What Really Matters: advice to young women in high school



High school is a time where you feel like you can’t even take a breath without something going wrong, or some sort of drama blowing up. With the ACT, SAT, pressure from parents, and, of course, balancing all of that exists within our social life, sometimes it can be seemingly unbearable to be a girl in high school. Figuring out how I would go to the homecoming game with my friends, be able to enjoy the simple freedom of having a car, and the other many wonderful things that come with getting older in high school can sometimes be more complex than it looks at first glance. There are also the many things not expected that arise: the drama, peer pressure, friends, and relationships. The stress comes not just from the actual classes that you have to take, but also the emotional turmoil that one feels as a high school girl.

Peer pressure:

influence from members of one’s peer group

You have all felt this before–there is no doubt in my mind. Maybe it was changing your clothing style to fit in with your friends, your personality to impress that special someone, or maybe even your beliefs at social gatherings so no one calls you out. The best thing you can do, though, is not give in. One of my biggest mistakes I made was not realizing earlier that I didn’t need to change things like wardrobe or my beliefs to be accepted by someone. So what if everyone’s making bad decisions at a party and you don’t want to. So what. So what if they call you “lame” or “uncool.” So what. I know better than most people how badly it hurts and bothers you in the moment, but in a few years, as you mature, you’re going to look back and think, “wow, why did I ever care what people thought of my personal decisions?” Also, you may be surprised with the amount of respect people will have for you when you honor your values. Knowing yourself and sticking to it, in my eyes, is very cool and enviable. My mom always told me “those that mind don’t matter, and those that mind don’t matter.” Those that try to peer pressure you into whatever it may be that you don’t want to do, are not truly your friends. You are better off without people like that. Think about this: you are you and there’s no one like you. If people can’t love you for you,  it’s really their loss. Not yours. Spend your time finding out what you truly believe in, not changing your values for others.


a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection

Throughout this phase of your life, you have to be wary of who your true friends are because not everybody will have your wellbeing in mind. There are people you may think are your friends, but the truth is that it is more of a toxic relationship than anything else. It may take a while to figure out who your true friends are. If at the end of the day, you can only count them on one hand. that is totally okay. I know by senior year, I can only count my true friends on four fingers. Now, I’m not saying that all those friends you have now are not your true friends at all; it is also awesome if you have a great group of friends that you can’t count on even two hands. I am only saying that sometimes it’s better to have three close friends than 20 people who are there to up your (or their) “cool” status. Also, going off the last section, don’t be afraid to distance yourself from those girls that aren’t as nice to you just because you think you’ll be “alone” or won’t have friends if you leave the group. Honestly, only keep people in your life who give you positive vibes. Trust me, it is also better to have some “in school friends” rather than friends who don’t treat you right.


an emotional connection between two people

Someone may waltz into your life and make you feel like you’re on top of the world. But when a few months pass and they say they’re done because you’re not putting out enough, or because they found someone else, it’s going to hurt. It is alright to let it hurt and it is perfectly fine to feel everything that comes along with experiencing your first heartbreak. But that somebody is not worth your time. Anyone you have to make drastic changes for or whom you feel you are not good enough for, is not, and will never, be worth it. This goes for every girl out there. I’m not saying there are no good relationships, because there are, Maybe you’re lucky enough to have one! If you do I can say one thing: do not ditch your friends for someone. Your true friends will always be there for you no matter what and more often than not, those friendships will last longer than the relationship. Making the choice to alienate friends because you’re so swept up in a romantic relationship is something seen often in high school. Take this from experience, if or when that relationship dissolves, especially if it’s your first serious relationship, you will need friends to support you. High school is a time to learn and grow. We make mistakes. Don’t make it a lifestyle, though. No special someone is worth ruining your relationship with your best friend.


Honestly, high school is a lot. You deal with bad grades, drama, tests, and just a lot of unfortunate things. But also a lot of great things like growth in yourself, growing closer to those around you, and meeting the great adults at LFHS that provide endless advice and support. I used to care a lot about how others perceived me, being cool and popular, how boys saw me, etc. I’ve realized I don’t need a group to make me feel secure, and yeah I still have insecurities about my personality and people liking me, but I’ve tried to realize that I don’t need to change to fit in. We are the most vulnerable throughout this time, and it is easy to let anything and everything affect us. It is easy to give into peer pressure in order to feel that you are fitting in with a group of people, but you are young, beautiful, and smart, and you have so much going for you. Do not think that you need to look a certain way to be beautiful, that you have to skip class to have friends, or that you need to do drugs to be cool. Forget about all that and focus on yourself. Focus on being your best self, having fun, and going to the school of your dreams that suits you. So slow down, stop trying to grow up so fast, and know that high school isn’t everything. If you stick to that mindset, you will be much happier.