I am not sure how different I really am than when I was in high school. I have surely gained a whole wealth of experiences that have changed my outlook on the world, but at the core, I am pretty much the same. I have always been myself, even if other people didn’t like it. So, in the spirit of high school reflection, here’s five things I wish I would have known to make my life a bit easier back in the day.
College isn’t what people make it out to be.
I remember my teachers telling me how hard college would be. I remember them telling me how my writing skills would have to be top notch to do well. I didn’t go to Harvard, BUT most people’s writing skills are terrible and they are vastly unprepared in every way. I think my high school education was better than most and I didn’t even realize it. I thought I would be constantly studying and stressing out 24/7. I actually didn’t find college very difficult. I know that some may have had a different experience, but nothing was really that hard. I don’t think people should be ashamed to admit if college wasn’t hard for them. I studied economics, which is by no means an easy major, but with proper time management I was just fine. With a realistic outlook, planning, and a balance–it isn’t always that bad.
These people are only my friends because I am trapped in a building with them.
I talk to about four people from high school still, which is probably more than most people do. I had no other options for friends except for the ones around me. As time passes, I realize the ones I would have been friends with outside those walls as my friendships with them still remains. In the adult world, you are once again trapped in a building with the same people everyday at work. Don’t let that turn into high school 2.0. It’s nearly the same concept–it’s like a massive group project in the real world! Remaining professional and finding the balance of friendships in the workplace while still keeping an emotional distance from people is essential. It was easy, and expected, to get caught up in all of the silly drama of high school. Well, the workplace shouldn’t be like that. I think being around the same people everyday can bring back those high school-ish instincts in us sometimes.
No, you do not (and can’t) have a fully-evolved and deeply enriched political view like you may think.
GOSH, I WAS ANNOYING. SERIOUSLY. I was always so convinced that my political opinions were RIGHT and if you didn’t like them, you were WRONG. It was SAD. Ok, anyway, for real, your political beliefs are probably from your parents at this point. Even if you are doing everything to disagree with them, that urge to disagree is still rooted in your parent’s beliefs. If you must assert your political opinion, please, do so with an open and flexible mindset. You have no idea how you really feel as you just haven’t experienced life enough. My beliefs are still evolving but are certainly different than when I was 16.
Trying to be good at literally everything isn’t healthy.
I derived much of my self-esteem from just beating everyone at everything. I am still like that in some senses, but I wanted to be the best at everything and I wouldn’t settle for anything less than #1 for myself. It was ridiculous and none of that even matters after high school. I was so worried about my grades, perfecting my singing, and being involved in everything. I have posted a lot about my struggle with this BUT if you also struggle with this it is best to recognize that you have a problem. Now I see that I have had a problem with this but when I was younger, I couldn’t see it. I now just stick to trying to be good at my job and use the rest of my energy to do my ever-evolving “best” on everything else. 🙂
I am not entitled to the nicest things because, well, I am a fully-dependent human being who doesn’t deserve $100 jeans.
I look back and think about how much I thought I deserved. I thought I deserved all the great things I have. In reality, I didn’t at all. There is no reason to think that you deserve expensive clothes, an expensive car, or expensive trips. I am thankful for all of that, but don’t think that you need or deserve it. I was always grateful for everything I have had, but I know that some people just expect it. It is easy to expect it if you have it, but always know that you cannot financially support yourself yet so you don’t deserve all the luxuries that come with successfully adulting.