Guys, it’s that time of the year again and most of you are probably saying, “Noooo, don’t say it”. I’m afraid I have to, it is back to school time and that means buying school supplies and new clothes. Instead of focusing on what you might need for school, I want to give you some valuable life advice. Basically, things I wish I did and didn’t do when I was in middle school and high school. I hope you find these points helpful, whether you are starting middle school or high school.
1. Be outgoing.
One thing I wish I did in school was to be more outgoing because I could have made more friends than I had (which were 2, haha). I came to Canada when I was 13 years old, so I became very introverted and shy. I never used to be like that and when I was little I used to walk up to kids and asked them to play together. However, when I came to Canada I changed, but now I am going back to old self. My advice is to not be afraid to walk up to people and make friends with them, if they don’t respond nicely, move on to people who are worth it.
2. Study Hard.
You heard me and do not say “Ugh, yeah right. I’m not going to”, yes you will because if you want to get into a good high school, university or college, you need to buckle down. I never liked studying and who does, right? However, sometimes in life you have to do things that you don’t like, so you can achieve something great. If I studied hard in middle school and high school, I would’ve gone to a high school that focuses on performing and arts. Also if I studied more in high school, I would’ve studied the program I really wanted to study. If there is a subject that’s not your strong point, go to the teacher for help and plan study groups with friends or with people in your class that can help you. Remember, there is no such thing as “I am stupid”, we are all smart and have to put more effort into anything we want to accomplish.
3. Don’t obsess over joining the popular crowd.
When you leave high school you realize many things and one of them is that the popular crowd is not that awesome. Every one may know them, they might have a lot of friends and feel worshiped by other students, but they aren’t worth your time. Some of them can be nice, but others can be quite mean to kids who aren’t popular. If you feel that you have to act a certain just to be liked by them, then don’t. Friends like you for you and when you act like someone you are not, then you won’t feel happy. I never tried to act any different than I did, but I did admire them. Until I saw that they are mean bullies to other kids, so who would want to be friends with such people. After many years I found out that some of them were not that successful and didn’t accomplish too much. They may be the kings/queens in high school, but it doesn’t last long. Life is not high school and eventually people learn that!
4. Find a few good friends.
When I was in middle school/high school I didn’t have many friends, I was very shy and introverted. Back then I wished that I had a ton of friends like the popular kids, but now that I’m older I realized that you only need a few good friends. Friends you can trust, talk about anything, who are honest with you and most importantly to be able to be yourself around them. That is all you need and you will be just fine! Be careful who make friends with in school and make sure it is people you can trust.
5. Say no to peer pressure.
If someone makes you do something you don’t want to, you have every right to say, no. Luckily I haven’t experienced this and even if I did, I was very good at saying “no”. I’ll tell you a story, I knew my best friend since were in grade 8, but in high school she started changing. She was out until really late, like 4am kind of late, so one day she said to me “You are never out until late, my other friends are not like that”. I wasn’t the type to go out partying, my definition of fun was different. Yes, I wasn’t a wild party animal, but that’s ok. So when she said this to me I thought to myself, “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want and if people don’t like it. Too bad”.My point is to be firm and say no when your gut instinct is telling you “don’t do it”.
6. Think about your future.
One thing I wish I did when I was in high school is to think seriously about what career path I wanted to take after graduation. Unfortunately, I didn’t and now I am stuck in rut trying to figure out how to start over. I have decided to go back to school and change my career and I’m scared, but I am ready. It is never to early to start thinking about what career path you want to take, you will be doing this for the rest of your life, so you have to think about it seriously. Do research, go volunteering and participate in extra curricular activities, it will help you to figure out your career path. Always remember to listen to heart, but listen to your head too and follow your dreams. People may try to to tell you how to live your life, but in the long run you know what’s best for you. Most importantly, believe in yourself!
7. Do no procrastinate.
Don’t get used to procrastination, if you fall behind in your studies it will be hard for you. I am the biggest procrastinator, but sometimes you have to learn to motivate yourself. Find something that motivates you and use that as a source of positive energy to push you forward. Do not let a subject intimidate you because it seems hard, use it as a way of motivating yourself and tackling the challenge. There is nothing more rewarding than the feeling of conquering something that you thought you could never conquer.
8. Say NO to bullying.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t bullied in school, in my opinion, everyone goes through it at one point in their life. I did to go through it in middle school and high school because I was the new kid from a foreign country with an accent. Kids/teens can be cruel with their words, one thing I wished I did back then is to stand up for myself. My challenges helped turn into the person I am today and not that naive little girl I used to be. However, one advice that I have to anyone who might be going through bullying is to talk about it. Seek help from a teacher, go to your school councilor, talk to a friend but do not let it go on. I would also suggest to stand up for yourself, but not in an aggressive. Just show these bullies that you cannot be pushed around and show them that their words are not affecting you. Most of the time bullies go through their own personal struggles, therefore they release their frustrations on someone who looks naive and easily pushed around. I have witnessed this as a child and youth care councilor, so try to keep this information in mind. Remember to stay strong and you will get through it. I promise that it does get better 🙂
9. Be Yourself.
In school you might feel the pressure to act a certain way or act like someone else because you think the person is cool or this is how you are supposed to act. Do yourself a favor and be only one person…… yourself. There is a quote that resonates with me and it is this one: “Never change who you are so that people will like you. Just be yourself and the right people will love you for just being you”.
I think this is so true, don’t care about what people say about you because you will find people who like you for you. I am a geek, I can be gullible, I am silly, I have times when I’m difficult, I can be sensitive too, but I found friends that like me just the way I am. The same thing will happen for you all, if you just learn love yourself the way you are. People are attracted to confidence and to people who love themselves, you deserve to love yourself.
I hope you found this post helpful, if you did then click on the “like” button! I wish you all a great start to the school year and be confident.
See you soon!