1. Stay firm in your morals and motives.
Although you should stay open to other people’s opinions and views, I think that it is important to know what you believe in, and stand by it. Don’t let people sway how you see things without putting thought into it.
2. Find what you love and go with it.
High school has so much to offer, that it is nearly impossible to go without finding something to have interest in. From different art forms, to sports, to various clubs and organizations, with the slightest effort to get involved, I guarantee that you can find something to enjoy within high school. For Heritage High specifically, we even offer the opportunity for any club to be created with a staff’s consent.
3. Try not to care too much.
There is a thin line between things that you should and shouldn’t care about, and to what degree. Yes, you should care about what people think of you, but only to a very small extent. Like mentioned before, you should focus and care about what you love; your friends might enjoy taking pictures or playing soccer as much as you do, but even if they don’t, who cares? Pour yourself into the things that make you happy.
4. Don’t give up on school work.
Senioritis is real, but I would encourage you to persist. Stay on top of your grades and make your parents proud, but don’t care so much about them that your life is torn apart from making less than a 90 on a unit test. Grades are a lot of things, but they are not everything. They should guide you and encourage you, but in no circumstance should they consume you.
5. Celebrate the little things.
Going along with grades in #4, you should absolutely celebrate them. Regardless of whether you make a 100 or a 78, if you did your very best then that is worth recognizing. If you made the team or the tryouts, that is worth recognizing. Don’t be afraid to be proud of yourself.
6. Take advantage of having the ability to go places without your family.
Say yes to things that aren’t necessarily within your comfort zone. Go on a seven mile hike at a location that you’ve never been to before, simply to see the view. Go to Waffle House at midnight with your friends two nights in a row. “Doing things” doesn’t have to cost money. Some of the greatest memories I have made in high school have cost me next to nothing.
7. Learn to balance your time.
This is absolutely easier said than done. This is quite possibly one of the hardest things that I’ve had to deal with all throughout high school. Being able to balance time between your family, friends, homework, having a job, and more is an extremely difficult task, yet it is something that is 100% worth planning out. For many, these are some of the last few years that you will be able to hang out with both your friends and family as much as you do, so make sure you find a healthy balance between them before your time to do so fades away.
8. Make time for yourself.
As I mentioned before, yes you should make an effort to spend time with both friends and family; however, making time for yourself is just as important, if not more. Set a time to do so, and don’t let anything get in the way of it. You work hard and you owe it to yourself to take a break every once in awhile. Take a nap. Get a milkshake. Treat yourself.
9. Respect yourself first.
Know what you are comfortable with and know that you don’t have to take every opportunity that is given to you. Learning to say no is just as important as saying yes. It’s not always a bad thing to put what you want before what someone else wants.
10. Be nice to everyone.
This can be one of the easiest and hardest things to do, in any given circumstance. Whether it is in regards to your number one, very best friend, or the person who started a rumor about you in middle school that still hasn’t been lived down, simply be nice to them anyway. Learning to be kind to everyone can help you move on from things in a tremendous way, and it can turn into making lifelong friends. Being genuine and kind is also something that is really recognized in the long run. People don’t look back on their high school peers because of their grades or their level of popularity. People remember kindness.