It’s been 6 years since I graduated from High School. That’s hard for me to believe…
The people I used to see in the the halls are getting married and having babies on purpose. Popular kids and the not-so-popular kids are finding ways to fit into the world (or at least pretending like it). Everyone has a new job, and new life goals.
It didn’t matter that one person played football and another played Dungeons and Dragons. After graduation, everyone was labeled the same: “High School Graduate.”
But public education was the only world I knew. I had little experience with how society functioned outside of the K-12 education buildings. So how could I have known that the popular kids are really just kids? They aren’t better, or friendlier than anyone else has the ability to be. If you are a popular kid, remember that too. At the end of four years, everyone will graduate and you’ll all be seen as just high school graduates.
There is one valedictorian, and yes, you can graduate with special honors, but outside of the K-12 universe, the high school popularity contests end, and it’s given a new name: networking.
From the outside looking in, here are 3 things I wish I’d known in High School.
1. Grades really only affect you.
I thought by getting lower grades the school would notice which teachers were good (the ones I liked) and which ones weren’t (the ones I didn’t like). But guess what? After graduation, all the not-so-nice teachers were still there, and I had C’s on my report card that were like a contagious disease to scholarship sponsors.
If you have a problem with the teacher, go to the director or principal and tell them what’s going on. If you’re too embarrassed to do that, then rant about it on tumblr, get over it, and get an A.
It’s literally worth it.
Every A is like getting $500 in scholarships.
B’s are worth $100.
Anything lower than that is not going to get you anywhere, and you’ll probably have to take night school or NovaNet like I did…
Don’t be a dummy. Good grades = free money!
2. It’s okay to be late for a good reason
You probably won’t hear this advice from any teachers or administrators, but I lost track of how many times I saw someone being picked on, or lost something, or looked like they were hurting inside.
What did a good citizen like me do?
I rushed by. Eager to get to my next class before the tardy bell…
I don’t remember the days I wasn’t late to class, but I do remember the times I could have made a difference in someone’s life, but didn’t. It’s more important to have a clean conscience than a clean tardy sheet. So don’t be afraid to give an extra minute or two to someone who needs it.
3. Don’t play the dating game
Celebrity marriages never last.
And neither to 99.999997% of high school relationships. And, out of the .0000003% that do make it to marriage after high school, half of them end up getting divorced because they feel like they got married too soon and there is probably a better match out there. (Which is bologna by the way, but more on that later.)
My point is, don’t feel like you have to cave to peer pressure and give your first kiss or first time to someone you won’t know in 5 years.
That seems like a long time, but it’s mathematically proven that time feels like it goes by faster after high school graduation.
When we are 6 years old, one year compared to our total experience is 1/6, but when we are 72, our year vs. experience is quite a bit smaller at 1/72. Thus making one year feel like it’s gone in a blink.
Enjoy your High school years, because it’s all bills and life-altering decisions coming up next.
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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