We asked some friends what advice they wish someone would've told them as they were leaving high school. Here's what some of them had to say.
"You're cool if you say no to stuff. Don't just agree to everything cuz you think you have to. Just do what you feel like doing and try not to give in to pressure."
– Tara P
"I'll say that I wish someone had been more clear in the fact that you should just be really confident when you ask someone out. No one does that, and you get a lot of points when you do."
– Patrick B
"I wish someone had told me that even if the first night or few weeks or even first semester of uni isn't as amazing as I'd dreamed, things are still fine and it's going to turn out OK. I think I had this impression that I'd meet my best friend as soon as I walked on campus and be partying with them by that night, so I felt let down when I was still feeling lonely and lost a few weeks in. But once I found my people, uni was every bit as amazing as I'd been promised.
"Also, break up with your high school boyfriend now. Just do it. Why drag it out 'til Christmas? I know it's painful but...come on."
– Jana P
"I second breaking up with your high school boyfriend before school starts. Especially if it's a long-distance relationship, because you'll never really be present otherwise.
"Also, it's OK if you have zero idea what you want to do with your life. Take a handful of different classes from all different disciplines and see what interests you most. You still might not have a clue four years later, and that's OK too."
– Lily A
"Actually pay attention in class when you go to uni. I know you're gonna wanna party and socialize and stuff...but you will totally regret not learning more in class. You have the freedom to do so much at this time without a lot of responsibilities. So take advantage of that."
– Ashley B
"That university is a lot harder than high school as far as the workload, and you have to prepare for being held accountable and not make excuses.
"You will also fail a class and lose necessary credits if you're late to some classes too many times, and your parents may make you sign a contract to pay them back the hefty cost to retake the course. So take punctuality seriously."
– Mandy C
"For the first few years, I was very focused on grades and doing well in the academic aspect, but not the social. The learning aspect is important, but don't let it consume you – find a healthy balance. I had a professor tell us, 'You'll always remember the great night with your friends, but you won't really remember the evening you wrote that assignment.' She then proceeded to assign us a 20-page term assignment so...?"
– Emily C
"Everyone is just as clueless and insecure as you are. EVERYONE. No one knows what the f*ck they're doing. A 4th-year uni student is still just a baby adult."
– Casey C
"Go on a trip or holiday with your best friends after you finish high school. Sure you spent the last four-plus years together, but a lot of things will change in the next few years, and it may be one of your last opportunities to all be together."
– Clark M
"STUDY. ABROAD. I will not stress this enough. If there's an opportunity, take it. If there's not, make one. I grew as a person and became so much more confident and happy with myself. It helps you become comfortable with independence, and you learn so much about the world that you couldn't by just breezing through life. It's tough, especially if you go somewhere where the language is different (recommended), but it really puts things in perspective. Hands down the best thing I've ever done for myself."
– Chesney L
"Don't just do things because others are doing them. Find the things you like to do and do them. You're building yourself into the person you want to be vs 'finding yourself'. A lot easier said than done, but with time, and as you get older, it gets a little easier."
– Edwin H