Hey, guys! It's Kim again, and I'm back with yet another Article! I start senior year of high school next week (send help) but my brother is starting his freshman year of high school. As a senior, I know how it feels to step into a brand new building, with new teachers, a larger school to navigate, and a whole bunch of new people you'll most likely hate but will have to deal with for the next four years of your life. I decided to take the time to write about the most important things I learned throughout high school. I'm not going to include every thing I learned because that would be a REALLY long article, but maybe my top 5 things. I will warn you that some of these little anecdotes I have may sound ridiculous, but they did happen to me or to other people. I'm serious, whatever I write about in this Article is coming from my personal experiences.

1. High school shows you who your real friends are, but you'll make new friends along the way.

I forgot who told me this, but they were 120% correct. High school is full of drama, much more than petty middle school drama. My sophomore year of high school, I was in two large friend groups--one with all my friends who were in middle school (we all took the same classes and were in the same classes so everything worked out), and another group of friends who weren't friends with anyone from my middle school group.

My friend group outside of my middle school friend group had a group chat. We talked in the chat every day and we would ask each other for homework help, etc. It was all fun and games until one of the girls in the group called me "trash" and a "piece of sh*t," among other names. It didn't help that other people started calling me names too. I left the chat quickly afterward, and I haven't spoken to any of them for almost a year and a half. My middle school friend group quickly found out what happened, and they were by my side through the whole falling-out.

Sometimes, you might lose friends simply because you aren't in each other's classes or for some other reasons. You slowly stop talking to each other, and later you just become strangers. However, you will gain new friends who have the same interests as you. My best friend in seventh through tenth grade and I just stopped talking for whatever reason the second half of my sophomore year. I don't know why. It's probably because she's in a different friend group and we were taking different classes. However, despite all of that, I met one of my closest friends my sophomore year and we bonded over our love for Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and our hatred for Chemistry class haha.

2. Don't be afraid to say "no." Trust your gut.

Last winter, my friend invited me to her birthday. Simple enough. She also invited some of her other close friends, with whom I was also friends with. Okay, seems fine. When does it get worse, you ask? I'm getting there.

Two of the people she invited were people we knew in elementary school. I went to a private school for elementary school, so the classes were A LOT smaller and everyone knew each other. It sounds fine until they started suggesting to my friend that they should do shots and get high at her party, as well as play sexually-themed party games. None of us are 21, let alone 18. My friend, who has gotten drunk multiple times, smoked, and has gotten high before, didn't object to the idea. As soon as that happened, I told everyone that I wasn't going anymore. They called me a wimp, baby, and a whole list of names that I'd rather not get into. I wasn't comfortable with everything that would happen at the party. I had a feeling that something bad would happen at the party, and I'm not the kind of person to start underage drinking, smoking, or getting high. I felt that if I did go, I wouldn't have fun watching everyone get drunk anyways. The day of the party, two of my friends made plans with me to go to the mall and do a little semi-annual sale shopping. To this day, I don't regret my choice of not going to the party.

Moral of the story, if you feel uncomfortable about a potential situation, trust your gut. Don't do something simply because you don't want to be known as "the wimp who doesn't do anything fun." Trust me, if I went to the party, I could see myself in the bathroom calling someone to come pick me up.

3. Keep walking in the hallways. Don't stop. Keep walking. Walk on the right side of the hallways.

Okay, this sounds really weird, but I promise that I have a story that goes along with this.

The first day of my junior year in high school, I was going back to my locker to grab my lunch. On the way there, two freshmen girls were walking on the wrong side of the hallway and ran into me. They sheepishly apologized and kept walking. I knew it was a typical freshman mistake, so I brushed it off. Then, I got to my locker, and another group of freshmen girls was standing in front of my locker taking a selfie. Yes, you read that right. They decided to spend passing time, which is meant for people to get to their next class or go to their lockers to get something, by taking a selfie for their Snapchat stories. I had to wait until everyone got a picture. Now, my school is huge in terms of the population. There are 1,400 kids at my school. Passing time is already a train wreck with thousands of kids crammed into hallways trying to get to their next class. People have places they need to be and don't need people walking on the wrong side of the hallway or walking slowly or blocking people's lockers.

4. Don't worry about having a relationship in high school.

I know a lot of people who were anxious to get a boyfriend/girlfriend in high school. Even though I have a boyfriend (we've been together for almost two and a half years and counting), I didn't expect to start dating the end of my freshman year. If you feel like you're ready for a relationship, then I say go for it. If you don't feel ready for one, then that's fine too. You have your whole life ahead of you to find love, and most high school relationships don't last very long either unless both of you are committed and loyal to each other. If it happens, let it happen. If it doesn't, then it was probably meant to be that way. Should you end up crushing on someone, make sure it isn't only because of their looks. I personally believe that personality matters more than looks, but that's just my opinion.

This one (former) couple I know has been on-and-off dating since the beginning of the junior year last fall. They broke up after Christmas, got back together on Valentine's Day, and then broke up again after junior prom. If your (potential) relationship seems to be headed in that direction, then I suggest you move on. It may mean that it was never meant to work out. As for that couple I just mentioned, it's been almost 4 months since they broke up and they still subtweet each other on Twitter. YIKES. Should you end up breaking up with someone, make sure it's mutual and that you end on good terms. Yes, I know the breakup will be hard, but it's for the best. Even though your ex may be a total a-hole, at least they taught you what NOT to look for in your next relationship.

5. Study hard, but have fun and make memories at the same time.

High school is four years that will make or break you in terms of your grades. Colleges look at your grades, along with your class rank, your GPA, and your SAT and/or ACT scores. They also look to see if you took any AP classes or took part in the IB (International Baccalaureate) program if your school offers any of those things (at my school, taking AP classes increases your class rank). I'll write about AP classes and IB classes in another Article for those of you who don't know what they are. I know AP classes/IB program isn't for everyone, but they do help you develop skills that you'll need for college in terms of the work load and course difficulty. The bottom line is, study hard. You want to leave a good impression on colleges you're looking at your junior and senior year.

At the same time though, don't forget to have fun. High school can create a lot of memories, from homecoming week to prom your junior and senior years. Join clubs, don't be afraid to get a little crazy (but not too crazy), and create memories. I'm sure a lot of you think that high school will go by super slowly. As a senior, I can tell you that it goes by really fast. Four years will go by super fast, and you may not notice it at first amidst the homework, tests, quizzes, projects, sports, music, your social life, vacations, holidays, breaks, and possible snow days if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow in the winter like me. You get so caught up in the moment, trying to take on one day at a time, until you realize that graduation day is coming.

High school may sound intimidating, but you'll realize that as long as you work hard, keep your head up, and have a little fun too, high school isn't so bad after all.

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If you made it to the end of this Article, I'm glad you read it! :) Be sure to heart this Article if you found it useful or if you liked it. My Songs of the Week article is still coming out on Friday evening, so I hope you guys are excited for that! If you have any Article requests, don't be afraid to send me a postcard! My postcards are always open, so don't be afraid to send me a message :)

Until next time,
~Kim (@music_infinity)