Making the Most of Your High School Years

Here’s a list of the most important tasks to accomplish while in high school:

  • Take care of business.
  • Discover who you are and what you enjoy doing.
  • Don’t fret about what other people think.
  • Stay healthy.
  • Learn as much as you can.

Let’s dive in.

Taking Care of Business

Set goals and learn how to achieve them. For example, if you want to achieve your goal of attending the college that’s right for you, you’ll need to:

  • Choose your classes wisely.
  • Know what’s required for high school graduation and college admission.
  • Take the SATs, ACTs, etc. in a timely manner.
  • Talk to “resource people” (educational consultants, teachers, counselors, etc.) to answer your questions.

Discover Who You Are

High school is the perfect time to explore and discover who you are and want to be. Try getting involved with the newspaper, trying out for the school musical, running for student government or joining a school club.

Make lifelong friends. As a kid, you made friends by chance, now you make your friends by choice. Your decisions will be based on common interests, similarities or differences. As you learn more about yourself, it’s not uncommon to change up friends groups as you find where you feel you belong. Give yourself the freedom to do this.

Take the time to be yourself and give time to others. Try new things to figure out what you enjoy doing.

Don’t Fret About What Others Think

Academic success requires a greater effort.  You must decide if you’re willing to meet these demands and balance them when the rest of your interests. Sometimes your friends might not share your priorities; you may have to stand up and be true to yourself.

Recognize peer pressure and try to figure out how you plan to deal with it when or if you’re faced with a hard decision.

It is okay NOT to have all the answers yet. Focus on asking questions.

Stay Healthy

You can guarantee stress at this time of your life. Throughout high school, you will experience varying degrees of stress and anxiety. Physical symptoms can include fatigue, headaches or stomachaches. Learn how to recognize the signs of stress for you and how to cope.

Here are some ideas:

  • Talking → Find your “anchor” -- someone with perspective and wisdom who is a good listener. Look into your school’s counseling services to talk with a professional.
  • Exercise → Getting your body moving is a great way to alleviate stress. Take a long walk, go for a bike ride, a pickup game of basketball or relaxing yoga practice can help everything seem more manageable.
  • Rest → Making sure you get enough rest is vital. 

Learn As Much As You Can

Be open to new perspectives, concepts and ideas -- both personally and academically.

Reading is also a great way to open your mind and learn new things.

Learning doesn’t stop when the bell rings, when the school day ends or even after graduation. You’ll learn on the job, through volunteering and community service, travel and self-exploration. Become a lifelong learner to keep your brain active!

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