Here are 15 things I learned during my time in high school. I hope one or more of them speak to you or that you can learn something from these.
1. Being nice to people is crucial — you may be brightening someone’s entire world just by talking to them. Nobody knows all the pieces of another person’s story.
2. Appreciate time spent with family and friends — something could happen in an instant that takes them away from you, so love them lots.
3. Pasta bar day is very important — this is by far the best school lunch ever, and I wish it could happen every week.
4. Your life goals will change, and that’s OK — this is part of becoming the person that you’re meant to be.
5. Contrary to what your English teacher might tell you, you can definitely succeed from only reading SparkNotes — I’m not saying you should, just that you can.
6. AP classes are only as hard as you choose to make them, and you should totally take them — it’s all about the mindset, and you can earn more college credit than you might expect. You’re smarter than you think you are.
7. My school day has been completely changed by Tiger Paws — midday hammock breaks with friends when the weather is nice are a wonderful way to recharge. I wish we had been able to have this all four years I was here.
8. Teachers make more of an impact in your life than you may think, so give them credit for what they’ve done — I’m so grateful to all of my teachers for pushing me to be my best, even when I was unsure about what we were doing in class. I really appreciate the teachers who have put in the extra effort for me and who add more to the course than just the required material.
9. APES is the best class ever — it’s basically Field Bio, but with AP credit. Honestly, what’s better than going outside, planting flowers and learning about the environment?
10. Senior year isn’t a blow-off year. It’s still plenty hard, just in a different way — but it’s also a great time to participate in everything you possibly can and take on leadership roles!
11. Opinions are only opinions — it’s unnecessary to argue about things that cannot be backed by facts 100 percent of the time, and it’s annoying to those around you. We should respect the opinions of others instead. Who knows, you might even learn something from the other person.
12. Gratitude, compassion and kindness can open many doors for you — giving back to the less fortunate is the easiest way to find out more about yourself and your gifts.
13. Be joyful in all things — it will make even the things that seem bad become tolerable.
14. High school flies by, so cherish every moment — one day you’ll miss even the things that used to frustrate you.
15. Most significantly, perfection is almost impossible — the most important thing is doing your best at all times and being content with what you have accomplished.