How To Survive High School in 10 Steps

Someone recently told me via instagram that they’re having a hard time getting through high school and asked me to post some tips to get through the tough days. Looking back, I think I had a pretty great school experience. There were definitely weeks or months where I felt alone and I did have my fair share of being made fun of over silly things, but I think I did a pretty good job of getting through it unscathed. Here are my tips for getting through high school!

1. First, you have to accept that every day isn’t going to be perfect. You WILL get into fights with your friends. You will have days where you feel alone. You will get your feelings hurt and you will hurt your friends feelings too. It’s all going to happen… accept it and learn healthy ways to get yourself through it.

2. Everything is a cycle. The great times won’t be great forever abnd the horrible times will eventually go away. So, enjoy the highs and remember that they will come back around when you’re feeling low.

3. Popularity is irrelevant in life. I will repeat… popularity is irrelevant in life! The people who were super popular in high school didn’t all grow up to have the best jobs or the best lives. Some of them peaked in high school and some of the kids who weren’t popular ended up being very happy and successful. Don’t take social groups too seriously.

4. Don’t play into cliques. You can have your friend group, but don’t limit yourself. Be friendly to everyone and you will end up with many friends in many groups.

5. Never be the bully. Online or in person. Several months ago I ran into a guy I went to school with for many years. We were never good friends, but we grew up right around the corner from each other and we were always friendly. He was kind of nerdy, by kid standards. What he said to me when we ran into each other really stuck with me. He thanked me for always being nice to him. I guess not all the kids were nice and it absolutely made my day that he remembered me in that way. I hope everyone I knew from school remembered me the same way (they probably don’t, but hey you can’t win over everyone!). SO lesson is… try to be friendly to everyone!

6. Don’t get involved with crowds who do dangerous things. You know what I mean… drugs, driving drunk etc. To each his own, but I just think the risk isn’t worth it. If you are friends with those people and what they’re doing makes you feel uncomfortable, you CAN distance yourself. It’s unfortunate to lose friendships, but sometimes you have to do what’s best for yourself. This is where having multiple friend groups comes in handy, too.

7. That being said, don’t be afraid to experience life!! Go to parties and run from the cops when they break it up, jump into a lake in all your clothes, climb the fence into your local pool after it’s closed, pull (harmless) pranks, TP a house on michief night, stay up all night with your friends… laugh for hours. Experience high school life as it should be. 

8. Try to not hate your parents. TRY REALLY HARD! I know… it’s hard because your hormones are crazy and it’s just a time in your life where it seems natural to argue with your parents every chance you get. But believe me when I say when you grow up, those will be some of the most important relationships in your life. Your relationships with them will change for the better and you’ll be so glad you can lean on them. Arguments will inevitably happen, but my advice on this one is to choose your battles wisely.

9. Have your friends’ backs. Keep them safe. Don’t let them drive drunk. They’ll forgive you tomorrow for stealing their keys and hiding them. If your friend is in a dangerous relationship, help them see the light and get OUT. Relationship violence is so much more common than you think. Don’t brush off those situations.

10. When you feel lonely, distract yourself. Immerse yourself in a hobby (for me it was horseback riding) or a really good book. Hang out with someone removed from your group that you haven’t seen in a really long time. (Like a family friend or a cousin you don’t see often.) Like I said before, the bad times won’t last forever. 

Good luck out there, soldiers! Enjoy every moment! It will be over before you know it and you’ll be hugging your best friends goodbye as you hop in the car and drive to college. Enjoy. Every. Moment.

Here’s a little flashback of my high school experience… <3