"You ought to spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people."
-The Breakfast Club
You will be changing all through high school. Looking back, freshman year isn't as cringe-worthy as middle school but it's still bad. Be ready to make changes to your schedules so you have time for extracurricular activities and adjust habits to be more productive. If things just aren't working out for you try new strategies to see if they help (ex. different study techniques). As time goes on you should also be open to tailoring your personality to really become the person you want to be. It may seem a little confusing at times with so much on your plate, but it's important to be happy with who you are.
This one is quite simple: don't buy the fanciest and smallest backpack. Buy the one what will survive the flooded hallways, the "I'm throwing this three feet because I'm frustrated," and the 7 ton textbooks you will need to carry. These backpacks may be a little pricey (I have a North Face which was expensive) but they last at least all years in high school. Pro tip: get ones with a solid back and comfortable shoulder straps since it's better for your back. Another pro-tip: forget binders, use folders- they're a million times lighter, a lot cheaper, and let you organize your classes more easily since your teacher will forget to whole punch papers 80% of the time which is extremely frustrating.
Sometimes it's just one of those days where you go from speculating the value in completing textbook notes to questioning humanity's entire existence and your place among it. Speaking from personal experience, these days are difficult (and always fall on the days where you have the most homework and least amount of time) but they're temporary. All you have to say to yourself is "Tomorrow is another day." You have your entire life ahead of you, don't let one teach, friend, assignment, or test bring you down. If you are destined to do something, know that you will find away to accomplish it.
Schools often forget about the most important part of school: you. If you are not in the right mindset for school it is 100% okay to take a mental health day. Your well being is worth a day off just gathering your thoughts over Netflix. Go back to school the next day feeling refreshed, prepared, and confident.
Join clubs and after school activities from the get-go. Besides boosting your resume, clubs are a great outlet. It's extremely rewarding when you meet and collaborate with people with similar interests for a common goal. Pick some legit clubs first- like Model UN, marching band, robotics, Honor Society, FBLA- and then join some fun ones like hacky-sack club or a crafting club where it's a carefree, low-stress environment.
From another standpoint, get involved in your classes. Participate a lot, engage with your classmates outside of just that class. Also, talk to your teachers. Bring up a cool place you've been to that relates to the subject, talk about an article you like, ask them about how they got into teaching. Engaging with your teachers makes you more comfortable with them as a student and shows the teacher that you genuinely care about the class.
High school isn't the end all be all for the rest of your life. You may feel like you need to make all these life decision at a young age but you don't need to have everything figured out. It's your life, you make it what it is one step at a time. It's okay not to know, it's okay to mess up. Do what you like, what you want, at your own pace, with your own style, or whatever else. And if there's one aphorism that incorporates all these aspects of high school it's you do you.
Any advice you think it important for high schoolers everywhere? Any wisdom for a teenager about to start college, yet another adventure?