6 Things I Wish I Knew Before High School
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Student Life

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before High School

High school won't be the best four years of your life.

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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before High School
Carlee Guthaus

At my high school, upperclassmen host an event the Friday before school starts called “Freshman First Day”. Link Crew, the freshmen mentoring program, invites every incoming freshman to participate in a day full of ice-breakers, sweaty kids, a campus tour, and did I mention ice-breakers? When I was a freshman, I had no desire to go to school one day early, but my mom forced me to go. During one of the several presentations on that day back in 2012, a teacher told the entire class of 2016 that “High school is going to be the best four years of your life!”.

Oh man, he was SO wrong.

I can definitely say that I had a unique high school experience. Through all the surgeries, deaths in my family, friendships, food runs, and so much more, I learned a few things during my last four years of free public education.

1. You are going to have bad days.

The down days are inevitable. I can attest that you will be cranky at school after staying up until 2 a.m. to finish your calculus homework. It won’t settle well with your first-period teacher when you "unintentionally" fall asleep in his/her class, though. Brew some coffee, power through the tough seven hours ahead of you, and take a nap when you get home from school.

2. Not all extra-curricular activities are always fun.

It’s true; your teachers weren’t kidding when they said that joining clubs will look good on college applications. Although the word “club” seems fun, most organizations on your campus will more than likely have a “work hard, play hard” mentality. Depending on what you’re interested in, you can learn invaluable skills during high school that can be applied for the rest of your life. Don’t drop out of a club if it seems like too much work. That work experience can be extremely useful later on and can set you apart from the crowd during college application time.

3. Become friends with a few teachers.

Befriending teachers during 10th and 11th grade is extremely helpful while applying to colleges. Most colleges require one to two letters of recommendations to supplement your application, and this will be the perfect time to ask your AP Biology teacher to brag about how you were such a great student in his/her class. Even if you don’t plan on applying to any universities that require a letter of recommendation, there are plenty of scholarships out there that do require a teacher to vouch on your behalf.

4. Visit your guidance counselor on a regular basis!

Your guidance counselor should be your best friend during these next four years. He/She is going to be the person who will have the most information on your options for after high school, such as military, vocational schools, colleges, and everything in between. Also, most high schools have a scholarship newsletter that is available to all students. Contact your counselor to see if your school provides a similar resource. I found this extremely useful during my senior year and I learned about three out of my four scholarships I received because of my high school scholarship newsletter.

5. Not everyone is going to like you.

Don’t take this personally. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and grew up in unique situations, so don’t be offended if the one kid in the back of your science class doesn’t like you, despite being super friendly to him. It’s going to happen, and it will happen for the rest of your life. As long as you have a group of supportive friends and a loving family, you will be set.

6. Your life is not over if you get a few B’s.

I know way too many freshmen who are pressured by their parents to get straight A’s or else they will be a disappointment. You do not need straight A’s to be considered successful in high school. You will get into college if you don’t have a perfect GPA. You will be able to apply for a fantastic internship if you have a C on your transcript. Although grades aren’t everything, you still need to work hard and try your best on every test. High school is not the place to slack off (except second-semester senior year, but that’s another article for another day…). Don’t forget that life is more than just a number. You are not defined by your GPA after you graduate.


If you are starting high school in just a few months or are graduating this year, just remember that you will be fine. High school is a time to grow, experience, and learn. Trust me, you will have plenty of things to fret about after you graduate. Enjoy your last four years of financial freedom!
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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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