On screen, high school is portrayed as being both the best and worst times of your life. In "High School Musical," I remember being in love with the catchy songs and amazing dance routines that come with being a high schooler but hating the bullying and gossip queens I was so warned about in "Mean Girls." Because it was painted in such a conflicting light, going into high school, I didn't really know what to expect.

Am I supposed to be friends with everybody?

Was makeup mandatory?

What happens if I don't wear pink on Wednesdays?

I remember feeling so self conscious, scared about what others would think of me. Finding my friends and voicing my fears, I realized that I didn't share these feelings and thoughts alone. A lot of my friends were surprised about how high school really is despite what's shown on screen. Here are 31 things I learned that I wish I knew before opening those doors for the first time.


1. The acne on your face won't be the end of your reputation.

2. You'll still be able to see your friends.

3. No, pink on Wednesdays isn't mandatory.

4. Neither is the need for makeup.

5. Skipping class or missing school isn't the end of your life.

6. Bringing drinks, such as coffee, to school doesn't make you extra.

7. The boy you've been trying to impress will not matter in a couple of months.

8. No one will tease you for joining music.

9. Teachers barely get paid, yet they spend their days teaching the same subject over and over again just so you can become a little more ready to tackle the world. Appreciate them.

10. Life goes on.

11. Participating in school events doesn't make you weird.

12. Or a potential candidate for becoming the school mascot.

13. Dressing up to impress others is dumb, just wear sweatpants everyday.

14. Or something simple to put on, like a dress.

15. Be confident in whatever you do, and others will see you as that.

16. It's OK to get bad grades every once and a while, it doesn't mean you're stupid.

17. Similarly, it's okay to cry.

18. Doing drugs does not make you cool; don't feel the need to follow other's actions.

19. Neither does drinking.

20. Stop worrying that your friends will get tired of you. Love yourself.

21. You are your own biggest bully.

22. Talking to the kids that sit by themselves at lunch doesn't make you "one of them." It could actually make their day.

23. Go to the library. Read. Learn. Use your resources and educate yourself.

24. Stay up to date on current issues, and don't be scared to talk about them in class.

25. Being popular isn't something to strive for or feel bad for not being.

26. Love your textbooks and their free-ness; they're the key to your A.

27. No one will laugh at you if you're walking or sitting by yourself.

28. Upperclassmen are nice; they will help you find your way to your class if you're lost. Don't be scared to talk to them.

29. Go to football games; no one will care or notice that you don't like football. No one likes it either. Have fun.

30. Be spontaneous, optimistic and never let anyone drag you down. Stop overthinking.

31. You are beautiful.