Hey y’all! So as the new school year comes upon us, some of you guys are starting your first year in High school! Either you’re saying yay with me or your booing me. High school can be a thrilling yet terrifying time in your life. Luckily you only have to go through 4 years of it. I’ve found that a lot of people make High school out to be the absolute worst time in your life, like they say you’re going to hate it, but I disagree. I will say though that it’s definitely challenging, but that’s what you need as young adults. How would a baby bird ever learn to fly if they didn’t keep falling off of things until they could start to fly without hesitation? That was probably a bad analogy, but I tried so work with me here lol. In hopes to make you laugh, I will insert a few pics from when I first started high school lol.
A lot of you guys may not know that I have been home schooled since 8th grade, ( currently a senior ) but one thing that people always get confused with me is that I have no idea what High school is like. I went to classes just like any normal public school kid did! There just weren’t as many kids as public school, but we still go through the same things such as bullying, peer pressure, drama, weird puberty stages, things like that! I also have picked up a few things from my friends who go to public school, and even just things I’ve learned in public middle school that have been helpful with my high school experience. So, to help make your High school experience a little less scary, and hopefully keep you from making some of the mistakes I did, here’s 10 things I wish I knew when I started High school.
You don’t have to dress to impress every single day.
This is something that I wish I knew both when I went to a public middle school, and when I was taking classes while home schooled in high school. I used to always get up 1-2 hours early so I could do my makeup, curl my hair, find a super cute outfit. Sure, that can be fun to do when you feel like just being cute that day, but I would do it even on days that I did not feel like wearing makeup or dressing cute at all. I mean literally every single day I went to school. I found this to actually be hindering when I would try to listen in class, because I would be so focused on the fact of how uncomfortable I am in my skinny jeans or how I wish I could wipe all the makeup off my face. Well, you don’t have to go through that! It’s okay to wear t shirts and jeans, maybe sweatpants a few times a week. Well, even if you’re like me and went through high school showing up in sweatpants and no makeup every day! Doing that I found I was less stressed out going to school, I got even more sleep especially when I’ve been up all night doing homework, and I started to like myself more. I know it may feel like everybody is going to judge you for wearing the same sweatpants twice in a week, but honestly nobody cares lol! When I started to do it myself, I realized how many other of my class mates were doing the exact same thing! I started realizing that nobody else really cared, so why should I? Everyone is too busy worrying about how they look to really notice if you’re wearing the same shirt for the 3rd time this week!
I don’t even know where to begin with this one because I have so much to say, but I’m not gonna be annoying so I’m just going to put it bluntly. Relationships in high school should not be your #1 priority. Yeah you might find somebody that really catches your eye, and that’s awesome, but you might want to take a step back and think about if this is something you really want to pursue in high school. I’m not saying it’s a big ‘ no, no,’ I’m just saying relationship just aren’t for everybody in high school. Some people need to stay away from them in order to focus better, and others handle them very well. It also comes along with making decisions such as do you want to have your first kiss in highschool, or do you wanna wait? I think you should come up with boundaries for yourself before you enter a relationship, and even before you become fond of somebody! I’m saying that because sometimes when we really really like somebody, we sometimes can tend to get cloudy vision and forget what we really wanted in the beginning and goals we’ve set for ourselves! It’s totally normal. You’re just so fond with that person that you think you’re ready, when in reality you might not be. So, I’m just saying be careful about relationships in high school and the people you allow yourself to become infatuated with. I hope that’s making sense lol.
3. Friendships, drama, hormones galore! Stage 1: Friendships
First thing, friendships. Friends are going to come and go. But don’t let that keep you from making friends! Just understand first that you’re going to make some awesome friends, but you’re more than likely not going to all stay friends through out high school. It’s totally normal because every body is constantly changing. Teens are starting to get jobs so they can’t hang out as much, college is starting to sink in, and personalities just change! I know this is something I struggled with when I went into high school because by the time I started my Sophomore year, I had lost all my close friends but 2. Sure, it sucked for awhile, but I started to realize that it’s supposed to happen. Those friends and I just don’t connect anymore, and that’s how the cycle of high school and growing up goes.
3. Stage 2: Drama, meow!
You are probably going to encounter at least one dramatic time in your high school life, if not more. That’s normal. It sucks, but it happens. Whether it’s a huge fight between you and your best friend because you like the same boy, drama between you and the ” popular ” girl, drama between you and your boyfriend/girlfriend, or drama because some girl looked at you the wrong way! Honestly, there’s been a few times that I can remember where I had been in some fights with some girls and I so wish I had handled them so much better than I did. One thing you have to be careful of, is to not let that drama change who you are. Do not let that drama make you an angry person or allow you to become bitter. If you let it do that, then you don’t become any better than the ones who start it. You’re wasting your time by talking crap about some girl who you thought looked at you the wrong way, or fighting with your best friend over some boy you both think is cute! Yeah that boy might be cute, but he’s probably not looking for a real, serious relationship like you both are thinking of! Girls tend to want more serious relationships in both middle and high school, but the boys typically don’t. It’s just different stages and rates of maturity. Just keep your cool and act like the young adult you want to be treated like.
4. Stage 3: Hormones, exchanging saliva, gross, ew.
Hormones. You hear it all the time, adults are always saying, ” The hormones are raging! We can practically feel the hormonal energy vibrating through out the halls!” Wow I’m sounding like one of those adults…But yeah so this is totally normal, but there are some tips I can give you. I personally wished I had waited longer for my first kiss. I had my first kiss when I was in 7th grade and I was in a relationship with a boy. We waited until 4 months into the relationship and it just happened. He was in 9th grade and I was super mature growing up so It was actually a serious relationship, it wasn’t just like dating to date. But anyway, even if the relationship is serious and you think you’re gonna be together forever like I did, you probably won’t. I don’t mean to be so blunt and come off rude, but it’s true lol. So, I just want to say be cautious about it, I would wait a little bit longer and think about how you would feel if the relationship didn’t end up working out. Would you feel awful about having your first kiss already? If so, I would set some boundaries to wait until you’re a little more advanced into your high school years or even after if you choose to be in a relationship at some point. Just a little tip that you might want to think about! You might think, ” Hannah I won’t ever be put in that situation, I’m gonna be single forever. ” lol no you’re gonna find a cute boy/girl you like at some point and you just never know! So, it’s good to already have some thoughts and boundaries planned out just in case. Once you find someone you’re crazy about, your mind will be a little clouded at times and you might start stretching boundaries and not think clearly about what you really want, ya know?
5. Upperclassman aren’t all scary and evil!
I hear so many stigma’s about how upperclassman hate freshman or ” fresh meat ” but that is so false! Sure, you’ll find some kids who think they are so much cooler than you because they’re a few grades above you, but that’s not true. The grade you’re in doesn’t define how cool you are. Movies make them out as the ones who rule the whole school, steal your lunch money, they aren’t on a mission to embarrass you or make you feel less than them. Honestly, they’re more worried about how much homework they have to do that night, and studying for their ACT’s. Like I said, you might find a few who are mean, but most aren’t. In fact, most upperclassman enjoy talking to freshman! It’s actually kind of refreshing to talk to people that you haven’t been with for the past 3-4 years! So, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation, ask for help/advice from somebody a grade or so above you! If you do run into the meaner ones, just be friendly.
6. Balance, Balance, and more Balance!!
High school is when you’re first going to start learning the key to maintaining a balanced life. Between school, extra activities, your job, friends, and family, you need to know how to balance all those things! That’s something I had a hard time with for awhile, and my social life suffered from it. I was focusing too much on school work and my job to where I didn’t hang out with any of my friends but at church. I still struggle with that today, but mostly because I’m at a time in my life where I need to be doing everything I can to get into the college I want. Now, I’m not saying don’t put your schoolwork at the top, because it should definitely be up there right under your mental health, but I’m saying don’t put it soooo far above everything to wear you get so overwhelmed, because it can end up causing depression! Depression sucks so much to deal with in high school on top of all the other things going on, so if you ever feel like you’re down all the time, talk to somebody! It helps so much just to tell somebody how you’re feeling. You’ll be amazed by how much weight is lifted off your shoulders after. Even if you have to go rant to the counselor at your school! One way I try to balance my life is keep school work and my job during the week. Then try to leave my weekends as time to spend with my friends, family and to pamper myself!
7. Don’t forget about yourself!
I can’t stress this one enough. I started mentioning this in #7, but it’s so important to set time aside for yourself! Sometimes you can get so lost into the routine of school, work, more work, more school, and repeat. You need to set a night or a day that you can do something for yourself. One way I recommend mostly for girls, is to have a regular pamper night every week! I would typically have mine on Fridays, because most of my school work should be done by then and typically your school work will be a little lighter on the weekend’s. Set aside a couple hours to do your nails, face masks, watch a movie, whatever you enjoy doing! You have to take care of yourself, or you will find yourself not doing so well in your school work and job. Your happiness is definitely number one, even above school. Also, don’t stay up super late on school nights. You’ll be amazed by how going to bed early really helps you focus and even enjoy school a little more! You’ll find your brain being able to focus better and your grades will improve!
8. Save, invest, and keep saving!
Saving? huh? Yup, saving. High school is a wonderful time to get a job and save up! I wish I had started a regular saving schedule starting my freshman year. I recommend saving at least $5-10 starting your Freshman year to put towards College. Any amount of money will help you so much. Just think about it, if you get paid at least 2 times every month for four years, and set aside at least $5 each time, by the end of your Senior year you could have a solid $480+ saved to help at least with books you’ll have to pay for in College! I would recommend saving so much more than that though. Depending on how much you get paid, and bills you have, saving a good $50 would be wonderful. Then you’d end up with around $5,000 by the end of your Senior year! You want to be as debt free as possible. So, getting a credit card is also a bad idea. Debit cards are good, just don’t max them out! Keep up with your money, and don’t forget to save and invest for the future! You’re not going to win the lottery and be able pay cash for all your education at the end of your Senior year. You have to actually work and save to do that! Even then, you’re probably going to have to take on some debt depending on what you’re doing. I know that’s a lot to think about, so I recommend taking some classes on how to better finance and save. You’re probably like, ” I’m literally 15 Hannah, I still have a good 3-4 years.” HAHA. Those 3-4 years will pass by so fast and you’ll be starting your Senior year applying for college and be like ” um, where’s my money?” It’s best to start as early as possibly to reduce the stress you’re gonna be going through!
10. You’re not alone.
This has to do with bullying and all the things you’ll be feeling and going through your high school experience. Everybody is going to get bullied or teased at least once if not much more than that in their 4 years. It sucks, but it happens, you’re not invincible and there’s going to be somebody who sees the need to pick on you. It’s how you deal with that situation that matters. You’re not alone in getting picked on. Everybody goes through it. You need to talk to somebody if it’s something continuous, and get it resolved. You’re not going to be the only one who goes through depression or anxiety in school. You’re not the only one stressed beyond their eyeballs about their future. You’re not the only one who is going to be thinking, ” What’s the point in life?” Because sometimes you honestly will get to that point. It’s so important to find help as soon as you start feeling like that, because it will spiral out of control and end up so much worse than it has to be. You’re not alone in feeling insecure. High school is one big insecurity. Everybody has a few things their insecure about, whether they act like it or not. It’s a time of finding and improving yourself, learning new things. Everybody is going through the same thing as you, we’re just all really good at hiding it.
I hope those tips are helpful as you’re venturing off into the jungle of high school. It all seems overwhelming at first, but take a deep breath and do everything step by step. It’s honestly just like high school, except you’re reaching the final stages of your education. Y’all have a blessed day, and don’t forget about the Prayer Wall if you ever need prayers! Comment below what you’re most excited about this school year ( or just year in general )!
// James 1:2-4 //
// “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” //