22 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting High School
"Grades don't determine how well you'll do in life."
1. Grades don't determine how well you'll do in life.
2. Everybody's body is weird. EVERYBODY'S.
3. The only way to retain stuff is through repetition, so putting in a little studying time every day will feel much better in the long run than relentlessly cramming and feeling extremely stupid in your thirties every time you attend a trivia night or watch Jeopardy.
4. Nothing at all matters and you should do whatever you want all the time.
5. Those bad habits you have won't magically go away when you grow up, so work on improving yourself now! Don't chase being "cool" because it doesn't mean anything outside of high school. Be yourself; don't switch it up to fit in with other kids. If you meet someone with the same interests, be their friend even if they're not in the same social circle as you. Don't let your mom come to the school — she will call you by your nickname accidentally and then apologize while calling you your other nickname that's way more embarrassing.
6. The people you think suck actually do, and everyone else will realize it after you graduate! And then they'll tell you that you were right about them all along!
7. Before I started high school, I went the day before and wandered around the empty halls, making sure to figure out where my locker and classes were beforehand. That way I didn't look like a newb on the first day of school. Also, cheat on tests whenever you can. I cheated on almost ALL my tests and got really good grades, which led to a big scholarship that I didn't deserve. Kids should cheat, but be creative about it. One time I printed off a cheat sheet in size 4 font and then at the end of the test I ate my answer sheet so there was no evidence left behind.
8. Go easy on the hair gel. Please.
9. When you concentrate, especially in school, you're pretty smart. Take it seriously. Don't be afraid to let your guard down, because later you're going to feel like you need to make up for the fun you missed out on. Don't ever let your passions waiver. Quit making excuses. You know what you want so go out and get it.
10. Don't play the oboe because you think it makes you interesting and different.
11. Your world is about to get bigger. Some things that really matter to you now won't matter as much as they did, and that's not a bad thing. You'll learn to care about new things and new people. It seems scary in the beginning but high school is better than middle school, college is better than high school, and real life is better than college. Don't be afraid to fuck up once in a while, it's good for you and people won't remember, just try not to do it on the internet, where it will live forever.
12. When I was in high school I was often made fun of for being too enthusiastic, too excitable, too much on all levels, basically. My eyebrows were too big, my desire to please my friends too immediate, and my love of silliness was deemed "annoying" by the cool kids who decided what mattered. When I found my actual group of friends, I realized that being excluded and made fun of wasn't a byproduct of having friends. I found people who accepted me for all of my excitement and energy, and I've been much better off ever since.
13. Being a teacher's pet means you can get away with being out of uniform throughout your entire senior year.
14. Playing instruments is SO COOL just don't quit. Stay the course and in college you will be a sex magnet.
15. You ain't seen nothing yet. Also be nicer to the boys — you're terrifying them.
16. Keep writing. Write stories, write in your diary, write another letter to your future self, because right now your brain is wide open and you're going to love re-reading everything in a few years. It's OK to feel overwhelmed by everything all the time. Being in high school is tough but you're going to learn some big lessons that you won't ever forget. Appreciate how lucky you are to hang out with your friends every single day because eventually you'll move, they'll move, and you'll feel blessed if you can all fit in a phone call once a week.
17. Being single in high school should be the least of your worries. Eff all the haters and continue to do you. Date when you're ready.
18. There will undoubtedly be a "cool kids" table throughout the course of your four years in high school, and there might even be times when you and your friends look over at the "cool kids" table out of curiosity and possibly even jealousy. But none of that matters. Enjoy the authentic and genuine friendships you have. As long as you're sitting with the people who care about you and who you care about, it doesn't matter if you're at a "cool kids table," another table in the cafeteria, or somewhere off grounds completely. Don't worry about where you sit in the cafeteria, just worry about who you sit with.
19. I wish I could have told myself not to focus on dating so much and that I don't have to (and won't) meet the love of my life. I didn't pay enough attention to my friendships as I wish I would have. Though I had a few VERY close friends that I loved and still love so much, they all ended up moving really far away after graduation. Now I barely see them and I often am plagued with memories of moments where I could've gone to a big outing and bonded with some of the great people I went to school with, but instead I was dating dudes who actually lived in their parents' garages.
20. Being smart is cool, you don't need to play dumb to fit in. Boys are just boys — don't be thirsty. Get a part-time job so you don't have to ask your parents for money. Start learning how to handle money now! Also, sometimes your parents are right.
21. Listen to your mom. Boys are dumb.
22. The thoughts and opinions of the people you're so worried about impressing will mean nothing to you once you graduate and even less to you once you're an adult. There is so much more out there than some snotty 17-year-old's opinion of you. Stick to your guns; it's a whole different world outside of these walls. Conserve your energy for things that actually matter.