July 22, 2014

Column: High school a time to grow up, assert yourself

Welcome to high school.

Welcome to high school.

Up to this point, you have been exposed to various aspects of high school through pop culture and probably feel familiar with the institution. Let me be clear: There are very few organized song and dance numbers in the halls, and you will not meet the love of your life on your first day.

It’s important to understand that high school is the first place where you actually get a say in your life. Don’t throw the opportunity away. Taking an active role in your education will allow you to forge your own path and move toward a future you want.

Following are some tips to help you choreograph a successful high school career.

Personal growth

High school offers so many different opportunities to grow as a person and discover your strengths and passions. Find what makes you happy, and pursue it with vigor.

Take a chance on a new club, a new sport or a new class. Don’t be afraid to start a band or take an off-campus art class. It’s your life, and getting good grades will take you only so far.

Developing skills and interests outside the classroom will not only make you a well-rounded person, it will keep your life happy and balanced as well.

Accept yourself

The most important rule to keep in mind over the next four years is that you are not a machine. You are not built to be perfect or to be constantly running 24 hours a day.

This piece of advice goes out mostly to the perfectionists and overachievers: You will fail on occasion. You will accidentally sleep in or forget to study or turn in the wrong paper. Accept it, and go with it.

Always remember that you are your harshest critic, and nothing is worth hating yourself over. Love your failures as much as your triumphs; they are both part of you.

Your opinion matters

Do not give any mind to what others think. Accept advice politely and take it into consideration, but never allow an outside source to control your life.

Everyone has an opinion, but the only one that matters is yours. Some peers will try their hardest to persuade you and manipulate you; stand strong.

At the end of the day, you’re the one living with the choices you make, so why let another person do it for you?

Grow up

High school drama is not glamorous, romantic or poetic. It is messy and hurtful and can quickly spiral out of control.

Do your best to put a stop to this. Social media is possibly the biggest problem in the modern vat of boiling emotions that is high school. If you think the best way to handle your problem with another person is to rant about it online, you’re showing the maturity level of a 2-year-old.

Talk to the person in private, get the full story and discuss your issues like an adult. It will save you time, headaches and data.

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