Wednesday, February 22, 2017

10 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me In High School

 This is something I think about quite a bit. 
I wish someone would have told me these 10 things when I was in High School.

Photo by: Kyson Rigby or maybe Christina Winkler? Can't really remember...

1.)  Not to worry so much about EVERYTHING. I think that Teachers, Parents, and even Students can put A lot of pressure on high schoolers to get an amazing GPA, perfect test scores, get into a good college, and have it all figured out once they graduate.  This was really hard for me in school because as an artist all I wanted to do was focus more on my portfolio and building up my knowledge and experiences more than just taking dumb tests that meant nothing to me. I would watch my friends get near perfect scores on tests and show up to 1 out of 10 classes per day. How do you compete with that? Which brings me to number 2.

2.) Don't compare yourself. You are unique. Your circumstances are unique. You may have had a hard sophomore year, causing you to miss out on important math skills, that could be detrimental to your testing. Or you could be a lucky kid with a stable home life, but you have passions in Science and suck at the required music class.  Everyone has a different personality and different standards. PERFECTION IS BORING.

3.) Get A Job. I can't stress how important this is. Ask your parent(s) to let you pitch in on a bill or two.  Go get groceries. You know, the daily adult crap that everyone has to deal with. If you don't you will regret it.  And if you don't get work experience (even if it's non paid, volunteer, etc) you will have a hard time finding a job that pays over minimum.  If you are bogged down with too much school work to have a part time job during the school semesters, try a summer job instead. Oh, and save money if you can.

4.) Gain Life Experience.  Heads up! * 70% of the kids I knew in school that had full ride scholarships, a 4.0 GPA, and excellent test scores went on to go to an in-state, non Ivy League school. Why? Because they had no LIFE experience, and were afraid to go anywhere else but home. Try new things. Go someplace new. Pick up a hobby. As a teen under the household of your parents, now is the time to take advantage of your creative freedom.

5.) Get Involved. In something. Anything.  I was really lucky in High School to be a part of the art scene ( clubs , shows, etc.)  It helped me grow a lot as an artist and it kept me motivated to show up to class every morning having something to look forward to. Plus I had plenty of friends to have lunch with which kept me from feeling lonely. I encourage all students to try and find a niche as early on as possible, not only does this help with High School, but it helps on deciding your college major (the sooner the better.)

6.) Don't think it's required to go to college RIGHT NOW. College is great, and I'm all for it. Just make sure you know that it is a privilege, not a requirement.  If you don't know what the hell you want to do, don't go YET. Take some time to get into the work world, try new jobs and test out your skills. You may think you want to be a Vet until you become a receptionist at a veterinary office and have to tell a family that their dog isn't going to make it. Yeah... just think about these things before you spend a shit-ton on a University.

7.) Take your time. When you are 20-something looking back on your 16 year old self you will realize how advanced a lot of schooling can be. And it just keeps getting more and more so. I watch my little sister doing junior year math I didn't even touch until college.  If you are slow with certain material you are given, don't feel as though you are a failure. Instead, accept that it's something you struggle with, try your best, and don't kill your brain. Focus on what you ARE good at and do that. You can always try again later.

8.) Learn how to relax. I struggled with anxiety and still do. I know many others who do as well. Some let it get to them, and others find a way to calm themselves before an attack. Testing was the worst for me. I still HATE testing, but I have accepted that it's not something I can avoid forever, therefore I had to breathe and move on. The faster you learn to face your anxiety fears, the easier it will become. If you run every time you are uncomfortable with something, it will only get worse.

9.) Make Family a Priority. Once you leave, you will miss them. Remember the saying "friends come and go, family stays forever"? Well live by it. Friends do come and go. They will go to other schools, have their own experiences, etc. And you will want your family at some point. So love em'. Don't Leave on a Bad note.

10.) Take a Break from Social Media. (this one kind of coincides with number 2). In today's world we are flooded with so much material. Everyone has to have the best this and that, and once one thing goes out of style everyone moves on to the next thing. If you try too hard to keep up with trends, you will be broke.  Don't even bother.  In fact, take a break from social media every once in a while to stay sane. Go camping or something instead.

Alright Rant over. :) Have fun.


  1. Uhhh I believe I took that picture... 😉- Christina

  2. As a friend and mentor to you when you were at MA, I do hope I said something, anything, to help you get through the rough days. I hope I encouraged your amazing artistic talent enough. I honestly and truly think you are an amazing young woman and I wish you were still around here but I know you are where you need to be. Keep up the great work, Amilee. You are truly a special, talented & unique person.

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  4. You made a lot of great points, maybe too many at one time. I think you'd get more feedback if you focused on one at a time. People don't usually read things through that are too long. You have the gift of gab from your Mama. That was meant in a loving way! I think you will write a book and many will be able to relate to you. I agree with many things you said, mostly the school part for kids, so much pressure and kids are labeled (mass education ) . I felt like we had been through a war by the time my kids graduated. I myself didn't go into teaching because of fear of speech class. Now, I've been teaching music over 15 years and it is my passion. Break the points down and I love your title to your blog.

  5. Wow. I wish I knew some of these! I was so stressed out about grades, work, school, fitting in, having the right "look" that I lost myself in the process. I even got some gray stress hairs.. it was scary. I look back wish I just relaxed more and enjoyed life more and didn't feel like I had to rush everything.