10 Life Lessons For the High School Me

1. Be Yourself, Fuck What Everyone Else Thinks

In High School I was completely lost. Hell, I still don’t know who I am, but I do know that I’m not trying to be someone else. At one point I asked an older classman “How can I get more people to like me?” he replied, “You dress up every day. You should try to chill a little bit, wear a t-shirt or something.” So, I wasn’t well liked because I didn’t dress like the “sporty girls” (which were the popular group in my high school). No honey, you are wonderful. Dressing nice makes you feel good, DO IT. Don’t follow the next trend just because everyone else is doing it. You are the trendsetter, not a follower. Be YOURSELF.

2. If Your Closest Friends Tell You He’s Holding You Back, LISTEN.

I dated a guy from 8th grade until my sophomore year of high school. All of my friends told me that I could do better, he was going no where in life, I put him too high up on a pedestal, I spent too much money on him, etc. Back then, it went in one ear and out the other. I wasted so much damn time on that relationship and it literally sucked the life out of me. Looking back, those friends were RIGHT and I realize how much of an idiot I was. I wasted so much time and energy on someone that I just cringe thinking about now. This may not be the case in EVERY situation, but it’s worth it to actually take in what your friends are saying. They are looking out for you, just as you are looking out for them.

3. Live Day By Day

You are in high school. You do not have bills to pay or a career at the moment. You may have a test coming up, but it’s going to be fine.. You’re smart. Please, go to the basketball game, the concert, or to the party. Be carefree while you can. Build up the memories, because every day is precious. Life is just a sum of your experiences, so gain some. The most exciting times I had in high school were with my friends drinking in their basement, playing beer pong, and cheering in the stands at basketball games. Don’t stress too much about the tomorrows.

4. Your Big Plan Will Change

In high school, I was focused on finding my path. I wanted a career that would take a few years of college and make $60,000 a year. Can we all please have a moment of silence (or laughter) at how naïve I was. Yeah…I graduated three years ago and I’ve had jobs from working in a factory to kitchen designing and they did not earn close to $60,000 or last too long. Focus on what you love and discovering your passions during this period. Now, will you end up in a career that you absolutely love? Not usually.. there are things that you will like and hate about your job, but at the end of the day it’s a paycheck. If you get involved in something that you actually love, then that is AMAZING! Sometimes dreams work out and you get the job you were planning in high school, plus make oodles of money… but don’t be surprised if that is not the case. You could change your “dream” or major six times. You may choose to not go to college at all (and that is OKAY!). You may plan to be married by 22, have a successful career, a brand new house by 24, and have three kids by 28. Life is not what you plan it to be. It could be in the totally opposite order. So, don’t get wrapped up in the big plan.

5. 90% of Your Classmates Become Irrelevant

This kind of goes along with “fuck what everyone else thinks”, because in a couple years you won’t remember half the people you went to school with. You will be on with your life and not worrying about what everyone thinks…because they’re worried about their own damn lives. This part of life gets easier after graduation. You start to care less about others perception of you. Some people will move far away and others may work in the same office as you, but you both have bigger things to worry about than how big your hair bump is. You may have not made homecoming court, but no one will care a year from now. The labels, gossip, and cliques are all temporary, don’t sweat it.

6. Compliments are Everything

You shouldn’t worry about what people think of you, but you can’t tell me that a compliment doesn’t make your day. High school is full of snickers and shit talking, but there are a few good souls out there. Seriously, try it. The best compliment I ever got was from a girl on the fourth of July a few years ago. She walked past me, looked at her friend, and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, that girl is so pretty!” The compliment wasn’t even said directly to me. Just knowing this stranger said something so kind about me, truly made my day. I know us girls can be petty, but PLEASE take a minute of your day to make someone else’s.

7. Car Jams & Conversations Are Forever

Keep those old CDs and playlists. You know, the ones with the writing all over them? My first car was a Pontiac Sunfire. It was a pretty cheap car, but it had under glow and subs so it was pretty cool for my friends and I. We would blast the legally* burnt CDs from T-Pain to Shania Twain. My friend and I had a song called “I Hate My Life” by Theory of Deadman that we would literally scream to when we were having a bad day. Those cruises were full of singing to the top of our lungs, tears from bad days, and maybe a little hearing loss from the subs being too loud. Again, KEEP THOSE PLAYLISTS, because when you get together with those old friends or just want to reminisce…they will bring you right back to that car.

8. Learn The Basic Functions of “Adulting”

I moved out the day I graduated. I wish I would’ve known how to do certain things like- how do you brown hamburger meat? How often do I need to clean? Oh, the reason I have so many damn spiders is because you’re supposed to spray for bugs. Oh really? The things I feel are common sense now, were foreign to me then. Learn how to pay a bill, budgeting, cook basic meals, replacing furnace filters, how to flip a breaker, and that drinking a bottle of wine by yourself should be celebrated.

9. Your Mom & Sister Will Become Your Best Friends

Okay, this may not be true for EVERYONE. My sister and I spent our fair share of name calling, hair pulling, and bitch slapping growing up. We said that we hated each other many times…She threatened to miss my graduation because she was mad at me once. After all the mayhem and hurtful words we still managed to watch scary movies and sing duets together. Mom was always so bossy and such a know-it-all. We made fun of her for always making a fuss to clean the house before company arrived. Truth be told, I cried during my first week on my own. I missed my mom…it wasn’t the same. At least once a week I will be over at her place, ruining her afternoon nap to talk about life. I call HER when I have questions or need advice, because she does know everything and I find myself scrambling to get my own house together for company. My sister is one of my best friends now. She is someone I can trust and talk to about anything. We also still sing incredible duets, in case you were wondering.

10. Keep Going, Keep Your Confidence, & Keep Having Faith

Make a habit of pushing yourself. Keep pushing yourself to get a better grade. Keep pushing yourself to hit that note in choir. Keep pushing towards your goals. Learn that there will be set backs, but you should try to overcome the obstacles. Some goals are just not meant to be, but that should be determined when all options are exhausted. People are going to tell you that you can’t do it, but you need to listen to the voice that truly matters; your own.  It hurts to hear you are not good enough or to get rejected for a job. It hurts your pride, but you need to get back on your feet. You may have a jack ass boss who said you were “Dumber than a teapot” & then quit that job because you know that you deserve better. What’s meant to be will happen, but you need to have the motivation and will to make it happen. Stay strong, be brave; you can do this.





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