It's only four years. Four years, 1460 days, 35040 hours, that do NOT define you. I know that right now the idea of High school feels like the biggest obstacle you are ever going to face; and it feels like all the pressure is on you. The pressure to be perfect, to be the "ideal" student, to be liked, etc. It feels like grades are the most important thing and that one C is going to have the biggest impact and kill any real future you ever had. However, this is not the case. High school is not the biggest obstacle, and the pressure is not all on you. These four years DO NOT DEFINE YOU. So, high school me, this one's for you.
Do not waste your time on people that do not care about you. It seems easy to fall into the crowd of people that share common interests with you; sports teams, clubs, art, etc. however just because these people are LIKE you does not mean that they LIKE you. The same people that were your best friends freshman year, may not even talk to your senior year and that's okay. You deserve more than to be a second option or to be pushed to the side. People are not going to treat you like you matter unless you treat yourself like you do. Stand up for yourself, because you will probably never see those people again so what they have to say about you will not matter in 20 years.
Spend as much time with your family, especially your siblings. Being the eldest child and having a eight year difference between my youngest brother and I, I wish I would have been able to watch him grow up. Going to the mall to "shop" when you have absolutely zero money is NOT more important than your brother's three-on-three basketball tournament. Spend more time with your Nana during holidays (even though she crazy obsesses over every tiny detail), go on grocery trips with your Mom, take your sister to the movies (even if you have to force her!). Just be there; because once your family lives 150 miles away from you, it's hard to be as apart of it as you used to be.
Do not take your best friends for granted. Sure there is a lot of people in high school that wouldn't give a rats ass about whether or not you stayed home sick, but there is a couple people that text you in the morning just to make sure you're okay. TREASURE THESE PEOPLE. Distance doesn't just affect relationships with significant others, but it affects them with best friends as well. I absolutely despise not having my best friend live right next door to me because who else am I supposed to lay out in the middle of our adjoining yards and watch the stars with? Or eat breakfast with their dad because my mom forgot to buy milk? Who else's dog will hate me for the rest of his life for no apparent reason? Cherish your best friends, cherish the memories, because someday they'll be making memories with others and you'll regret all the times you didn't truly appreciate them.
STOP WISHING TO GROW UP. I get it, high school either rocks or it completely sucks and I do not necessarily think that there is an in between. BUT COLLEGE IS HARD, LIFE IS HARD, ADULTING IS HARD. STOP WISHING TO BE EIGHTEEN, OR TWENTY ONE, AND ENJOY BEING THAT FIFTEEN YEAR OLD FRESHMAN WITH BRACES AND GLASSES. There's all the time in the world to grow up, literally, but what you have right now you'll never have again. Enjoy your life, enjoy the people in your life, and if something sucks? Change it. I promise you, that when you're 102 laying on your death bed (this is my age goal, by the way) you can either be wishing that you were eighteen again or you can be completely and utterly satisfied with your life and the people in it. For my sake, I hope I feel the latter.
Those four years do not matter. High school does not define you. Learn to appreciate not only your family and your friends, but appreciate yourself too. You are the most important thing in your life, you decide the course that you travel. As Robert Frost puts it,
"Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
You do not have to be like everyone else, you are the perfect version of you. Be yourself, think for yourself, and love yourself.
The new and improved you.