I’ve wanted to write another high school advice post for the longest time, and finally came up with the idea of writing one in the form of a letter to my high school self. Since graduating in June, I’ve thought about what I wish I could’ve done differently. While going back to high school is far from my wildest dreams, I would like to share some advice so that maybe you can benefit from what I’ve learned. If you aren’t in high school, you can share this post with someone you know that’s in high school, and let me know if you agree with what I write in the letter. Thanks for reading! =)
Dear Blaze Ann,
There is not one single word that can collectively describe these next four years of your life. Right now, you think of high school as a place- a place that you get dropped off at every morning after eating cereal and where you come home from after soaking up six periods worth of knowledge. You’ll soon see that high school is not just a place but a journey. It is fast-paced, challenging, exciting, tiring, and unexpected all at the same time. The next four years will pass by so quickly. By the end of it, you’re going to remember the confusion and butterflies you felt on your first day of high school like it was yesterday. You’re probably curious and want me to answer some of lingering questions like: Will I pass all of my classes? or Who will I end up being friends with? I won’t spoil anything for you, but I will give you advice and share some regrets of mine in hopes that you will learn from my mistakes. After all, high school is a place of inevitable change and growth.
1. Meet More People.
Leaving your middle school was difficult for you because of the close friendships you made. It was easy to go to school in a Christian environment because people there felt like family. Put your worries aside as you enter high school because I assure you that you will make some pretty amazing friends. Friends can shape you into the person that you are, and I promise that your friends will shape you for the better. Don’t be so shy, though. Open up and meet new people! One of my regrets is that I didn’t go out of my way to talk to more people at school.
2. Participate More In class.
Blaze Ann, be brave. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand in class. It’s okay if you’re wrong! I encourage you to participate more in class and voice your opinions. Who cares about what other people think? Honestly, they’re probably not even paying attention anyway.
3. Be Your own person, and go for it.
Grasp every opportunity that comes your way, even if it means doing it alone. There have been multiple times when I wanted to try something new such as join a club but ended up not doing so because none of my friends did it. It is completely okay to make choices independent of your friends! Who knows? Maybe after you try it, they’ll follow after you.
4. Don’t stress over a bad test score.
If you asked me to reminisce about my high school experience, the first things I’ll mention are most likely going to be who my friends and favorite teachers were and which clubs I was involved in. I’m not going to talk about the calculus test I bombed on August 23, 2016. Although it may feel like it, failing a test, not getting a high ACT/SAT score, etc. is not the end of the world. Since I’ve graduated high school, I haven’t given a single thought to the tests I had cried over during high school. So, don’t stress too much over it! Avoid defining yourself by your grades.
5. Proverbs 3:5
In elementary and middle school, you never experienced the pain that the word no can bring. Keep to heart Proverbs 3:5 in high school. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. This verse will provides comfort and reassurance if you don’t get the leadership position you wanted, if a boy you like doesn’t like you back, and if something you really wanted to happen doesn’t end up happening. Ultimately, God has a better plan for you. You just have to trust in Him.
6. Avoid Procrastination.
Don’t procrastinate on taking the SAT and planning for college applications like I did. I didn’t get my act together with these two things until SENIOR YEAR. I actually didn’t even get to take the ACT because of a lack of time. Don’t wait until the last minute or for someone to tell you to do something. Take initiative! Plan to take your SAT junior year and start looking into colleges and college applications the summer before senior year.
7. Loosen Up.
Studying is very important, but not as important as your health, family, faith, and life. Don’t get cooped up at home studying. Live a little! I regret not giving myself more free time, going to football games with friends, and hanging out. Make high school memories! You don’t want to grow up with the only memory you have in high school is you studying till late at night.
8. It’s Okay to Ask for Help.
You’ve been independent since you were little, always determined to figure something out on your own instead of asking for help. In high school, it behooves you to ask for help from teachers, classmates, and relatives. Humble yourself a little! Ask about which classes you should take, which clubs to join, and how to best prepare yourself for college.
9. Wear the Midi Skirt.
Don’t change or conform your standards and your identity in order to fit in with the other students. Be yourself! If you feel like wearing a midi skirt to school, then wear the midi skirt. Sometimes, people are willing to change or pretend to be someone else in order to make more friends. If you have to change to get someone to like you, then that person is not worth befriending. Surround yourself with people who accept you for you.
10. Don’t be Too Nice.
Some people will take advantage of you if they know that you are kind. Avoid letting people copy your homework or leech off of you because even though they may seem friendly now, they probably won’t even acknowledge you when you’re in different classes. I’m not saying everyone is like that. Just be aware of who you invest your time in (even if it’s a boy who you think is super cute!).
11. Know How to Prepare for College.
High school is partly about preparing yourself for college. One thing that I wished I did was take more community college classes during the summer. Taking summer classes will help boost your GPA as well as give you credit that can be transferred to the college you end up going to. This means less units that you have to take in college! I also wish that I had joined more academic organizations in high school such as Science Olympiad and tried being more productive during the summer by applying for an internship. These are just some of the things that will help boost your chances into getting accepted into a good college. Maybe I’ll write a separate letter on this subject ;).
12. Always Put God First.
I regret not spending more time in the Word and praying during high school. Stay grounded in your beliefs because you will be exposed to certain things that aren’t Christ honoring such as profanity. You should listen to Christian music or read a Psalm or Proverb in the morning to get your day going!
All of these tips may not make sense now, but I hope that as you embark on this journey, you’ll find them helpful. I know that I said in the beginning of this letter that high school will go by quickly. However, there will be some days when it seems like it’s taking forever to finish. Don’t give up. Good luck, Blaze Ann. Have fun and remember to make the most of these next for years because you will never experience anything like it again.