How Does One Make It Through Four Years of High School?

So, just picture this, right?

You’ve got a variety of people with character traits ranging from sporty, to artsy, to wicked intelligent, and popular, and even some fabulous weirdos mixed in there, and a lot of them have a combination of a few.

Each one of them has a different way of speaking and a different thing they do with their hands while they’re talking. Some of them make direct eye contact with you, while others would rather look anywhere but the space between your forehead and your nose.

But one thing they all have in common is the fact that they did it. They made it.

Every single one of them is going to march in unison with each other wearing their maroon and gold caps and gowns at approximately one o’clock PM on June 4th, 2017 while their family and friends watch them with big smiles and maybe even a few tears.

They aren’t marching out with the same group they marched in with.

And somewhere in the audience there is an underclassman sitting on the bleachers, slouched over and scowling, watching all of these happy people with a cynical mindset.

“High school is stupid. I don’t even want to graduate.”

And all of a sudden, time stops. And a few of the seniors grin up at the little underclassman.

“You want my advice?” they offer.

“I would say not to give up. Mainly because you have to stay motivated. Honestly, it’s worth it, going through these four years…it’s definitely worth it. Stay motivated. Stay on top of things. Don’t just give up towards the end because you’ll regret it. Obviously, at times it’s difficult to stay motivated, like you just want to go and sleep…but what I usually do is I think about my future and I’m not going to be able to make it if I just give up now. Like, I have to keep going through, only a couple of months left, or only a few more weeks left. I just think about it that way,” says Isabella Capozzi.

It gets better. And, you know–if you are having a hard time in high school, you need to figure out how you’re going to make it better yourself. I think there’s plenty of resources available. I found that, coming back [from a traumatic brain injury freshman year], I looked at, “okay, what do I want to accomplish in high school? What do I want to get done?” So, I went out and joined clubs. I’m in NHS, I’m the student counsel president….Another piece of advice would be communication. You know? Asking people for what you need. Teachers are here, they’re always very welcoming, and they’re always able to help you,” says Natalie Nadeau.

“One thing is, not care so much about your popularity status because it doesn’t matter. You should care more about what makes you happy and do anything and everything that makes you happy. And–don’t care what your parents think, don’t care what your teachers think, don’t care what your peers think, just do what makes you happy, have fun, get involved. And another piece of advice would be to just be nice to everyone. No matter who anyone is, if they’re not like you, if they’re just like you…just be nice to them. Be friends with them, and make friends with everyone,” says Haley Hobson.

“I could sit here and tell you…to take advantage of the time you have here. ‘Cause TA has great opportunities, it’s a great school. But I’m sure you have heard that a million times over. And I know personally, that hearing that doesn’t really change much. And you can tell someone that a hundred times and they’d still feel the same way. But if I could give one piece of advice, it would be probably to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to friends. Not just stay with that one group of friend you’ve had since third grade…it would be to meet everyone because you’d be so surprised by the people who are outside your friend group and the people that you can meet and there are so many people here…which is another great characteristic of TA… There’s a million people here that would definitely be great to meet,” says Hailey Robinson.

“I would say, if you’re going through a problem socially, with your friends, don’t be afraid to invest in somebody, but make sure that you invest in the right people, you know? Don’t be afraid to make a relationship with your teachers…because if you don’t make the most of your experience while you have it, and you don’t…make the most of the time and of the people then you’re gonna leave here feeling like you didn’t accomplish anything. One thing that somebody told me once was that if it isn’t hard to walk away from, then you didn’t do enough. And so I would say invest in your teachers, don’t be afraid to build relationships with your teachers and talk to them about things. Also, if you’re having a difficult time finding a group of people, don’t be afraid to join a group and test it out, and say ‘hello.’ The biggest thing is just being yourself because people will eventually catch on to who you are and like you for who you are…You never know what’s going to happen if you don’t take a shot. You know, like, you could fail, yeah, everybody fails. But you know what you do when you fail? You just get back up and you re-audition and you try again, and it’ll make you a better person, for trying…you learn from your failure and the things that you didn’t quite achieve, you learn from those things,” says Katie Spagnolo.

“Make sure that you’re giving yourself some free time. Because that’s what kind of keeps you sane–it definitely is what keeps you sane. Get involved in something other than school work, but still give yourself free time. You have to figure out the balance between school and home and something fun for you to do, because that’s kind of like the best thing you can do for yourself because all of those things together are going to help you immensely,” says Rhiannon Johnson.

“I guess just try to enjoy it, ‘cause it’s gonna be over before you know it. It’s not gonna be the best all the time, but, it’s still worth enjoying while you can. So try to squeeze out the best in stuff,” says Eleanor Mason.

Just take it easy, and breathe. As cheesey as it sounds, it will eventually be okay, you will get through the four years of high school, as hard as it is. It won’t matter when you’re thirty. It will be such a small chunk of your life, and you’ll have so many more amazing experiences through life, and the friends you have now might not even be your friends in years. Or if you have no friends, if you feel like you’re alone in high school–don’t worry, you won’t be forever. You will have friends outside of high school. There are other people like you. There are nice, quiet people, like me, who don’t have too many friends and it’s alright. You will get through it…and sometimes college is even a step up for those people. You will get through it. Enjoy it,” says Amelya Tibbetts.

“How you survive high school? You have to do the classes that you’re required to do, regardless of whether or not you enjoy the class. You still need to do the work and you still need to pass. It’s like how that old saying goes, ‘You gotta do what you gotta do, in order to do what you want to do.’ …You get your work done, you turn it in on time, and you do what you gotta do to not be late, and you have to try. You have to give everything 110%, otherwise you’re going to crash and burn, and it’s very hard to climb back up to the top,” says Calvin Sleeper.

“If you are struggling academically, ask teachers, ‘cause they are here for you and they aren’t gonna get mad if you ask them. They are here for your learning experience.  It’ll honestly help you so much more–I’ve been through years where I didn’t ask anybody and I struggled so hard and when I asked teachers things got way easier. Also, join anything you can and anything that interest you. If you’re going to college after this, you should try to figure out what you like and plus there’s so many clubs, so many sports. Just go for it. I regret not doing as much as I could have…But you should try to do as much as you can, it’ll make your high school experience much better,” says Skye Danler.

“I’m sure you’re gonna hear this everywhere, but take your time and find people. Because even though you don’t think there’s anyone out there, there is. I was struggling myself and found my group, my home, my family, and I found it all here and I don’t know what I’d do without any one of them. They all teach me different things and they shaped me to be who I am. I’m thankful everyday that I have them. So, you just need to be patient,” says Morgan Evangelista.

“My first advice would be to slow down. We seem to rush through a lot of things, and we miss being in the moment a lot, and taking a moment to rest, and realizing what’s happening, and sort of organizing your thoughts or your homework or whatever’s really stressing you out right now. And if you just figure it out, I think you’ll push through. My second piece of advice is always know that there are people that you can go to whenever you’re having issues with anything, whether it’s your friends, counsellors, teachers, parents–they’re all here to lend a helping hand,” says Glenn Rose.

It’s gonna be hard. And it’s gonna be scary and there’s gonna be days where you wake up and you just want to go back to bed, and I felt that way this morning. But there’s something–inspiring about someone who can move past those things and get out of bed every morning whether or not they want to…Make sure that you do something and make sure that you find people that will hold you accountable for what you need to do because if you don’t have people that are like ‘hey how’s it going? What did you do today?”–if you don’t have those people and you don’t have a strong support system then you’re not gonna get through high school and you’re definitely not gonna do college…because it just gets harder as you go on,” says Hannah Pushaw.

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