High school is scary. I remember being a timid, little freshman walking through the big double doors of the cafeteria. I knew that stepping over that threshold would be, "the start of something new." Yes, I did just quote "High School Musical," and no, I do not have any shame. I can honestly say that high school changed my life for the better, though I wish I had known a little more before hand. Here is a list of things I wish I had known before starting the best (and worst) four years of my life.
1. The grades you make freshman year do count.
You may think that one B or C will not matter, but in the long run it does. Slacking off freshman year allows you to lower the expectations you have for yourself, and it just gets worse as the years go by.
2. The friends you make freshman year to senior year will end up being some of the most important people in your life, so pick them wisely.
3. Those same friends might also drop you after the first semester of college.
You will be okay. I thought one best friend and I would be inseparable ’til the grave, but now we rarely speak. Things change and people change, but it’s not the end of the world.
Whether he is your boyfriend or your best friend, his opinion of you is not more important than your own. I have learned that having self-confidence is one the most important qualities you could have. People will try to tear you down, but you shouldn’t let them. All that matters at the end of the day is what you think of yourself.
One day you will not be two feet away from them. My first semester of college was a culture shock because I was so used to being around my twin brother and two sisters. When we were suddenly separated by 300 miles, I missed having them around. Trust me, distance really does make the heart grow fonder.
The nicest and coolest kids in school are usually never the partying kids. I had a great group of friends all throughout high school so I speak from personal experience. We had the best alcohol-free parties, and we all actually remembered it the next day.
7. If you have a job, save your money
Getting into the habit of saving will help you tremendously when you are older. I have a serious problem when it comes to saving money. I wish more than anything that I had started saving money when I first started working. When you go away to college, you will wish you had started saving in high school because you'll be ballin' on a budget.
Developing good study habits during freshman year will save you junior and senior year. These habits will even follow you to college. This is another problem I have. I developed a slight procrastination problem, otherwise known as "senioritis," during senior year and beating it is way harder than it sounds. Do yourself a favor, and stick to your good study habits!
9. Do not let your job become more important than your grades and social life.
You have your whole life to work, but only a short amount of time to be young and have fun. Take advantage of it. Now that I look back on high school I wish that I had not been so focused on making money and working when I didn’t have to be.
Football games, the homecoming dance, open house, prom…everything. You’ll regret missing out on high school when you graduate. Freshman through junior year, I didn’t go to many school functions which I truly regret. I had so much fun my senior year, and besides the fact that it was senior year, it was also the year I decided to get involved with literally everything. School is so much more fun when you have fun events to look forward to. Have some school spirit!
Going to prom with a date isn't the most important thing. I nearly didn't go to prom one year because I had no date. I ended up going with one of my best friends from work, and we had the best time! Now looking back, I wish I hadn't stressed so much about having a date, especially senior year. Some of my best friends had a better time than I did and they went alone. It is not the end of the world if no one asks you to prom.
12. Don’t stress about getting a stupid “prom-posal".
They are overrated. I feel so stupid for worrying about such a trivial thing. The day after I posted the picture on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, it became irrelevant. If you want to go with someone, ask them.
13. Take pictures.
The best thing I did during high school was take millions of pictures, though I only did this during senior year. I wish more than anything that I took more pictures freshman, sophomore and junior year. Even though they may not have been as fun as senior year, it is nice to have pictures to look back on some of the best years of your life.
Don't let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do…except your mom. Even then, don't live your life for someone else. Do what makes you happy. I have learned from personal experience that not doing what makes you happy only hurts yourself. I am finally starting to live my life the way I want to, and I have never been happier.
The worst thing you can do is spend all of high school waiting to graduate. Enjoy it, even if the food sucks. I can honestly say that high school was four years of my life that I’ll never forget and let's be honest, adulting is hard.
I waited until senior year to join organizations that made high school the most memorable. Trust me, the earlier you become involved, the more fun you will have. Joining clubs can give you lifelong friendships! It is a win-win situation.
17. High school will be some of the best years of your life, so live it up.
A year or two after you graduate, you will wish you had gone to the football game instead of staying home by yourself watching Netflix. Netflix will be there when you get home, trust me.
I went my whole first semester of college without having a single clue of what I wanted to major in. I finally found something I wanted to pursue and even now, I am still unsure. It really is true, you will change your major four or five times before you find your path. So do not stress.
19. Go out with your friends and family. High school is the only time you will be able to see them constantly and hang out on a whim.
Cherish the time you spend with them. If I could change one thing about high school, it would be to spend more time with the people I love. Spend 30 minutes now catching up with your grandparents or taking your best friend out for ice cream. You will be happy you did when you are five hours away from them next fall.
20. Your grades do not define your intelligence.
Do your best and be proud of that. One of the hardest things I had to overcome was making a bad grade. It's easy to assume you're not smart after receiving a D, but you're the farthest thing from it. The smartest people in your class can easily be the least intelligent and vice versa. Cut yourself some slack, and try your best.
21. Don't slack off senior year.
It 's hard to make a comeback that first semester of college. Etch this into your brain: senioritis and procrastination are both incredibly real. I most likely put the “pro” in procrastination. Don’t fall into that habit. Trying to escape it is a struggle you don’t want to experience.
22. Where you go to college does not define you.
A degree is a degree. When you get it doesn't matter, but what you do with it is what really matters. When I left for college in late August, I was jealous of my friends who were attending universities that I was rejected from. Now, a semester and a half later, I've realized that the school you attend means nothing in regards to what you do when you get your degree. You could go to community college and be increasingly more successful than someone who attended the most prestigious college in the country. It's not the school that defines you, it's your worth ethic and your determination.
The memories and friends you make during high school will last you a lifetime, so in the words of Green Day, make sure you have the, "time of your life."