yourself, and explore all the intricate details that make you YOU! I hope you enjoy your years in high school, and I wish you the best of luck!

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