At 24 it already feels like a lifetime ago that I was in highschool, aged 11. To be honest, I’m so glad I am past that stage of my life, which is undoubtedly the hardest, in my opinion. After leaving primary school where everyone is somewhat friendly, being thrust into a new place with thousands more kids than you are used to is a scary transformation. This may seem strange, but there are so many times that I think about what I would say to my child, when I have one, when they are about to move into high school education. I always wonder that if I had been told some of these things when I was aged 11, if I could have breezed through high school without a care in the world. I’m pretty sure I speak for many here, as a bit of a geek myself, and a geek that loved rock music, high school wasn’t the easiest time of my life. So after lots of time thinking about this, this is along the lines of what I would remind my child every time they were having a bad day at school:
1. If you want to work hard and be keen in class then do it. Do not care what others will say, they are only jealous that you are much cleverer than they will ever be. Also, if you want to be friendly and well mannered with the teachers, although others in your class might not like you for it, being polite can get you a long way. At the end of the day, they mark your work and are potential references for your future. Play the game.
2. Do not feel pressured to kiss or be active with boys from a young age. You have your whole life to be with a guy, you really do not need to be getting with guys when you are still so young. If people want to call you for it, let them, the chances are that you will meet the most amazing guys in the future who respect you for it, rather than guys that you really do not want to be associated with.
3. There are a lot of people who will want to mock you for anything they can possible pick at. Your hair, your shoes, your bag, your makeup, your taste in music, the way you laugh, the people you hang around with. They are completely insecure and extremely jealous. They only pick on you to make themselves feel better about the lives they are unhappy with. If they have something to say, give them a smile and move on. Payback will come later, trust me.
4. The harder you work and the more you put in, the more successful you will be later. There are barely any exceptions.
5. Do not judge anyone on first impressions. Give everyone and anyone a chance and then choose if you want to form any sort of relationship with them; whether that be friendship, a relationship or staying completely clear. But everyone deserves a chance and some of the most amazing people are found this way.
6. If you like a certain type of music, embrace it and do not pretend you don’t just to fit in with everyone else. The best friends you will have will most probably have similar tastes and this is what makes you amazing friends. If someone does not share your love of something even vaguely, chances are that they really aren’t the friend for you.
7. On that note, never pretend to like or dislike anything just to agree and impress one of your classmates. You have a voice and an opinion and you should use it. If they dont like you for it, they are most probably a total idiot. In later life, having an opinion and alternative interests are what will definitely make you really interesting.
8. Do not smoke just because a friend or a popular kid at school does. If they think they look ‘cool’ with it at that age, in 10 years they will regret they had ever lit up. You do not need to be a sheep, again you have an opinion and if you do or dont want to do something, then stick to your guns and have some backbone. The same goes for having sex.
9. In about 5 years time, you will love the fact that you are totally different to everyone else and actually have a personality.
10. The ‘popular’ kids at school are often those that will crash and burn somewhere along the lines. Their search for hierarchy in a lot of cases comes from a dislike of their own life, home-life and lack of attention elsewhere. The fact that you do not crave this attention is a sign of your happiness as a person.
11. Most importantly, be yourself and those who are similar will find you. Those who are not are those that you must endure for a few years before moving swiftly on and leaving them behind.
12. Stand up for yourself, yet in the politest way possible. You do not have to swear back at someone to defend yourself, use your brains to respond and show you are not a total push over. But do not form enemies.
13. Enjoy your youth. Dont spend your time wishing it away when you are only young once. High school may be total crap, but the evenings and weekends are when you can really enjoy yourself, and then when college comes around your hard work will be totally worth it. College and University are the best years of your life.
And that is what I would say. As you can most probably tell, I didn’t really like high school and I really disliked a lot of the ‘popular’ girls back then because of the way they treated others. And I must say, I do love a bit of karma. I hope this might have given any younger readers a bit of a heads up and those who are older can take from it whatever they will. I’d love to know what else you would tell your children in the future when it comes to high school. Please let me know in the comments :)