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5 Big Lessons You Learn In High School

By Mariana Garza - Harvard University

Believe me, high school is tough! But we've compiled the best tips on how to cope with the stress, work, and make time for fun! 

Stressing can be your worst enemy.

Seriously, chill. I know that it may seem like the apocalypse is imminent, but trust me it’s not, despite what your teachers and peers make you think. Most high schoolers experience a very unbalanced lifestyle, particularly because they are worrying about what comes next. Every student must make a conscious decision to either work or not. If you’re working, go you! If you’re not, relax! Certainly stress can indicate when you need to pick up the slack, but everyone needs to stop, rewind, and recharge once in a while or else you’ll find yourself completely and totally burnt out.

Time management is your new best friend

 In high school, your expected to perform well given a very little amount of time. Find a method that will keep you on track. I personally like to use a physical planner, but many people can operate solely on calendar alerts set on their iPhones. Whatever your method may be, it will allow you to perform at your highest potential while still being able to occasionally binge watch the new season of New Girl.

Developing relationships with teachers is like when the Chipotle cashier knows your name.

Ok, so not necessarily winning yourself brownie points here with friends, but it makes your entire experience that much better. Your teachers will give you so much more insight into their different expertise. From that you’ll be able to truly appreciate the joy of learning and find what you are really passionate about. You’ll also discover that your teachers don’t live at school and are actually A+ human beings.  Plus, they’ll most likely give you tips here and there on assignments. It’s like when the Chipotle cashier tells you that if you don’t eat your tortilla, you get a free burrito refill. It’s a win-win!

Courses matter.

A lot of students don’t realize how important course selection is. The difference in one course will take you down a totally different path.  Two very important components are challenge and variety. You should challenge yourself in all subjects especially the ones you have a particular interest in because it will really boost your college application and resume. Furthermore, choosing courses you like will enhance your school year. While its important to hone in on your skills, you also want to be a well-rounded individual because you may quite possibly never be able to study a certain subject again. Variety will also boost productivity as it will force your brain to think in different ways. 

It’s all worth it.

Sometimes after a really tough exam or research paper, you wonder, how is this going to help me in the real world? While sometimes high school may seem all too theoretical, you’ll notice that your critical thinking skills and smart-guy talk got a whole lot better. Yes, high school is hard, but hard work pays off big time. You just need to bear in mind that it is a crucial stepping-stone in your education. Someday you’ll pat yourself on the back for dragging yourself on that bus at 7 am and eating those suspicious looking chicken nuggets everyday because you could not have done it without the fabulous institution that is high school.