High school is difficult. You are a tiny fish in a big pond trying to navigate  your way through passing periods, extracurricular activities and what seems like an endless pile of homework. There is fun to high school, but it’s easy to get hung up on the hard things. Hopefully, the list below is helpful to anyone trying to swim through the big fish pond for the first time. 

1. Buy a choir cookie or two. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

2. High five Mr. Bartlett in the hall. He’s really nice and cares about you. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

3. Say please and thank you. It’s nice to be nice. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

4. There’s over 3,000 students at this school. You will not know everyone, but try to get to know as many as you can. You are all in the same boat. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

5. Take Advanced Placement classes. Take Dual Credit classes. Challenge yourselves. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

6. But, don’t take too many. Enjoy your family and your friends around you right now. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

7. When advised to take the “easy” AP class, don’t do it. It will leave you more frustrated than educated. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

8. Save up your money to buy something cool. Getting food with your friends is fun, but when senior year comes around, you will be broke. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

9. Senior year is expensive. Spend your money wisely. Otherwise, you might regret it later. 

10. Don’t succumb to peer pressure. Your friends aren’t that cool. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

11. Put your phone down and listen to the people talking to you. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

12. Enjoy school events. Dance around when the drumline plays in front of the student section. You aren’t too cool for any of it. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

13. Take care of yourself. Go to bed early. Eat your greens. Brush your hair. Wash your face. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

14. Don’t park in reserved spots because people will be mad at you. Find your own spot. Drive around. Have patience. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

15. Smile at people you make eye contact with in the hallway. It’s already awkward enough. High school is hard. People need a smile. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

16. Learn to walk correctly in the hall. Don’t walk without a purpose, but also don’t run. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

17. If you have seat time, make it up as fast as possible. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

18. Ask for help in class. It can be from a friend or teacher. I promise other people are probably struggling with a topic as well and you aren’t the only one. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

19. Always try harder than what’s expected. It is in you. Just drown out the laziness. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

20. It’s completely acceptable to post twice on Instagram in one day. If the picture is cute and you like it, post it. It’s your feed. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

21. Worry less about trivial things. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

22. Get involved. This is an easy way to make friends and find out what you’re passionate about. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

23. Trying hard your freshman year matters. Don’t slack because it’s the “first year” and “you will make it up later.” It’s easy to move down in rank, but harder to move up. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

25. But…one test doesn’t define you. Study harder next time. Go to tutorials. Do the test corrections. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

26. Rank doesn’t define you. It looks nice to be valedictorian or salutatorian, but there’s other things to life. Don’t get too hung up on it. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

27. Ask your friends if they’re okay. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

28. Don’t overload yourself just to look good on college applications. Your mental health matters the most. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

29. Get your required classes out of the way early, so you can take fun classes and have off periods when you’re an upperclassmen. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

30. You may walk out with a new group of friends rather than the same friends that you walked in with. Either one is fine. As long as you didn’t compromise your own beliefs on the way. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

31. Be honest. Don’t be someone you’re not. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

32. It’s okay to spend 50 dollars on a shirt, and it’s also okay to spend eight dollars on a shirt. Wear what makes you feel good, as long as it’s in dress code, thanks administration. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

33. Use your blinker. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

34. Calm down when your parents are teaching you how to drive. They’re scared too. Otherwise, you might regret it later. 

35. Get to know your teachers. They’re people too and more wise than you. They can be funny and good mentors. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

36. Tell your parents and your friends that you love them. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

37. Come prepared. Don’t be one of those kids that’s constantly asking for pencils and paper. Kroger is right down the street from the school. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

38. In your classes, sit by the motivated kids. It’ll keep you on track in the class and want to make you be a better student. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

39. Give people second chances. We are all human and make mistakes, but don’t give someone a third chance. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

40. High school is not the end all be all. Don’t peak in high school. Save your glory days for when you’re an adult. Otherwise, you will regret it later.

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