High school is a transformative time in a young person’s life.
You make new friends, have all kinds of new experiences, and, for some of us, it sets us on a path to what we’re going to be like for the rest of our lives.
So we want you young whipper snappers out there to sit up straight, pull up your pants, and listen to what these people have to say. Because they’ve been there and done that.
Here are some tips from folks on AskReddit.
1. It’s true.
“You don’t need to impress everyone.
Pretty much everyone you meet in high school won’t matter in your life after you graduate.”
2. Listen up!
“School drama is a fruitless endeavor that will likely only leave you stressed and exhausted. Your mental effort is far more effectively spent following what you enjoy rather than worrying about if jack is going out with susie or what Dylan said to Michael.
Find something you enjoy, and follow that; you’re far more likely to find people you enjoy being around when you can start with a common ground. If you like anime, find an anime club. If you like sports, try out for a team. Theatre? High school is a great time to try it out.
Kind of piggybacking off of that last point: high school is a point where you start to get more options. You have the opportunity to try new things and you may be surprised if you go out of your comfort zone.
I decided to try volleyball for the first time my freshman year, and I ended up playing every season through high school and making some of my best friends. It’s important to follow what you like, but don’t be afraid to try new things as well.
High school is important because it’s a time when you start to try to figure out who you are; don’t box yourself in.
Work hard and don’t procrastinate. I know it’s easy; it’s amazingly, devilishly easy to put something off “till x”. You will save yourself so much stress and pain if you do a little bit at a time and be regimented and disciplined in that. I guarantee you’ve heard this but it’s so incredibly true.
Get sleep. Sleep is amazingly important, and it should be a priority. People will almost brag about not getting enough sleep like it’s a measuring contest. It’s not cool, it’s just unhealthy and you will be so much happier for getting enough sleep.
Coffee is not an adequate substitute for head-on-pillow sleep, do your best to get as much as you can.”
3. Be excellent to each other.
“Be really kind to people.
You’re young and you may have sh*t you’re going through, but you will learn later in life that some of the people you don’t expect are going through some really deep sh*t too.
Be kind, be patient, be forgiving, don’t start drama, don’t participate in gossip. Forgive yourself too. Growing up is difficult, don’t be too hard on yourself for mistakes.
Be nice to your teachers… they have a hard job and it’s much harder with all this Covid stuff. Everyone deserves a little extra grace right now.”
4. Find a good balance.
“Don’t take everything too seriously.
Do Dual Enrollment. APs are fine but sometimes colleges don’t take the credit.
Get in a good study habit/good time management. You’ll be thanking yourself in college.
But also, have fun. I met some of my best friends to this day in my junior year of high school (graduated from undergrad recently). So don’t be afraid to branch out. Meet new people by classes, or by joining clubs.”
5. Pay attention to this one.
“If you’re struggling, tell someone.
Keep reaching out until someone really hears you. Have a sports injury? Don’t ignore it so you can play in the big game… you might put yourself out for the rest of the season. Starting to feel like your mental health is slipping? Address it right away.
The sooner you start working on building healthy mental habits, the better. Struggling with schoolwork? Ask for a tutor, go to extra help sessions, tell a teacher/counselor (trust me… deadlines can be moved/adjusted for someone who needs it, even if your teacher acts really serious about them during class).
And, preferably “make good choices” and all.
BUT if you’re going to make some iffy choices, remember to rule of nothing permanent: nothing that could result in brain damage, permanent injury, or an arrest record.”
6. Make friends.
“Make friends with people in the grades above you.
Widening your social circle early will make a big difference in the long run.”
7. Do what you want.
A lot of us have regrets about what we didn’t do in high school that we should have done.
Try to overcome your fear.”
8. I wish I did this.
“I never see anyone mention this advice, but I am SO GLAD I did this. Make a book of memories!
Like, whenever you come home after having a really fun day with your friends or something, try to write down everything you remember about the day.
All the funny jokes that were said, the places you went, and just how much you enjoyed it (I made mine on a Google Doc). When I started making this, I honestly thought that I wouldn’t forget that stuff and that it wouldn’t be that interesting for future me to read, but man was I wrong.
I have so many memories and funny moments saved because of that. After 3 years, I now have 100 pages worth of pure gold that really help take me back to all the good memories I had, and I will have them stored forever.
Trust me, it’ll seem tedious and pointless to record the little moments of fun days you had for now, but in the future you’ll be so glad you did it!”
9. That stuff can wait.
“Don’t do drugs or drink.
Enjoy being a kid, find an extra curricular activity you enjoy and just enjoy what you can in high school.
The reason I said this is because I did drugs and drank in high school and I always think I would be better off if I didn’t do them that young.
Like, I would be more emotionally mature and not have such bad mood swings had I not messed with my physiology so young.”
10. Get involved.
“Find clubs/sports/activities that you love and get involved with them!
It’ll feel more fulfilling and help you work on skills that could come in handy in the future.”
11. It doesn’t last long.
“Ignore most of what happens socially.
Real life starts AFTER high school. See those cheerleaders over there that think they are hot sh*t? Most of them will be living off their former cheerleader memories for YEARS. This is their pinnacle.
You will leave them far behind in the dust. See that popular guy? He will cry like a baby on graduation day and claim these were the best years of his life. For him maybe. Not for you. Everybody claims they are having s*x. They aren’t.
Don’t worry. It’s way better when you are in college and beyond. See that quiet outsider. They are part of an interesting sub-group. There are a lot of them. Get to know some. They are going to be amazing long term friends. Don’t want to go do something but feel pressured?
Call your parents. When they say yes, hang up and pretend you were just grounded. Curse them out to your friends then go home, get a great meal cooked by your parents and watch your fave Netflix. High school is primarily a prep for college or trade school or work. No rush to make any decisions. Learning is lifelong.
Don’t have kids!!!!!! Expensive and time consuming!!! Travel if and when you can on school trips. Worth it!!! Music, drama, sports, extra-curricular activities – try some.
Make time for downtime. Volunteer at your local zoo or anywhere you have a passion. Read books! You will find your tribe and it might be after high school. That is OK!!! Ignore social media. Better yet, never respond on it or send your picture out. It’s overrated and frankly, people look happy for that one minute but they are mostly not happy.
Be really happy and ignore it.”
12. It’s important.
“Listen, listen, listen.
To your teachers, superiors, bosses, everyone.
Sometimes, you’ll get some nice stuff out of it.”
13. Good stuff.
“Make the most of it! The amount you learn and how much you enjoy yourself are more in your hands than you might realize.
I just graduated from a high school in Texas as valedictorian. I was in the band and on the robotics team, and quite active academically. Here’s my advice:
Learning > Grades. Always. I had great grades, but the reason I did so well was because I focused on actually getting a deep understanding of what I was doing. You’ll enjoy your time more if you focus on real understanding of concepts instead of just doing what you need to do to get that hundo.
Taking care of business (turning things in on time, checking the rubric boxes) will take care or 80% of your grade-related concerns. Don’t put yourself through unnecessary stress just by not getting your stuff done.
Your teachers aren’t the only ones who can help you learn. It’s very good for you and your peers to teach and guide each other – the best way to know if you understand something is to try to explain it.
Your friends and classmates aren’t the only ones you can go to for non-academic help. If you’re going through emotional trouble, your teachers and counselors are more willing to help (or even just listen to you) than you might think. Don’t bottle things up.
Do the activities that you love, not the ones that you think colleges will love. High school is the time to explore your interests, however niche or unusual.
Know that you can be happy in a relationship or not. If you wanna go out, ask them! If you don’t feel ready to do that, that’s ok!
Find the amount of rigor that works for you. It’s good to challenge yourself, but it’s 100% ok to lighten your academic or extracurricular load if it’s so much you can’t enjoy life.
Hope this helps!”
14. Words of wisdom.
“Practice better self reflection, stay quiet, listen more than you speak, and actually think about what you’re doing/saying/thinking/feeling.
I had way too many instances where I looked back at myself and just thought “What the f*ck was that?”
Also, you should know, when you’re stressed your rational decision making skills drop quickly, even if you think you’re fine, you’re probably not. I won’t tell you to talk with someone(god knows I never did) but each day when you get home take a look at everything you did and said, and try to reason out why without emotional justification.
Don’t be afraid to keep a daily journal. I know it sounds lame, but it will help you keep track of your thought patterns and stressors.
Don’t feel embarrassed to apologize for your (re)actions, even if the other person doesn’t.”
What advice would you give to kids that are starting high school?
Tell us what you think in the comments!
Please and thank you!