You’re probably in your freshman year of high school, which means you are definitely not using your free time to read articles online. At the moment, you’re probably listening to old Taylor Swift music and trying to apply her lyrics to your life, or, perhaps, you’re locked away in your room while reading one of the millions of books you checked out from the library. Either way, the thoughts running through your mind which leave you constantly troubled are most likely not worth your time.
I can promise you this.
Why should you believe me? How should I know what you’re thinking? Well, that’s right. I don’t know what you’re thinking. Why don’t I know what you’re thinking? Because I don’t remember.
Did you read that?
I don’t remember.
I don’t remember what I stressed about when I was fifteen years old because, eventually, I forgot what didn’t matter anymore. As a high school student, I was constantly running three hundred miles per minute because I felt as though I had a mountain of homework complete for every class. Don’t even get me started on the people I tried to include in my life who I haven’t even spoken to since high school.
Between classes, procrastination, and a social life, there were times when I had to leave school because my anxiety left me mentally and physically ill. Now, as a college student, I barely remember most segments of high school. There are about five main aspects to every high school experience, and none of them are worth making yourself sick: academics, sports/extra-curricular activities, relationships, friendships, and working.
You’ll barely remember what you learned in most of your classes. Unless you’re venturing in the English field, you probably won’t remember those ten lines from Macbeth you desperately tried to recite. Unless you’re going into a mathematics field, you probably won’t need to remember Pythagorean’s Theorem. It honestly just depends on which fields you choose to pursue, and how often you paid attention in your classes. Try to remember everything you can because it pays off to be a well-rounded contributor to society, but don’t fret if you forget a few details.
Do. These. I cannot stress this enough. Participate in something. Even if you only join one of the academic teams and you don’t throw yourself into anything else, do something. Be a part of a team. Voice your opinions. Meet people not in your general social circle. These groups teach you more about yourself than any classroom will, and you will meet people you never thought you would meet. Not only is it a good practice for communicating, but also it is good practice for college and life after high school.
There is nothing I can say to either prevent you or convince you to either refrain from a relationship or to find yourself in a relationship. It will most likely happen. It’s inevitable. Just remember one piece of advice: You are your own person. The world is large, and it’s important to hold on to your individuality. Don’t lose yourself in the midst of your first relationship. If you and your significant other last after high school, then I applaud you. It’s very rare. If you break up, cry a little bit. Then, however, hold your head high and smile because someone out there is going to show you everything you deserve.
Friends come and friends go, but the ones who matter are the ones who stay beside you. Even if you go weeks without talking, the true friends are the ones who pick you back up, know everything about you, and would do anything for the sake of your happiness. Need a night drive? They’re there for you. Need a movie night with ice cream? Tell them when, and they’ll be at your house. Just always keep in mind: No fight is worth losing a friend. If you simply realize you both are going in different directions, then I hope there aren’t bitter feelings. There is one simple, but sometimes complex, idea you should always remember: No guy is ever worth losing your friend. Don’t go behind your friend’s back, and never choose the guy over your friendship. If your friend is a true friend, then she is there for you no matter what because she knows you would do the same.
Get a job. I don’t care if your parents can afford to pay for your expenses, but even just a summer job teaches you how to be grounded, professional, and responsible. Just like if you join clubs or play sports, you will meet people outside of your general social circle. Not only this, but you will also get paid while learning new skills, and you can add any of your jobs to your resume and college applications.
High school can be intense, emotional, and, frankly, seemingly unsatisfying. There are times when you’re going to wish away high school so you can move on to college. Honestly, college is completely different from high school in all the right ways, but you need to experience high school in order to appreciate life after the confinements of those cement walls. Drama will arise and you’ll have to deal with people you don’t like, but it’s practice for the real world. You may not take away a lot of what you learned in your high school classrooms, but you’ll learn a lot about who you are when faced with different scenarios.
Keep your head high, doll. It won’t last forever.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.