You'll make it through the dress codes, useless classes, late night cramming, the drama you thought would ruin your life, and heartbreak that made you want to switch schools. I promise you'll prevail through everything. But if you're struggling, here's some advice that might help you conquer these four years.
1. Put a to-do list in your locker
I promise when you get home and realize you have a Spanish test the next day, but forgot your binder in your locker you'll hate yourself.
2. Do not walk in packs
The hallways are three feet wide. Please walk in a single file line.
3. Start taking the SAT and ACT as soon as possible
Don't wait until your senior year to start taking these tests. I promise you'll regret it when you're 50 points from getting Palmetto Fellows, but there are no more dates available before your application is due.
4. Take as many classes as you can senior year
I know the idea of getting out of school early is exciting, but I promise you'll regret the time you spent taking a nap instead of making memories.
5. Don't give in to something you don't want to do
It's quite simple. Say no.
6. Smile at the boy that eats alone
It might not benefit you in any way, but it just might save that boy's life
7. Learn to forgive
People are going to lie to you. People are going to break your heart. People are going to betray you. But you have to be the bigger person and forgive them. Karma will take care of it for you.
Volunteering at the local animal shelter was the best thing that I ever did. I made lifelong friends and I got to make a difference in an animal's life. Whether you volunteer at a soup kitchen, animal shelter, or quite frankly anywhere I promise you'll have a really good time and it gives you beta club hours so it's really a win-win situation.
9. Support every sports team, not just football
I know in small towns that football is the holy grail, but other teams would really like to see more people on their side of the bleachers than the visiting team for a change.
10. Quality over quantity
You're going to go into high school with a huge friend group, but I promise by the time graduations rolls around you'll be lucky to have more than three really great friends that stuck through everything.
11. It's a bad day, not a bad life
You're going to fail a test. Your boyfriend is going to break up with you. You're going to get a speeding ticket. You're going to get in fights with your best friends. You might get fired from your job. You might not make the sports team you tried out for. It's okay. You will graduate. You will fall in love. You will find a job. You will be okay. Good things take time, and you have an entire lifetime.
12. Don't compare yourself to others
I promise the people you're so jealous of probably have no idea what they're doing with their life and they cry themselves to sleep. I know it sounds cliché right now, but things really do always work out in the end.
13. No amount of anxiety is going to change the situation, so chill out
All you're doing is putting yourself through the situation twice. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you've got this. Even if you know for a fact that you absolutely do not have this, tell yourself you do anyways.
14. Don't be afraid to ask questions
Wanna know a secret? Teachers get paid to teach. Crazy, right? No question is a stupid question, and 9/10 times there's someone else wondering the same thing but is too afraid to ask. Your teacher won't judge, they really are there to help you.
15. Put your phone down when you're with your parents
In my household there's a strict rule of no texting or scrolling through social media in a restaurant once the food comes. I always hated this rule because I never failed to just be beginning an interesting conversation with a friend as soon as the food came out. But now that I'm in college and as I sit and eat with friends that barely look up from their phone I realize why it really is so disrespectful. So put your phone down and tell your parents about your day.
16. Always have a thankful heart
You're never really going to be satisfied with anything in your life. You're always going to want something more. But sometimes more isn't an option and you need to learn to be thankful for what you have.
17. Learn how to study now
Learn how to make flashcards. Learn how to make study guides. Learn how to read a book without checking your phone every six seconds. Learn to study in an efficient way, because I promise when you get to college it's up to you to figure out how you need to write an 8-page paper, study for 3 exams, and write a lab report all in one week.
18. Be kind to everyone, they may be facing a battle you know nothing about
There are days that a kind word saved me from going home and ending it all. Be nice to people.
19. Scholarship applications are worth your time
Remember that time you didn't think you would get accepted to that out of state college so you just filled out a few scholarship applications for your local community college? Now you've received your acceptance letter and scholarship deadlines have passed. Yep, been there done that and now I'm in major debt. Fill out everything. I don't care if its only for $1, fill it out.
20. Get involved
Join a club. Tryout for a sports team. Run for class president. Do something.
21. Quizlet is your best friend
12/10 wouldn't have graduated from high school without this angel. If a teacher is nice enough to go over some test questions in class the day before, go home and look one of them up. Nine times out of ten you'll find the whole test.
22. Cherish your free textbooks
Just an access code in college costs more than my car.
23. Buy a yearbook.
I promise they'll come in handy 10 years down the line when you can't remember the name of that boy with the pink mohawk in tenth grade.
24. Keep certain parts of your life personal
Snapchat doesn't need to know your every move. Let people believe what they want to believe.
25. Don't stress about the pimple on your face
Everybody gets them. It's just a part of being a teenager. Put on a facemask and hope for the best.
26. Going to a community college is perfectly fine.
I'll be the first to say that going to a four-year university straight out of high school isn't all its cracked up to be. Going to a community college can save you a lot of money and allow you to stay closer to home for a few more years.
27. Don't sugarcoat anything for anybody.
People will respect you a whole lot more if you're just straight up with them. If they're being stupid, tell them. If they're having a bad hair day, tell them. If they're dressed ridiculously, tell them. If they're being a two-faced bitch, let them know.
28. Your parents actually do know more than you
Shocker, right? They may not remember how to find the value of x, but if you're like me then in College you'll constantly be asking them how to know when the water is boiling.
29. Don't take every little thing so personal
I'm guilty of taking things way more personal than they were meant to be. I think way too much into things and I only end up hurting my own feelings. Take it from me when I say that everything isn't about you. The other person might just be having a bad day and needed to take it out on the next person they saw which just happened to be you.
30. Don't be so ready to start your life
These really are the best four years of your life. No bills. No job to go to. Everything is pretty much spelled out for you. Hardly any stress. I personally don't understand how anyone could enjoy counting down the days until you walk across that stage to grab your diploma.
Four years are going to go by so quickly. Sooner rather than later you are going to become an alumni. You will no longer be a student, upperclassmen, teammate or friend. Everything will change the moment you close your locker and walk through those doors for the last time. So take the time and realize what you are leaving behind. The future will come soon enough.