Life is bigger than high school … and other advice


Gazebo Photo by Carson Simmons

As I reflect on my high school years at Stratford, there are some things I wish I would have known. To the next generation of  students, here are some tips and rules that will make your high school life a whole lot easier.

Always attend Stratford sporting events. You will have so many nights to stay at home and watch Netflix, but there are only a limited number of athletic events in your high school years. Make sure to dress up in spirit wear and show up to support the eagles.

Join as many clubs/teams as you canThe memories and friendships you will create with the people in these groups will last throughout high school. It also looks good on your college resume to be well-rounded in activities other than academics.

Go to Stratford dances. Sadie Hawkins and Prom aren’t actually as bad as people describe them. If you go with your friends and make it fun, then it will be.  Don’t go in having a bad attitude, or that will ruin your whole night. (And remember not to trip.)

Don’t stand in the middle of the hallway by the locker sections. It doesn’t matter who you’re talking to, you are in the way. During break and lunch, take the conversations that you’re having to the lunchroom.  It blocks the whole hallway and people aren’t able to walk through. This is extremely annoying. (Don’t leave your backpacks in the hallway either.)

♦  Impressions last a lifetime. Don’t be a cocky freshman when you first enter high school. This leaves a bad impression on the teachers, and the upperclassmen that you will be spending the year with. Nobody likes a jerk.

Don’t think that your grades freshman year don’t matter. Freshman year grades are the grades that start off your whole cumulative GPA. If you tank them, then your GPA for the next four years will be lower than you would like, and you’ll have some catching up to do.

When you get your driver’s license, park in the bottom of the Pit. Seniority rules when it comes to the Pit. Don’t try to park in the front row, those spots are for the juniors.  Park on the back row. I promise it’s not that far of a walk.

Life is bigger than what happens in high school. It doesn’t matter if you graduate at the top of your class. It doesn’t matter if you’re popular. It doesn’t matter if everyone in school knows your name.  Once you graduate, your life starts over completely, and you are surrounded by a new group of people.

Ask for help when you need it. High school years are the not the easiest years of your life. You are going to need help to succeed.  Do not be afraid to attend tutorial. Always ask your teachers for help if you need to, that’s what they’re there for.

♦ If someone asks you to go to a dance with them, say yes. You may not know the person well, but trust me it makes their day. It takes a lot of nerve to ask someone to a dance, and being told no makes you feel like crap.

Don’t let one mistake in high school define you. The one mistake probably won’t even be noticed by a lot of people.  People might talk about it for a week, but you have the rest of your life ahead of you.  It’s not going to matter after you graduate, so why stress about it now.

Listen to your parents, they know more than you think. Your parents will be your best and worst friends. It honestly depends on the day. Most moms can spot a bad friend way before you can. And girls, most dads can spot a bad guy from a mile away. Your parents will be your biggest supporters all throughout high school, and the final days before you leave for college will be the hardest.

Take your SAT and ACT prep classes seriously. These classes really do help you succeed.  Colleges look at these scores, and sometimes that is how it is determined if you are accepted.

It might not seem like it now but high school will fly by. The four years that you spend in high school, might not be the best four years of your life. You will make so many memories, but you will also have so many bad days.  Just remember it’s a bad day, not a bad life.

Looking back on my first day of freshman year, I wish I would have known these things. They will make your high school life so much easier. Take advantage of the experiences that you will have in high school.

Have a great four years! And just remember to go through life with a smile, even though it might be bad.

Life is full of adventure.