During my youthful years I have faced obstacles, lessons, and adventures. I just so happened to survive a treacherous place. A place society calls high school. I don’t know how I survived. I’ve learned things and I grew into a better me. As I got lost during these years, I was able to find a little bit of myself which brought me closer to who I want to be in this world. I have learned multiple things throughout the past four years that I wish I knew going into freshman year. But without learning these things firsthand, I would never be where I am now. To celebrate my survival, I have put together my 18 top tips to surviving high school. These tips are the things I wish I could have read as I went through high school, so you’re welcome.
Now prepare yourself for the dead honest truth below. Hopefully these tips will help the underclassmen learn from my mistakes.
- People change like the Chicago weather. Some people change for the better, some for the worse. One of your good friends right now probably won’t be your friend next year. The shy guy you were really close with probably will date a girl way out of his league, resulting in a huge boost in his own ego. He’ll never talk to you again because he believes he is way too cool for you now. Don’t stress over it. It happens. By the end of high school, you’ll find your true friends. You may be surprised who you end up with and who you don’t.
- Don’t blink.These years go by quicker than a wink. Once it’s over, it’s over. There’s no going back. So you have to make good memories to look back on. Just like the young Ferris Bueller once stated: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Right on, Bueller.
- Girls will talk behind your back. Girls will be girls. It’s just a part of our nature to be rude to each other in high school. Not everyone will like you no matter how hard you try.
- Most boys will stay the same level of maturity (or more aptly, immaturity) from freshman year to senior year. Boys will be boys.
- Don’t expect to get a boyfriend or girlfriend the first week of high school– or at all. School is not like the movies. I wish it was. But sadly, it’s just not.
- Keep your head held high when rumors are going around about you and everyone is staring at you. This will probably happen once or twice to you. You walk into the building and all heads turn to you. It seems as if everyone starts whispering about you. Immature kids might even start chanting stuff. Just. Keep. Walking. People will forget about whatever you did by the end of the week and move on to new gossip. It won’t last forever.
- The more you try to avoid a person, the more likely you will run into them in the halls. And then you have to say “hi” and it’s just awkward. That’s just how the universe works. The larger forces that are acting upon us enjoy having these uncomfortable situations occur which is just cruel and annoying but hey, it’s life!
- Don’t worry. You’ll get into college somewhere. I feel like especially in Lake Forest, every kid wants to get into the top of the top schools. The prettiest, smartest, most expensive schools in the country. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter where you go as long as you feel comfortable there. Pick the right major for you. If you don’t get into a certain school then it wasn’t meant to be. (This one goes out to Ohio State.)
- Stay away from fake people. You’ll meet a lot of this type of people in high school. You may even turn into one at a brief moment for a time. It’s okay if you do, just try your best to stay true to you. And try your best to stay out of drama.
- Don’t get too caught up in social media. It’s fake and a waste of time. It’s pathetic that most of us (myself included at times) care so much about how many ‘likes’ we get or how many ‘followers’ we have. IT’S NOT IMPORTANT AT ALL. Junior year I decided to delete all of my social media and it was an amazing year. I focused on so many better things. Unfortunately, this year, I realized I needed a Instagram and a Facebook to find a normal roommate for college. Such is life in 2017.
- There is a 24-hour McDonalds in Knollwood. No caption needed.
- Sleep is your best friend. Any chance you have, use sleep to your advantage. School deprives you from sleep. If you ever struggle to fall asleep like I have, go to YouTube and search: 2 Hour Binaural Beats Sleep. It knocks you out cold in 5 minutes flat.
- Sleep isn’t your only best friend. Find at least ONE friend you can hang out with 24/7 and not get sick of. Someone you can be dumb with or have a deep convo with about life. A best friend is essential to surviving high school. My best friend is Megan Wardeberg. We became friends freshmen year after being in every single class together. We have been family ever since and we plan on staying that way.
- Write about your days. You’re gonna wanna look back later and laugh. High school is silly. It may not seem like it in the moment, but in a few years, it’s gonna be fun to look back and laugh at the things we use to dread about.
- There will always be better days. Four years is a long time and don’t expect it to be smooth sailing, especially with all those hormones lurking in you. Sophomore year was by far my hardest year I faced. I looked to my future and saw nothing but two more years of treacherous misery. I didn’t know how I would survive but as the days slowly progressed, I met some amazing people and got the help I needed. I still have bad days–everyone does–but not as bad as they use to be. Keep your head held up. Things are always looking to get brighter.
- In high school, beauty beats out humor; but in the real world, humor beats beauty. That’s the hardcore truth. Work on your jokes.
- Stand out from the crowd of clones. I am weird. Most people in this school think I am super weird and I’m okay with that. I may have done several strange things that are far from the ‘norm’ but I don’t regret it. I like being myself. I hate being a follower. One of my favorite quotes is “Why stand in when you were born to stand out?” Very cliche, but true. We are all unique, and we need to get over the fear of being judged. If they make fun of you for being different, just know they are jealous that they can’t be themselves like you can. Laugh at the haters as they laugh at you.
- Don’t be afraid to mess around a little. That’s what high school is for. Experiment, learn from things, be stupid at times. Make impulsive decisions. If I had a dollar for all of the foolish decisions and mistakes I made in high school, I would have a lot more money than I do today. Might as well try while you’re young and have no real responsibilities. But don’t be too rude to be people. There’s really no excuse for that.