SAN JOSE – The past four years have been a wild ride, and I’m not super sure I used them to the best of my ability. As the old saying goes though, you have to learn from your mistakes, and that’s how people grow. So these are my top ten lessons I learned throughout my high school years: and if you’re going through the motions still, I’d highly suggest reading through.
10. Learn to Focus and Concentrate During Class:
One issue common in a lot of high school students is the cripping phone addiction; I can’t lie and say I don’t have that myself. The way I see it though, is that you have time later to look at your phone, your teacher’s only going to say things once. Would you rather be on your phone after school, or stuck in tutoring?
9. Learn to Appreciate the World Around You:
Now I’m not an environmentalist, and I’m not a philosopher either. But despite that, I’ve come to grow and appreciate nature and its surroundings. After all, we originated from nature: as the world industrialized it’s better to appreciate natural beauty while we still have it.
8. Learn to Prepare Ahead of Time:
Whether it be tests or college applications, a lack of preparation is a major reason for why these attempts fail. Blind rushing into experiences is never a good start, and it’s important to study and work ahead of time before the deadline. Getting decent amounts of sleep is also a good way to prepare.
7. Learn to Find People You Can Trust:
Loneliness is a very tough hole for one to fall in; one who’s lonely now might find themself lonely for most of their life. It’s why it’s important to find people you can be friends with and trust. Even if you split ways after high school, developing these skills will help much later on in life.
6. Learn to Grow More Independent:
It’s easy to forget that once you move out to college, you likely won’t have nearly as many people nearby to support you. Students should make sure they’re able to handle multiple different life skills and responsibilities on their own, because at a college they’ll likely just be ones in a crowd.
5. Learn to Use Time Wisely
As teenagers, we tend to get distracted… a lot. It’s easy to forget that we have responsibilities when we’re young and could be partying or viewing TikToks or the such. But what’s most important in the end is the reminder that while you’re having a good time, your academic performance will suffer for it. You need to know what priorities come first, or you might not have much of a life to live.
4. Learn to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
The way one acts during our younger years might set standards for how one lives for the rest of their life. Which is why it’s extra important that an unhealthy lifestyle is stopped before it gets worse. I’ve learned to eat significantly healthier and started to work out more, and not only has it helped me feel more comfortable in my own body, but it has also helped me feel more self-confident.
3. Learn how to Properly Manage Stress
Stress is a topic I touched on back in the first semester; how a lot of teenagers and high-schoolers seem to suffer from it. Since then, I’ve taken a lot of time to reflect on the issue and realized I wasn’t giving myself the space to truly recover from the weight. Stress can be managed, but only if given the room to be let out properly; it’s important to give yourself this time to avoid hyperventilation.
2. Learn when to Ask and Accept Help
We all want to be independent, it’s a point I mentioned before, but it’s important to recognize our limits, especially when teenagers my age and younger are still learning every day. One of my teachers from senior year kept going on and on about how students’ grades were suffering due to not asking for help, and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t affect me too. The average teenager (if my own personality is to go off of) probably hates association with others, and isn’t it better for us to break our personal barriers?
1. Learn to Express Yourself
Sometimes there’s a.. Disassociation between how you see yourself and how others see you, it’s an issue that’s very personal to me and resonates heavily. It’s something that’s caused me major depression and dark thoughts for most of my high school years. It’s gotten a lot better in recent times, but that’s because I’ve given myself spaces to express myself: with friends and family, show people how I want to be seen. I have to rate this as my number one because of how much this lesson has impacted me.