Looking back, high school was one of the best times of my life. I met my closest friends in high school and it was just so much easier back then compared to college and graduate life. However, because life was simpler, I feel like I was really naïve about things like academics, extracurriculars, and more. In this post, I’m going to be sharing 6 things I wish I did in high school! If you’re currently in high school, read this post so that you don’t make the same mistakes that I did. Even if you’re not in high school, you may be able to relate to some of my major regrets. Be sure to read to the end because #6 is probably the most important thing I wish I knew about earlier and something you’ll definitely benefit from in the long run!
Here are 6 Things I Wish I Did in High School:
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1. I wish I joined more student orgs early on in high school.
I didn’t join student orgs until the second half of freshman year, and although it was still early relative to the rest of high school, I was only involved in one org. If you’re not joining student orgs during your freshman year of high school, you will be missing out on so much! This includes meeting new people, getting involved in your school or community (volunteering), and gaining experience so that you can apply for leadership positions later on. Besides the social aspect, all of these things are critical for building your college application. Colleges will definitely look for volunteer hours, leadership positions, and time dedicated to a student org.
In high school, I feel like it’s common to only join the student orgs that your friends join- at least that’s what I did. Although this isn’t a bad thing, I truly believe that you shouldn’t limit yourself! It may be scary since you may not know anyone, but you should join whatever student org catches your interest. When you’re passionate about the org’s mission, you’ll find it easier to be more involved and talk to others since they will have the same passion as you! Even better, if you have an idea for a student org, get some friends on board and start one! Starting a club from the ground up will not only enhance your leadership skills but also boost up your college application.
Related: 5 Life-Changing Organization Tips for Online Classes (Free November 2020 Calendar Templates!)
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2. I wish I knew about the SAT/ACT earlier.
I did not take the SAT until SEPTEMBER of my senior year… Yup. As a first generation student, I didn’t have anyone in my family telling me what I should do in terms of college apps, SAT, and AP classes. I was honestly so blessed to be surrounded by friends and classmates who did know what they were doing, and so I just followed their footsteps. I wish I knew about the SAT earlier on in high school because it would have given me more time to prepare and research what is the best way to study.
I come from a middle-class family, so I really didn’t want my parents to pay thousands of dollars on an SAT prep class. Instead, the summer before senior year, I bought the official SAT book and did a bunch of Khan Academy’s SAT practice problems. Other than that, I didn’t really do anymore research on tips for taking the SAT. I can’t imagine how much better my score would have been if I had known to research ahead of time.
Right now, I’m currently studying for the MCAT, and I’ve found the MCAT Reddit thread super helpful while researching what is the best way to study for it. I highly recommend checking out Reddit to see if there’s an SAT or ACT thread with helpful advice! Learn from other’s mistakes and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
I know that many of you might not have to worry about taking the SAT or ACT because of exceptions that universities have made due to COVID. Regardless, I highly suggest that you research about college applications early on in high school so that you can make sure you’re fulfilling all of their requirements.
3. I wish I took advantage of resources from my counsellors.
I can’t stress this point enough! Your counsellors are there to help you succeed! They’re basically a free resource that you can ask about anything from scholarships, schedule planning, college applications, to mental health. If you don’t have anyone to turn to for advice, go to your counsellors! I really wish that I had taken advantage of their resources early on in high school because it would have definitely helped me in navigating my college applications.
4. I wish I wasn’t so afraid to socialize outside of my friend group.
In high school, I was pretty quiet and shy and would rarely interact with people outside of my friend group. I really regret not getting to know some of my classmates and peers because there were a lot of amazing people at my school. I guess I was afraid that I wouldn’t fit in or they wouldn’t like me. However, after meeting so many people that were different that me in college, I’ve learned that people are more similar to you than you’d think. And even if they are different than you, that doesn’t mean that you won’t get along! Being able to initiate conversation and meet new people are good skills to have in the long run, so don’t be afraid to practice them in high school!
5. I wish I went to prom.
I never went to a single school dance in high school… not even prom. Yup… I honestly don’t know why I didn’t go. I think I was just being a really stubborn teenager. Also, I didn’t know how to dance (I still don’t!), so I thought it wouldn’t be fun. And yes, maybe I was just waiting for some one to ask me to a dance LOL.
To be honest, I’m naturally a hesitant person, and my friends always say that I have a “Ms. Goody Two Shoes” personality. Throughout high school and even during my freshman year of college, I would say no to a lot of opportunities and hang outs with friends. I’d always think, I can have these types of experiences when I’m older. Well, I’m older now, done with college, and never got those experiences haha! When I say “I wish I went to prom,” I really mean “I wish I said yes to more fun opportunities in high school.” Take it from me, enjoy high school while you can and live it up because in your later years of college, studying will get much harder and more serious. Have a good balance of study and fun! 🙂
6. I wish I took more community college classes in the summer.
This is my one biggest regret!! You may already know that your AP tests count as credit in college (if you pass), but did you know that you can take community college classes in the summer and have those also count for credit? I didn’t know this until the summer of my junior year and so I was only able to take 2 community college classes. Even with those 2 classes plus 7 AP tests, I was able to graduate college early. I can’t imagine how much more early I would’ve graduated college if I had started taking summer classes after freshman year! These community college classes will speed up your college years so that you can save THOUSANDS of dollars on tuition.
Thanks for reading this all the way to the end! I hope that these tips helped and encouraged you to make the most out of high school! Be sure to check out more of my high school advice posts here. Until next time!