22 things high school taught me

Advice from editor in chief Lizzy Jurden, senior


photo credit: Casi Thedford

Seniors come together to reminisce about their high school years and offer advice learned from their own experiences.

1. Friends will help you survive high school so learn how to develop deep meaningful friendships with people. Find a solid group of people and meet up with them on weekends; go out for lunch. But don’t stop there; reach out and get to know a bunch of different kinds of people. Befriend people who are different from you, people who look different than you and act different than you. This will help you expand your knowledge of different cultures and other ways of life. They will bring out different parts in you and help you become more inclusive and accepting!

2. I’d be the first to tell you that dating is fun, as it should be, but don’t date super seriously in high school. As much fun as a boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other is, don’t think you have to be in a relationship to get through these four years. It is only high school; which means the amount of new people that you will meet after high school will blow your mind. But if you do decide to date someone at some point, make sure you don’t abandon your friends; they love you just as much.

3. Drama is inevitable in high school whether it’s about you, you hear it about someone else, or you make things up. Try your hardest to not get involved with drama as it can damage the most precious of relationships; most importantly do not talk badly about other people because it’ll come back to bite you in the butt. Oh, and for the record, most of the “rumors” you hear, are just that. They’re just lies that someone else has spread. Don’t get too worked up about them.

Your grades do not define who you are as a person. ”

— Lizzy Jurden, senior

4. As time consuming as high school can be, don’t forget to take time for yourself. Go out to the restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, relax at home with your favorite book or pick up a cool hobby. It gives you time to escape from the madness, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Obviously, I don’t want you to be truant, but you should definitely save up your days in case you need to “take a sick day.” Your mental health is the most important thing. High school will push your limits, but take care of yourself first.

5. Get involved freshman year in things that even slightly interest you. Start with organizations until you find your niché. My freshman year, I was in multiple different clubs until I found Newspaper, not only have I fallen in love with my Newspaper class, but it has helped me find that I want to do advertising in college as well!

6. GPA and class rank are huge, and you are constantly competing with those around you. Many of my friends and I agree that if you take the regular class and get a high A over taking the PAP/AP class and almost failing out of it, it can help your class rank go up (this does depend on the class though). If you plan on staying in Texas for college, it might be best to take dual credit and get the college credit just by passing the class, (rather than having to pay money and score high on the AP exam.) I know so many people that say they wish they had done this.

7. This is a “gimme” everyone should know, but please don’t just stand in the middle of the hall; I know it’s fun to talk to your friends in between classes, but please move out of the way.

8. Start touring colleges as early as you can and applying to universities you have even the slightest interest in. I cannot stress this enough. Chances are, senior year, you’ll go back and forth between a lot of future plans. If you want to, and if it is at all possible, go to University. Go for the experience, the memories, the degree, the friends. I’ve already made so many new friends and met my roommate and suitemates.

9. I guarantee you have heard this and will hear this all throughout high school, but it is serious. Honestly, do not slack off freshman year. It sets your class rank for all your other years. I know for me and many of my friends it came down to one person in front or behind them which got them in, or knocked them out of the top 10 or 20 percent It matters more than you think.

10. Even if you are super passionate about the sport or club that you’re in right now, it’s totally okay to fall out of love with it over time. As you grow and change, so will your interests; it’s okay to drop things you were once passionate about if you really aren’t into them anymore.
11. Try to develop good study habits. I wish I had done this, especially on those really long research essays- you know which ones I’m talking about. If you learn to break up your assignments and work on them a little at a time every day, you’ll get it done and it’s so much less stressful. Get people together and form a study group; they can actually be a lot of fun.
12. It’s important to get to know your teachers. Contrary to popular belief, they are really there for you and want to see you succeed. Don’t be afraid to tell them about your personal life and get to really know each other. Being close with a few of your teachers not only helps you in class, but it gives you someone to turn to if you can’t go to your friends or your parents.

13. Learning how to manage your time with school work, athletics, extra curriculars, a job, family and friends is super difficult. It can sometimes feel as if you can’t catch a breath. If you can learn how to stay organized it will help immensely. Getting a part-time job helped me because it forced me to carve out time to do homework and other activities around my work schedule.

14. Your grades do not define who you are as a person. You are so much more than a set of numbers. Yes, class rank and GPA are important but just because you failed that quiz or test, does not mean that you are any less worthy of anything. Not everyone’s capabilities are the same and every mind is different because of what they are best at and the way that it performs.

15. Suicide and self-harm are NEVER the answer. There ARE people who love you and would do anything to keep you around. I promise you. You will do amazing things, just give it time. It will eventually work out and you’ll get through whatever it is that is keeping you down

16. Thinking you have to have your whole life planned out by the time you graduate high school is bogus. College is meant to help you find what you are passionate about and turn that into your reality.

17. Keep up to date with daily to-do lists. Planners are a great place to write things down you need to get done so you can see it all and not have to try to just remember everything.

18. Learning how to take criticism is super important and the earlier you learn, the better. Constructive criticism just means that someone sees potential in you, knowing you can do even better. Why would you not want your work to be the best it could possibly be?

19. Build a resume, and if possible, build your portfolio too. You’ll need it for any jobs you’ll apply for; you’ll need it for college applications as well. Don’t forget to constantly update it too. Even things you don’t personally deem “outstanding-” they probably are, so put them on there anyways.

20. Stay positive and only hang around positive people. Negative people will drag you down and they can get draining and unhealthy really quick.

21. Go to all kinds of sports games and school events. It’s fun cheering on your school and hanging out with your friends (Pro tip: pay $10 when you get your ID badge and it covers your admissions to all sports events except football.)

22. Don’t be afraid to go all out on spirit days and dress-up days. Make the overalls, paint your face, wear the colorful wig. Who knows? Maybe you’ll bring back the crazy-fun spirit that was here my freshman year!