You’ve made it through those grueling middle school years that every movie, book, and every person you know warned you about. So now what? High school is a very different experience than middle school, there’s more homework, more teachers to get to know, but most importantly, more freedom and more fun!
As an upcoming senior who has learned a lot of lessons over the last few years, here are the most important tips and lessons I’ve learned that will help you have the best year!
Don’t stress about the increase in workload
It sounds easier said than done, right? Having to do more work can be scary because it means more stress and less fun, and you might be rethinking how ready you are. However, it is be doable!
Remember, the workload is assigned in high school is designed for your age group, so everyone else will be having the same struggles (whether they admit it or not). Go back to when you were in elementary school, you were so worried about going to the next grade – well this is the same!
Well, good news, you made it! This year will be very similar to the past few years. You might be thinking it’s going to be impossible, but all of the sudden you’ll be heading to 10th grade and realizing you made it through!
2. Be prepared for your friends to switch around – it’s natural!
One of the worst feelings can be losing a friend, whether that be abruptly or slowly, since it hurts all the same., But remember, you’re growing up and finding yourself, which sometimes means outgrowing your friends. Your personalities might have matched in elementary or middle school, but people change over time, which is totally normal.
People never stay the same their whole lives, especially as they mature. Although this might be tough at first, that there will be other people you meet later on who you might get along great with. With this in mind, be open to creating friendships with all different types of people! Just because you have different hobbies, doesn’t mean your personalities won’t go great together!
3. Don’t be afraid to say no – or yes!
Looking back to when I told you not to stress about the increase in workload, you’re now at the age when, “my mom said I have to stay home and study,” is the best excuse for saying no to an invitation.
High school can be hard, especially when your friends start partaking in activities you may or may not want to join in on. If you don’t want to do those same things and don’t feel comfortable telling people that, there’s nothing wrong with slowly distancing yourself.
Moreover, growing up comes with freedom, and if you feel comfortable with something and you know you won’t be doing anything wrong, then don’t feel guilty about it.
4. Learn to cope with jealousy
Picture this: your two closest friends are having a sleepover without you, or the friend group you thought you were a part of is having a group function without you, or you couldn’t afford the new store everyone is shopping at, or maybe you’re just the only one of your friends without a boyfriend or girlfriend, and therefore you never get invited on the double dates.
Dealing with jealousy in high school is inevitable, even if you don’t admit it. People you know will leave you feeling genuinely left out, but if you feel comfortable mentioning it to them, then go ahead. It’s important to remember that these things will keep happening throughout your life, and you might even make someone feel like this without realizing it!
More importantly, try to keep in mind that if you’re comfortable in yourself, jealousy doesn’t sting as badly. Also, if someone is purposefully leaving you out, they are clearly dealing with their own insecurities, so try feeling bad for them and it’ll make you feel better!
What if people left you out but not purposefully? Feeling like no one even thought of you can sometimes hurt even worse. In cases like these, those people clearly aren’t your real friends, but that’s okay! Be happy with people you click with, and it’ll feel so much better than feeling left out by the “popular” crew.
5. Join those clubs
During my freshman year of high school, I moved to a new city to attend a new school. Being in a new setting without knowing anyone on the first day of school was possibly one of the most nerve wracking feelings I’d ever had in my life. I can still feel the crippling anxiety I felt as I got out of the car.
I sat by someone who looked nice and tried to start conversation by asking, “what homeroom do you have?” After the conversation picked up, I realized it wasn’t so bad. Over the next month, I joined every club my schedule would allow, and that’s how I met my people!
Clubs are the best way to find friends with similar interests as you. Plus, they look great to colleges – a win win! I cannot recommend anything as much as getting involved, so as long as you don’t overwhelm yourself, you won’t regret it!