10 Things I Wish I Knew In High School
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Health and Wellness

10 Things I Wish I Knew In High School

Advice I wish I could have given 16-year-old me.

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10 Things I Wish I Knew In High School
Madison Spiegel

1. The way your life is right now is not how it’s going to be forever

Although I have always been an optimist, it has always been a struggle for me to look past the present and think about my future. If I knew what my life was going to look like now, I think I would have made much different decisions.

2. The trends you try so hard to keep up with are basically pointless

In high school, I was a victim of several trend disasters i.e. the headband trend, the colorful makeup trend, the side bangs trend? If I knew how much my incessant need to be up to date with the latest fashion would haunt my mom’s scrapbooks, I would have worn what I actually liked and invested in classic pieces that I could have taken with me once I moved on from those tragic looks.

3. Boys actually do not become more mature as soon as you get to college

When my friends would go through breakups in high school with their boyfriends of three weeks, I would always tell myself I just had to wait until college for guys to become mature enough for me. Well, 16 year-old self, that is completely false. If anything, guys become more immature in college than in high school. So, please think twice about rejecting every poor boy that asked you to the movies because you thought college would be the land of milk and honey for guys that didn’t still laugh at bathroom humor.

4. Take advantage of your financial freedom

One thing I wish I cherished more in high school was my lack of expenses. If I knew how expensive life would be once I moved out, I would have used my babysitting money more wisely and would have taken my parents up on more shopping opportunities I passed up because I didn’t think I needed anything. Your future self needs things.

5. Travel

Once you get to college, you realize just how uncultured you are. I never thought I would be considered sheltered because I used to lump all of Northern California into “the Bay,” or because I have never visited any national parks. If I knew I would have school all week and work all weekend once I got to college, I would have taken more weekend trips with my friends when I still had the chance.

6. Actually read the books you are assigned in English


I CANNOT STRESS THIS ONE ENOUGH. I have always been blessed in the art of eloquently BS-ing my way through literary responses and essays on books I never read. But, if I knew that almost every book I was assigned to read in my English classes would resurface in my college classes that I have to pay for, I would have paid more attention when my education was still free.

7. Not everyone has to like you

I spent several years of my life pretending to be someone I wasn’t in order to be well-liked. If I knew I would make incredible, genuine friends by being the 100 percent authentic version of myself, I would have saved myself from many sleepless nights and cry sessions.

8. Don’t be embarrassed about your passions

In the interest of being well-liked, I often hid huge parts of my life from my friends in fear that I would be judged for the things that I loved. For example, I was in band for seven years in middle school and high school and never told any of my friends about it because I thought it was nerdy. I loved band and loved the friends I made because of band. But, I allowed my obsession with popularity to dictate my passions, and the person I am presently would never hide such a huge piece of myself from the people I love.

9. Make connections

Careers are all about who you know. The people you meet in high school often become your contacts for future careers and it is important to maintain as many connections as possible. If I knew that the guest speaker I had in my sophomore year journalism class could possibly be my future employer, I would have gone further to make a lasting impression.

10. Cherish your time with your family

When you go away to college, no one prepares you for the intense FOMO (fear of missing out) you will experience every time your family gets together for dinner or goes to the pumpkin patch. The forced family outings and holidays you used to despise attending end up being the things you miss the most, so remember to soak it all in, because when you have to miss your first Thanksgiving or Christmas, you will really regret all the complaining you did every year before.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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