16 Things I Learned in High School


Four years in high school, and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve learned a pretty good amount in order to give you some advice on High School 101. On behalf of the Class of 2016, here, I present you 16 things I’ve learned during my four years in high school:

  1. It’s best to have a few best friends than hundreds of familiar friends. People change, and that’s okay. Going into high school and coming out of high school, I can say I’m a totally different person.
  2. Accepting that it’s totally okay to be confident in yourself and to love yourself for who you are and not what you are. People like you because you’re true to yourself. They don’t want to see the version of yourself where you would do and say anything to fit in.
  3. Going along with being okay to be confident and loving yourself, it’s also okay to stay in on Friday nights and have some “me” time. You’ll have more of that in the future anyways.
  4. Your parents and siblings are your biggest supporters and backbone in life. Friends come and go, but family is forever.
  5. Don’t succumb to peer pressure and do things you’re not comfortable with. Make decisions based on your own intentions. Do things because you want to do it yourself, not because there’s an outside factor coming into play with your decision.
  6. Going along with wanting to do things because YOU yourself want to, don’t be afraid to try new things! If you’ve never surfed before but want to, go and learn how to! This is also how you will meet new friends– maybe potential life-long friends as well.
  7. Try to find what you are most passionate about during high school, whether it be involving the photography class or the school’s debate team. You will most likely continue these passions post-high school. Not only will you be open to more and new opportunities, you will also grow as a person socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
  8. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking of you because they are most likely too busy thinking the same thing, worrying how other people are going to perceive them.
  9. Going into high school, you will not know who you are or who you want to be. You will figure it out someday. Don’t worry. I was in the same boat. Try new things and make new friends. Find your passions, and you will then figure it out.
  10. Pursue your dreams and passions without looking back. Keep going and going and going. Don’t listen to the people holding you back and saying that your dream isn’t practical. If you keep believing and pushing, you’ll soon see all your hard work paying off– and, boy is that the best feeling in the world.
  11. Cut out the negative people and influences in your life. Again, they are holding you back from being the best person you can be. Focus on what is important, not on what is a good “distraction.”
  12. If people are bothering you and saying rude comments about you, remember that you’re that much better than them. Remember that they are taking time out of THEIR day to put you down. Show them that you don’t care and what they say doesn’t affect you. You’re smart and strong and brave. Don’t let them succeed and make you forget your worth and value.
  13. Keep the people you love most close and spend as much time with them as you possibly can. Tell them you love them and appreciate them. These people will most definitely shape you into the person you become as a high school graduate. Even though sometimes you think you’re weak, you and your friends can only come out stronger in such hardships as long as you guys have each other. Although four years in high school sounds extremely long, it isn’t possibly enough to live in the moment with your best pals and gals. It goes by fast, so buckle in boys and girls and everything in between.
  14. Even though things in life at the moment may overcome you and make you feel weak, just know that it will eventually get better. It’s okay to have a moment to yourself and let it all out. It’s okay to let people in. You won’t be perceived as being weak but rather as being strong.
  15. Hold yourself accountable to your own mistakes. Take responsibility for the things you’ve done wrong and learn from them. These are the best life lessons. Sure, you messed up. People will forgive and forget. Apologize and make up for it.
  16. Don’t be a follower, but rather a leader. Set out to inspire and challenge others to reach their full potential. Be the person you want others to look up to, like a big brother or sister.

Heed these advices, students. Like me, Jason Lee (12) realized throughout high school that “there’s always a reason to smile, and there’s never a reason not to. To me, the reasons that always makes me smile are my friends and soccer.” And there we have it. Sixteen (+1 from Jason) advices that I’ve learned in high school.