Many of my friends and acquaintances will say the same canned statement about me: “everybody knew him in high school!”
Of course, I hope that’s not the only thing they say.
The reality of the matter, though, is that everybody really did know me in high school.
Somehow, someway – in other words, without really trying – I was able to graduate as the valedictorian of my senior class yet also go to countless parties, win prom king my senior year, spend tons of time on personal hobbies and other side gigs, and perhaps best of all, steal a couple kisses here and there.
Therefore, here are five tips you can follow to make your high school experience as awesome mine was.
- Balance is key. Like I mentioned, I was somehow able to get really good grades in high school while having the time of my life at the same time. Though I may have been doing this subconsciously, in retrospect I realize that the key to that accomplishment was balance. Just because I went to lots of parties and had lots of fun, doesn’t mean I attended every party or was having fun all the time. Some days and nights, I had no choice but to hit the books and miss out on events and opportunities that other people having more fun than I was wouldn’t dare skimp out on. But you’ve got to stay the balanced course, or else you’ll err too much on the either the party-hardy or bookworm side of things.
- Shy? Not here! This one’s a tough pill to swallow for some of you. I’ve always been a naturally extroverted person, meaning the word “timid” and I had a very long-distance relationship. Though I would clam up in some situations – involving girls, mostly – I was generally fairly loud and sometimes downright obnoxious. If I felt like rambling about the best type of video camera or the reason why I think people lie to each other, that’s exactly what I did. This translated into a free mind throughout high school that not only helped me with endless writing assignments but also made my relationships with others more vivid, since they came to expect nothing but illustrious and truthful testimonies from me on any subject. Furthermore, this meant no girl or boy was safe from being my friend – or at the very least, knowing who I was.
- Try not to get upset. This one might be easier said than done for some of you guys. Despite my extroverted nature, I’ve always been ever the pacifist. I rarely, to this day, get very upset, and this helped me throughout high school considerably. You see, throughout high school, you and your peers undergo psychological and physical changes so great that some seniors look and behave nothing like their former freshman self. A byproduct of these changes, though, is tumultuous relationships with sometimes fiery emotions that spark when expectations aren’t met or reality proves overwhelming. Some people may come off unnecessarily mean or cruel to you during this time, and failing to keep the bigger picture in mind means you’re liable to sink into an abyss of drama, jealousy and hatred that doesn’t do anything good for you in the long run. High school drama is just that – high school drama. Do your best to steer clear or at least leave it in the past.
- Befriend your teachers. Some of the most enlightening conversations I had during high school were with my teachers. Whether the topic was a class assignment or how to deal with a crush that didn’t like me back, I’m indebted to many of my high school teachers for sharing with me their priceless wisdom about life and growing up. My English teacher, Ms. Alvarez, was an invaluable resource to me during my senior year community service project which involved teaching high school freshmen about TV production. My TV production teacher, Mr. Diaz, taught me lessons about videography and getting things done in general that I still use and reflect upon to this day. Befriending your teachers instead of writing them off as obnoxious pencil-pushers can be a big boon to your high school experience.
- Finally, find your passion. The number one thing that kept me going throughout high school? The knowledge that the experience I was having there would provide me with the practical and life skills I needed to pursue my professional goals, which include working in the multimedia and information technology industries. Every time I did an assignment – even if it was monotonous like writing a chapter outline or odd like drawing tessellations for geometry class – I held on to the idea that I would use these skills later in life, no matter what career I’ve pursued. Indeed, many of those skills have cropped up again as ways to study for college classes, ways to make extra money on the side and ways to think about and reflect upon life in general.
I’d love to know what you guys think. What was your high school experience like? How about tips for things to not do? Let me know in the comments.