This is a question that all of us ponder one time or another in our life. Don’t you wish you could go back to high school and tell yourself everything you know now?
As teenagers we were all invincible and the only thing we could think about was the present time in which we were living. What is the latest fashion, who is dating who, or what is the new app everyone is playing? What if we asked ourselves different questions in High School? What type of person am I going to marry? Where am I going to live? What is my 5 year plan for when I graduate College? How do I pay taxes or start a business?
During high school, my life seemed perfect and I thought I had it all. I lived in a rich community, had lots of friends, and started on the varsity basketball team. Life was easy and there was nothing I had to worry about. Looking back on my four years in High School, there was a lot I took for granted and wish I would have realized.
The first thing I now realize is I was on cruise control.
Life was comfortable, so why take any risks or challenge myself? I did barely enough to squeeze by with an A- by doing pointless extra credit assignments that did not grow my intellect or intelligence. Why try for the A when you had to actually study for the test? “The Spanish test is coming up? I will just study enough to remember those words for tomorrow, and then never remember them again.”
Second, I was in a clique.
High school is all about cliques. Since I cared only about my own popularity, I had blinders on to what was really happening to my other classmates. There are those I would see eating alone or walking by themselves, but would feel too nervous or afraid to talk to them because of what others would think of me for doing so. I was afraid my clique would not be so accepting of those fellow classmates as I would.
Third, I was afraid of judgment.
I was frightened of what students would say to me or how they would react if I missed an important shot during a basketball game or if my outfit was tacky and out of date.
Fourth, I paired up.
I had a girlfriend all through high school and it took me away from my friends, and most importantly, from my family. It also took away my opportunity to date others and to see what kind of girls I matched up with best.
Fifth, I disrespected my parents.
For some reason, we all as teenagers, have issues with our parents. Whatever they tell us, we do the complete opposite. “How can they possibly know me? They aren’t me!”
Sixth, I wanted time to go quicker.
I could not wait until I was 16 so I could drive and 18 so I could be an adult and get out of the house on my own. There was always an excuse to want the time to move more quickly.
The last and final thing I learned is that no matter what, I cannot go back….
If you are in high chool and reading this, take a lesson from those that have passed through those same halls and cannot go back. There is more to your life than the four years you spend with your friends on Friday night or the prom in spring. Scraping by and getting good grades without learning may seem like the most important thing in the world to you at the time, but if you do not retain any of that knowledge when you study, then your time might as well have been spent watching the t.v. The number one thing I hear adults complain about is their lack of desire to learn and grown in high school and to plan out their future to decide on what they wanted to do with their career choices. If you put off decisions in high school, you will only put off decisions in college as well. Be the student who takes Spanish or French class seriously. Learning another language will be one of the most effective tools in your future.
Something you realize quickly in college is no one cares about your popularity or your clique. Nothing will torture you more in 10 years when you look back and realize people’s lives you could have changed if you just would have said hello to them or invited them to your group of friends. It will also help you to have a clear conscience on knowing you did your best to help others.
Do not be afraid of what others think of you. Odds are, after high school, you will never see these people ever again, and if you do, it will be on rare occasions. Have courage and step out of your comfort zone and make things happen. You don’t shoot the basketball because you are afraid of missing and your coaching will pull you out? Who cares?! You aren’t playing in the NBA and in a year no one will remember, so take risks and be bold. Afraid to run for class president because you might lose? Chances are, you will lose at a lot of things in life, but if you don’t take a chance, you have lost already.
Don’t date the same person all four years….more than likely you probably are not going to marry that person anyways. This is one of the only times you will have in your life to go on dates and have fun with everyone. Get to know as many people as you can, find out what kind of person you like or do not like at this stage in your life, it will help prepare you for more serious relationships later on. My friends always told me I was spending money on someone else’s wife and guess what….I did.
Of course you know more than your parents! They lived in a different generation, so obviously they do not know anything. News flash, they do. Your parents went through the exact same trials, breakups, and failed tests you are experiencing now. They know a thing or two, so listen to them because they may have some wise council that could change your life around. After High school ends and you are off to college on your own, you will wish you were back at home having a nice home cooked meal from your Mom and a couple bucks from your Dad to go to the movies. When everyone else deserts you, they will always be the ones that truly have your back.
Slow your life down! Trust me, life does not get any easier after high school. In fact, it gets much more difficult and complex. High school is actually one of the easiest times in your life and a time that you should enjoy and never take for granted. Play as many sports as you can, make as many friends as you can, go to every dance, and try out for the school play or choir. There will never be another time in your life where you will get the chance to do all of these things so make it count and live for the moment. Do not stress or worry at this time, there will be plenty of time to do that in your future.
There will be an abundant amount of times in your future where you will be sitting at your desk job, checking emails on your computer or talking on the phone with clients where you would give anything just for a second to sit again at a desk next to your classmates listening to your teacher talk about math or science. These are your golden years, a time that will dictate your future and lead you onto the path of success or failure. Make it count, be extraordinary, and take a lesson from those who have passed your same halls.