Five things I want my high school self to know

By admin
21 March 2014

Wisdom comes with hindsight, so save yourself the trouble of having to go through these hardships and discover these things your high-school self should know now . . .

1. Seize opportunities You have such a bright future ahead of you, and you’re in the best possible time of your life to take every opportunity that comes your way. Sign up for extramural activities, start a sport you’ve never tried, take extra art classes or learn to play the drums. Look around you – there’s opportunity everywhere. You have teachers who are dedicated to your education and development, you have the best textbooks filled with information and you have friends who’ll encourage you along your way. Don’t be afraid of trying something new, pushing a bit harder than you have before and grabbing hold of every opportunity.   2. It’s never too early to plan your future career You may be in Grade 8, with no real idea of where you’d like to be in 10 years’ time. You may be struggling with 12 subjects and a heavy bag filled with books, just trying to find your way around the school. But once you find your feet and things start to make more sense perhaps you should start thinking about your future. Remember, your subject choices in Grade 10 will steer you in a certain direction regarding your future occupation, but they aren’t the be all and end all. If you chose accounting as a subject it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll one day become an accountant. If you envision yourself as a five-star chef, then be proactive and choose consumer studies so you’ll have some more background information on the subject. The world of careers is a dynamic one, very different to what your parents may envision. It’s important to know what your interests are, what your skills are and how you can combine these to make a living.   3. You can’t do it all Sure, glossy magazines sell the promise of “having it all”, being able to successfully manage a whole host of situations without batting an eyelid. That’s not entirely accurate. Human beings are fallible; we make mistakes and sometimes need guidance along the way. Juggling family commitments, friends, sport, cultural activities, a possible romance and schoolwork isn’t an easy task. You need to weigh up the importance of your commitments. Do you really need to go to that 16th birthday party when you have to hand in a big history project on Monday? Do you need to sign up for the school play in matric when you’re a prefect, swimming captain and on a handful of societies? Sure, there’s a wealth of opportunity out there, but you only have 24 hours in a day, so decide what’s worth it and what’s not.   4. Don’t worry about what that bully says There’s always that one person who has it out for you. It seems that somewhere along the way they decided you’d be their target and they just won’t let it go. Bullies are everywhere. You’ll come across them all through life. Try to remember they’re the one with the problem – not you. Bullies do what they do (pick on others) because they have insecurities they can’t deal with. They may come from a broken home where they’ve been picked on, and now take it out on you. Feel pity for the bully, don’t fear him/her. Keep your head up when they spit mean comments at you, and just remember you don’t need to stoop to their level.   5. You’re beautiful

Your high school years are challenging ones. Your body is still growing, your hormones are doing crazy things and your emotions are difficult to keep track of. No one’s perfect, even the popular girl who has the boys chasing after her. There’s beauty in imperfection, in those little freckles on your nose and in the kink of your hair. Imagine if everyone on Earth looked the same, like the models in magazines? What a boring place the world would be, with no room for diversity! When you look in the mirror, take note of what makes you unique. Look at the traits you got from your mom or granny, the quirks you got from your dad. Learn to love what you have and how you look, because when you do, others will too.

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