Hi, it's Anna, and this year is my senior year of high school. Over the past three years, I have learned and grown up a lot. I know what I did right in high school, and I know what I regret not doing in high school. Maybe some of the stuff I have learned will help someone out, so here's some stuff I have learned about american high school.

Academics

Academics are my area. If you want to pass a class or get an A, I got you.

  • Every year is recorded on your official transcript (which you send to colleges during applications). Freshman and Senior year count just as much as Sophomore and Junior year. That being said, your academic GPA (10th-11th) should be the strongest.
  • Just do your homework. Missing easy points is not worth it, and sometimes they can make or break a borderline grade.
  • It is not the end of the world if you get a B or a C. If you tried your absolute best, that is all anyone can ever ask of you. If you know you messed up, take it as a lesson to do better.
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  • Do not give up your mental or physical health for a grade or a class. You come first.
  • Take Honors or Advanced Placement courses if you want to. If you do not want to or you do not like the subject, it will be way harder and unnecessarily stressful for you.
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  • Ask your teachers questions about things you do not understand !! I cannot stress this enough! They are there to help you!
  • Staying up all night to study is more harmful than beneficial. Make a study plan and get some sleep.
  • Write down all of your assignments, test dates, and due dates. Teachers stop reminding you.
  • Actually read any assigned reading. I know the Internet exists, but one (1) you are missing out on valuable information or a fantastic novel; two (2) teachers are not idiots. They will know if you actually read it or not.
  • Know MLA format. Use a generator or just learn it, but losing points over the format is very avoidable. Also, proofread your essays for grammar and spelling, and sentence structure if you want to be fancy.

Okay some of these may seem like common sense, but either I or someone I know has made these mistakes.

Sports

This is where my regret comes in. I regret not doing a sport. Sports are not everyone's thing, but here is my limited advice on them.

  • Know the try-out dates. So simple yet so commonly messed up.
  • Prepare before the try-outs. My school is extremely sporty and everyone shows up to try-outs with lots of experience, BUT if you have a similar school, do not let that deter you. Do some practicing beforehand.
  • Just go for it. Freshman year I tried out for volleyball and track, and while I did not make it, I still did it.
  • Again, your health comes before sports.
  • If you are socially awkward like me, use sports as a way to branch out and make friends. That is why I regret not trying out after freshman year.

Yep, that is all I got for sports sorry.

Social Life

I know I said I'm awkward and it's true, but I have observed my friends and my classmates in classic high school social circles.

  • Be careful with how you pick your friends. Who you hang out with will influence your behavior drastically.
  • Don't be fake. Seems obvious, but there is a big difference between being nice and being fake. Being nice is a civil way of dealing with people you do not like. Being fake is manipulating people you do not like, and that kind of manipulation is harmful, even though you do not like them.
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  • Be mature. You 'hate' Susie? Do you even know her? You just do? Come on, don't make snap judgements.
  • Do not date seniors as a freshman. When I see freshmen, I think they look super young and childlike (no offense, I did too when I was a freshman). Most seniors are literally adults, and it is creepy if they are dating a fourteen year old.
  • This is really bleak but cheating happens. A lot.
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  • High school relationships are commonly abusive. Not in a physical sense, but in a controlling and possessive way. Red flags include controlling your friend group, guilt tripping, passive aggressiveness, extreme jealousy etc. Watch out for the signs.
  • If the person you are dating is pressuring you into doing anything sexual when you repeatedly say no, take that as the red flag it is and get out of there. You do not have to do anything you do not want to. Consent is a necessity.
  • Please, do not send pictures of yourself naked to anyone when you are under 18! That is child pornography, and that will easily land someone or you in jail.

I feel like there is a lot more I can say about high school, but these stood out to me. High school gets constant hate and yeah it stinks sometimes, but overall, it is only a stepping stone in our lives. It teaches us about ourselves in the greatest and worst ways. All we can do is take what we have learned and apply it to our futures.

Thank you for reading!

Here's some other articles I've done!