Probably around that time again when teens are going back to school. For some, it will be going through the motions. Some will be getting out of it while some are going to go into it with a fresh pair of eyes. But this week I want to focus on high school because I remember how crazy high school can be for me. Okay, it was fairly tame but I’ve seen people go through some heavy stuff.
If you are entering this year as a niner or a freshman, welcome to your teen years and congrats for making it this far. There is no trophy for making it to high school. As the 13 or 14 year old, you will likely be spending the next 4 years in a place I equate to a very liberal prison. From my years, here’s a few things I picked up. You might arrive at this place with some friends; in honesty, they won’t be your friends for long. Well, you may get lucky with the one friend that would stick it through with you for the entire time. However I’ve seen people’s social structures change through 4 years. So consider all your childhood friends to be a nice little stepping stone to reach out to the entire school. It’s good to meet new people and try new things because at this point in time, you cannot be faulted to finding a bit of your adulthood within those walls. Sure you may have a plan going in, but coming out you may need a back up plan. In my case I had a back up, back up, back up plan. Shortly and surely that little taste of adult life will shock you to consequences. As scary as it sounds; for me, it keeps me grounded. Understand the limits, ask and scrutinize everything. If you have a choice on the subjects you can learn, I don’t think I could recommend anything you can personally do yourself. You know what you want in the here and now. I never figured out what I want through high school. As a 20-something, winging it sometimes doesn’t yield the best results. However the subjects I took helps me keep my eyes open and head held high. I guess I have my history teachers to thank.
To those would-be sophmores, you are well versed and well adjusted in school. As well adjusted you can be, I guess. No less, there are a few things you should be aware of too. Mostly puberty; laugh and giggle, hormones are no joke. This is the one thing I hated going through and I’m a dude! Sometimes I would just be borderline angry and sometimes I just wanted to curl up into a ball and leave the world to its devices. All I can say the chemicals are a perfect storm for learning the extent of your personality. Are you a risk taker? Romantic? Creative thinker? Lots of things will grow out physically and personally, hold on tight and ride the waves. Growing up is complicated but it doesn’t mean you are growing into adulthood. You are more growing to learn to be yourself, keeping what you have and leaving some of it behind. I use to be blank canvas and even now, that canvas is constantly changing. I never liked reading in school, I now read a bit at a time. I might even read a graphic novel. Give it time to let it all sink in; be out there and explore the frontiers of what it is to be yourself. Remember: why should you run in the rain when you know when arrive, you will still be wet?
Juniors, you guys are almost at the end. Like one more year, nearly there. Time for your exit strategy, what are your plans for the next couple years. As you refine your academia, remember to pack your portfolios with something. In some places, 16 years old is the minimum working age. It’s a good time to explore those back up options. Those these options may never come back to you, you could get into them and it will just look good on a resume. Just go out there and gain the experience you want, learn how to work and manage yourself. When I was 16, I explored a back up option for post-high. Apparently out of all the options I could have, it is the one I am still into because I like the environment. Rather to disclose you what I do now; let’s say just go out there and find your backup options, you will be surprised what sort of jobs you can pick up and just love.
As for the seniors, I haven’t forgotten you. Whether you want to take an additional year in high school or leaving after 4 years, the upcoming years will set the stage for adventure. As much as you want to explore and learn from it, keep in mind to create a balance of curiosity and livelihood. You may be entering university or college, perhaps into a workplace full-time; regardless where the next 4-10 years will send you, remember to make friends and have a little fun. Life is about enjoying the fragmented moments. The joy and anguish, the angst and exhilaration that your life will take you. Be yourself. Make friends. Life is best spent with those you care about and the ones your love. Do not dwell on the actions you could have taken for all your mistakes will be forgiven in time. Trust me, there were a few people I wish I could have been honest. The “only if” statements I have given to myself the past half decade could fill another post. The big ones involved a few girls I still like and a few changes I wish I could’ve have embrace. I am who I am because I created myself, therefore I could still change if I’m willing. The you here and now is not your final form, still a long ways to figure it out but this is the transformation to being an adult version of you.
Until next time; be the best you, you can be this year.