There are many lessons I learned from my secondary education--my middle school and high school (mostly high school). I graduated from one of the most challenging, reputable high schools in America in the top 15% of my class. I've learned so much academically and socially, and I'm grateful for my experiences even though there were bumps in the road every now and then. In this MyTake, I will get personal but not to a point where it's too personal. Anyway, I always think writing this kind of MyTake should be personal in a way to give insight to younger gaggers and share my experiences.
1. You get nowhere if you don't try at all BUT remember to relax!
Okay, I admit. I've had senioritis to a point where I didn't do homework at all, watched movies, posted on GAG, listened to music, and talked to family/friends. I would get so distracted that I'd have my schoolwork right in front of me but then I'd be on my laptop googling makeup tutorials or watching Arrested Development. When I realized that my grades were dropping because of my procrastinating tendencies, I'd concentrate more on my work and listen in class. My junior year was full of struggle yet I managed to make an A out of a D in a difficult AP class. I'm proud to say I achieved a 4.6 GPA my first semester of senior year once I tried my best on every project I was assigned. On some nights, I stayed up until 1 in the morning. Other nights, I'd relax with a cup of tea and get my full night's sleep. It took me four years to realize working hard was essential to my success, not working my hardest. Manage your time well but if you really, really want to go out with your friends one night and put studying aside, go ahead and do it! Balance business & pleasure.
2. Take advantage of every learning opportunity & don't be afraid to think what you want to think as long as you have evidence to support your beliefs.
That's a long one ahah. However, it's so important. Before high school, I knew little of politics and current events. I didn't have any of my beliefs set in stone yet. Once I began asking more questions about the world, I gathered some info necessary for me to research and form my own conclusions. As the years progressed, I learned more and began to challenge common misconceptions. I stopped thinking what everyone else thought and began to form my own conclusions. Now, I have a strong sense of what I believe in but I still have a lot to learn!
3. Guys are great but they're not everything.
First of all, yes, they are an important part of this MyTake. I love guys. They're strong, they're leaders, they can fix things, they're stable drivers and they can be pleasant to look at too. They're really cute when they act all tough and competitive with every little thing. They will say anything on their minds without hesitation and there is no drama around them. Starting freshman year of high school, my interest in guys soared. I would start checking out the hotties and have sexual thoughts (ain't no shame in that). Despite their dreaminess, guys can a real pain in the ass. One minute I like them, the other minute I want to scream at them lol. At my age, they can be jerks and will say or do anything for what they want--which is usually just sex (which I can understand because of all the raging hormones) or social approval (which is a turn-off). Sometimes I'd rather have a puppy than a boyfriend because I don't want to deal with all the responsibilities and troubles that can happen in young relationships. Relationships can wait. I'll be ready when I'm ready. Anyway, nights hanging out with friends are always more fun than dates.
Puppies rule and they'll be loyal :P
4. Every action has a consequence.
This seems so cliche but it's true. I've made stupid mistakes that I'm not proud of. I used to be so naive and think all people had good intentions. That's just not the way the world works. You've gotta be careful, learn who to trust, and understand the consequences behind every decision that you make. I've made a few choices that resulted in negative consequences and now I know to never make them again. I wrote about my biggest failure in a college essay. There's nothing wrong with standing up for what you feel is right. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right. For example, a girl I worked with on a project plagiarized and deleted everything I worked on! It was a terrible situation and I didn't want to fail the class because of her stupidity. She got so pissed at me for reporting it and she told everyone else that I was a "snitch" but it was the right thing to do.
5. People will try to get a rise out of you.
This is a big one. People will try to fuck you up because they're fucked up.
Because I went to a really good school, I encountered many snobby rich kids who tried to bring me down because I was from a normal family. There was one kid in particular. I won't use his real name here so I'll just call him "James". He was a popular hockey player and seemed cool at first, but once he started insulting me blatantly in class every day, my mind quickly changed.
James was my lab partner and as you'd imagine, I had to do all the work. He would try to make me look stupid in front of the rest of the class. He would copy my work because he was too stupid to think with his own brain. I let him do at first but when it became over-the-top, I firmly and unemotionally told him "No." Then he whistled and made me look like the mean one in front of everyone else. He would call me an "ugly prude" and once, he deliberately tripped me as I walked up to the front of the class to get my graded tests back. I just ignored him in the beginning, but he continued. It came to a point when I started to believe everything he said about me and that something was actually wrong with me because he didn't act that way with any other person in the class. Everyone else would agree with him and also look down on me-->Pack mentality. It lasted for a whole quarter and the worst part was that nobody ever said anything about it, not even the teacher. I felt absolutely helpless and even when I accidentally broke a test tube, he just stood back, laughed, and didn't help me clean up. I was so close to punching him in the nose once. I should've! lol Once I told my teacher that I didn't want to be his lab partner, she immediately assigned me to another person. However, she didn't do much to help him stop acting like an asshole. I guess some life experience will have to do that to him.
I found out senior year that James was really a pathetic loser who got a DUI and will attend a crappy college. He chose me as his victim because I was more mature, smarter, and better than him. One thing to remember: Bullies are losers and DON'T EVER let them get you down to their level. #Fuckthehaters
6. You never know what other people are going through.
I wasn't only a victim; I was a mean girl too. There was one girl at my school who was different that my friends and I usually made fun of and gossiped about. I was the one who'd always start those conversations. However, as time went by, I actually found out that girl was really kind and even though she was considered weird, bringing her down didn't make me feel any better about myself. I'm a firm believer in that every word matters and that people never forget how others treat them.
I used to think I was the only person with problems. I was SO wrong about that. Nobody is perfect or predictable. I was surprised to find out a friend of mine from a few years ago almost committed suicide because she one of the happiest people I knew. I never knew that the most confident person I know was actually an introvert and that her dad died when she was only 11.
In the Great Gatsby, no character had any idea of what Jay Gatsby was going through and who he really was. To them, he was just another rich man who threw wild parties and liked attention. But that wasn't really him. He was actually just a man who was in love with a woman and sought harmony in his life.
7. Laugh at yourself!
Before my teenage years, I was an unusually shy and serious kid. I would barely talk to other kids, I couldn't understand sarcasm at all, and I couldn't shake things off easily. I was like a little ninja lol. I'm not sure why I was like that but I think it had to do with bad experiences with bullying and harassment. Whenever I got tripped up, everyone else laughed at me while I tried to hide my tomato face. If there's one thing I remember from high school, laughing at myself made other people forget an embarrassing moment ever occurred. If laughing makes you live longer, you might as well do it!
8. Find yourself in others.
I do this all the time. I definitely have people in my life to look up to. I want to be like my mom's best friend. She is fascinating, successful, educated, and went from rags to riches. I hope to someday be like her. My brother is the best conversationalist I know and my best friend is the most level-headed person I know.
I even have a role model on GAG. I won't say his username but he gives zero fucks about what others think of him and he's just so fucking admirable. I don't personally know him, but I can tell that he is an incredibly intelligent, strong, and good person. In fact, he inspired this MyTake as he made me question what I've learned in my life so far.
Now the past is gone and high school is what it is: an insignificant, small fraction of life. Before, I acted as though it defined my life. In the end, it didn't!
I really hope that someday I will get to look at my high school experiences and simply laugh at how naive and immature everyone was, including myself. At college, my horizons will expand as I communicate to more mature people and people of different backgrounds. I would love to study abroad somewhere in Europe or New Zealand, visiting tourist sites and learning about a different culture.
I want to feel what Ed Sheeran is feeling when he sings "Castle On A Hill" when I reflect on my youth and visit my hometown in the future. I hope to make lots of money, get in a serious relationship with a great guy, have crazy nights to remember, and have lasting friendships. I can't wait for what my future holds.