- Those “friends” your mom says aren’t your real friends, really aren’t your real friends. You will realize this eventually, but believe me, your mom can tell a fake friend the moment she sees one.
- Pick the school that is right for you. Pick the one that will do the best things for your future, not the one your friend or that cute boy is going to. Pick the one that made you excited when you first toured it, not the one that sounds cooler in your Instagram bio.
- Only do what you feel is right. Peer pressure goes much farther than parties and sex. If your friends are gossiping or speaking poorly about people, you don’t need to participate in those conversations, and more often than not you’ll wish you hadn’t sooner rather than later.
- Not all relationship abuse is physical. It is possible that your boyfriend, girlfriend or your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend is being abusive without laying a finger on you or her/him! Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. Click here and here for more information and warning signs of emotional abuse.
- Don’t say mean things to/about your parents. The teen years are tough and 90% of the time it feels like your mom “doesn’t get it”, but she does. She might not completely understand what it is like to be in a group chat with all of her friends or have to keep up snap streaks, but really, the high school experience doesn’t fundamentally change that much over time. She is looking out for you and your happiness. Even if you don’t always agree, you have to at least give her credit.
- Form good relationships with your teachers. If not for the good advice (and a place to hangout at lunch when you are fighting with your friends–sometimes with candy), at least do it for the letters of recommendation.
- Eat. Food is amazing and diets suck and you really aren’t fat at all, so just eat. (Especially in high school because soon you’ll live in a dorm and have to eat food from the cafeteria for every meal.)
- Go to all of those “lame” end of the year senior activities. You might actually not want to go, or you might be saying that you don’t want to because everyone else is, but just go. Senior prom is the last chance you’ll get for a while to get all dressed up and hangout with all of your friends. The bonfires and banquets and class trip will be come memories that you and your fellow classmates will reminisce on for years to come. Even if you don’t stay close with the people you graduate with, you’ll have great memories of high school to finish it off. (And you’ll regret it if you don’t.)
- Stop comparing yourself to what you see on social media. I honestly still struggle with this from time to time. You don’t post photos of yourself on social media at the times when you don’t feel beautiful. Neither does anyone else. You cannot compare your Sunday afternoon messy bun and residue from last night’s makeup to someone else’s Friday night full makeup, hair done and heels on (plus probably SO much editing and filters). Also, realize that you don’t have to do the same things as everyone else. Everyone else your age might post about going out all the time or their perfect relationship. However, things you see online are not always exactly what they seem. The girl who’s profile you check incessantly might actually fight with her friends and her boyfriend daily. Just because it isn’t on Instagram, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to her just like it does to you.
- It’s okay to feel lost. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t have to know what you want to be when you grow up or even know what you want to do this weekend. If you feel lost, read this post about my experience finding my way.
- Your high school GPA will not matter after graduation. I bent over backwards trying for a 4.0, and in the end I still only managed to pull off a 3.9987. But the worst part? After high school, no one gave a shit. Then I had to start all over stressing and trying to be perfect again in college 3 weeks later. However, I was so burnt out from trying so hard in high school that college was even more difficult than it would usually be. On the other end of the spectrum, if school just isn’t your thing, you can rest easy knowing that no one will care after these four years are over. Moral of the story: work hard but don’t burn yourself out in the process. Let yourself breathe.
- This is only temporary. You might love high school or you might hate high school. Either way, you need to remember that it will be over soon. Four years go by quickly. If you are having the worst time of your life, remember that it will be over soon and you can go off and live your life the way you want to. If you are loving every minute of it, savor the moments. If you are thriving in your captain spot on the varsity sport team, start thinking about what is next because these 4 years will fly by and that is when your life will really start.
Lastly enjoy these awkward photos of me in high school…