Hello, beautiful! I just want to give a little preface on why I wrote this article if you don't care just skip this and scroll down. But anyways, I'm writing this down because I felt a little lost in high school and while I didn't have depression, I still felt like I was living a stagnant life. Just to establish, I'm 20 and have been out of high school for two years. I want to share the things I learned in high school and in college (where I currently still am) so that people of our generation can feel more united and know that we've all felt the same things. I know some of the things I'm going to say are super cliché and sound unrealistic but stay with me!

1. Speak up

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Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. It's harder than it seems but you have the right to respect. If someone is saying something you don't like, whether it's about you or someone else, say something. You'll spend a fair amount of your life wishing you had. And we all know our friends aren't saints either tell them to shut up once in a while, sometimes they're just being an asshole.

2. Fake it till you make it

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I know this idea can sound unrealistic to a certain degree, but honestly, I have been complimented SO many times by my teachers and peers for my confidence. I'm generally not that confident at all, but when I'm nervous or scared (generally during a class presentation project), I just walk and talk like I know something that they don't. It makes all the difference, and though using this technique, I have actually gained more REAL confidence in myself.

3. Just try it

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Whether it's a choir solo, theater, Speech, or a sport you should just go for it. I was shy I high school and I never really did extracurricular activities. I wished I could try something out there but never had the courage to, and I regret it. The important thing about this bit of advice is that if you try your hardest no one is going to laugh at you. It takes guts to play hard and sing in front of other people; everyone recognizes that so go for it.

4.It doesn't matter what college you go to

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No matter if you get into a prestigious college or end up at your local community college, your still going to school. I didn't have the money or grades to go out of state like I wanted to but I'm saving money and getting an education for myself just the same. And it's the same anywhere you go; you'll make new friends and try new things. College is still a different world from high school no matter where you go. Also, people change schools all the time so if you decide to apply to a community for a year and then apply to a university when you figure out what you want to specialize in you can!

5. You'll actually like going to classes in college

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In college there are so many class options it will blow your mind. You can try new things and learn your interests. You get to learn parts of the world and new things that challenge you as a person. There are in class discussions and debates about topics you actually want to discuss. The great thing about it too is that you can take online classes and choose your schedule which means (depending on the number of classes you take) you could be in school for 2 hours a day, or even 2 hours every other day. For example, right now I'm taking two online courses and two on campus, so I'm at school 2 hours a day every Monday Wednesday Friday. This leaves me as a part-time student so I an still work a decent amount of hours.

6. College is a fresh start every semester

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In college, you take classes one semester and then switch the next. A whole new class of people every semester. You can be whoever you want to be and improve yourself every time. No more "new year new me," you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself all the time so don't worry if you make a mistake or hate one of your classes. It won't be long till everything changes all over again.

7. It's okay that you don't know what you want to go to school for yet

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Not everyone has an endgame in high school. I never knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Just remember that if you think you feel inferior to those who seemingly have it "all figured out" that people change their career path at least five times (average) in their lifetime. So, you're not the only one who doesn't know what's next. When I started college, I thought I was wasting time and energy because there's no point if you aren't in it for a reason. But probably around a year into doing generals in school, I figured out a career path that I wanted to pursue. Had I not taken the classes I did and took a year from school I might still be wondering what I want to do.

8. It's okay if you haven't had an epic love yet

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Love is something that we all want. When I was in school, I was always thinking about it. Thinking about that moment when the guy I liked would finally realize that I was amazing (like that Taylor Swift song You Belong With Me). Well, that never happened. But I realized that all I can do is be me and wait. I know that sounds weird, but it's true, the future love of my life is worth more to me than trying to find love in someone that doesn't care for me. If you're still in high school and are not well experienced with kissing or anything else, it's okay, and totally normal (even if it doesn't feel that way). I'll tell you what, I never had a boyfriend in high school or a prom date either, but I had the best time of my life at prom and I have witnesses that will attest to it. My friends and I were the girls that were always the last ones to leave prom when the whole gym was empty, we danced and sang, and they are some of my favorite memories I'll never forget. ( I know it's different depending on your area, but I'm small town and got a junior and senior prom)

9. Be realistic about yourself.

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@emeraldxbeauty @maniicalii @winnieharlow Everyone has things they don't like about themselves. We feel like we carry weight in the wrong places or we have acne or scars or sucky eyebrows. But you know what? There is someone for everyone. Be realistic. There is a person out there in this huge world for you, whose gonna fucking love the shit out of you, your sucky eyebrows and your cellulite booty.

10. Make a difference

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Compliment someone you never have before. It really can make all the difference to someone. Invite the new kid to sit with you at lunch even if it's only until they make friends. If someone's sitting alone, it's not going to kill you to sit with them or invite them over to you. As a young generation, we all talk about wanting to make a difference or matter in the world, in high school we have one of the biggest opportunities to make a change that we hardly ever do. A change in a person, helping them, being nice to them, showing them there is someone who cares is the way we make the world better.

There you have it people, the things I've learned in my 20 long years of life. I'll tell you something else too. On my last day as a senior in high school, our class got to go to a restaurant on a lake together. And it was the strangest feeling to physically see everyone's walls disappear because they knew we'd only see each other graduation day and then we'd all go our own way. I talked to people I never talked to before, and I even made a surprising amount of new friends in the people I have known for years. Then suddenly I ended up wondering what the hell I spent all of high school even doing. So you see, high school really is only just a beginning to who you're going to be and the things you're going to do. Remember what's important and be yourself.

P.S. If liked this and you want to talk, or need specific advise feel free to message me:)

🍀, Olivia