A Guide to High School


By Andi Mayer-Goodman

Read her Humans of FHCI article here

High school is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, its unexpected quick turns, its excitement, and the feeling you get halfway through when you decide you want to get off, but you can’t, so you stick through it and end up having one of the greatest times of your life.  High school is everything you make it. It sometimes feels like you cannot get through a day, let alone four years. Over my three years of high school I have developed skills and tips that have kept me from breaking down and taught me how to enjoy school. If you follow along these four tips, I guarantee you will not only be able to survive, but thrive in high school with success and happiness.

 Steps to succeed:

1. Stay Organized.

You get an assignment sheet from your English teacher, then you just throw it in your bag because, ugh, you will figure it out later, right? Skip to two weeks later, it’s the due date of the assignment that you totally forgot you had, and you can’t even find the sheet. All of this could have been prevented with simple organization.  Organization is a skill that is crucial to survive high school. It is a skill that one can easily learn and develop.  Being organized can lower your stress and give you a sense of calmness. There are many ways to stay organized in high school. Now I know, it’s so easy just to throw the sheet into your bag and worry about it later. But why worry! Rather than struggling and rushing to write the assignment the night before, you should plan ahead so don’t have to have that extra anxiety on you. By planning ahead and sticking to that plan, you will know what you have to do each night, instead of leaving it all to the last minute. Write in your agenda. Your agenda is your lifesaver in high school. When you get an assignment or test, write it down! It takes less than five seconds. Get binders and dividers! This way, come exam time, when you’re struggling to find all the papers that you thought you had crumbled up in your knapsack, it is all organized in one nice binder. It will save you time and stress. These three organization tips, writing in your agenda, planning ahead, and using binders, will definitely save you from that extra unworthy high school stress.

2. Develop Relationships

School is not all about the work. Don’t forget to have fun and be social. Try to make friends with a diverse group of people. When coming to FHCI in grade 10 I had a core friend group, but over the past two years I have made friends with many other people that I never thought I would be friends with. I’m not saying you need to be best friends with everyone, but making friends is a nice way to put yourself out there. It’s great getting to know people! Develop relationships with teachers. Not all teachers you see walk around with a ruler in one hand and an apple in the other. You’d be surprised how fun and insightful they can be. Plus, if a teacher likes you, they will be easier on you. However, you can’t fake being nice, teachers can smell that a mile away.

3. Get Involved

Getting involved in school adds to the high school experience. Do things like joining the school play, going to home games, participating in sports teams etc. By having school spirit and doing these things you get a sense of community and will meet more people.  We have so many clubs to choose from at our school that at least one must interest you, and if they don’t, start your own club! High school is a time where you find out who you are and what you enjoy doing. By joining these things you will have fun pursuing new interests. Don’t look at these extra activities as a burden to take up your time. In the long run these activities will be nothing but positive as they will add to your high school experience as a whole.

4. Lastly, have fun!

Although high school may not be what we see in movies with pep rallies and breaking out into songs in the middle of lunch, you can still have fun. High school is a once in a lifetime moment. Stop stressing. So what if you do poorly on a quiz about safety equipment at the beginning of the year. Will that really matter in your overall high school experience? There is a part of high school that is supposed to be fun. It is our time to learn who we are; we do this by joining clubs, making new friends, and getting involved. So try not to get through high school just doing the “bare minimum.” Put yourself out there, step outside of your comfort zone, and make it the best four years of your life! Cheers to the teenage years!