you can grow through what you go through.

hi! for those of you who don't know, i'm mimi.
2019 was the year i decided to make some changes by detaching myself from toxicity, taking writing seriously, and focusing on self-growth.

if you'd like to read my last article, you can read it here:

i'm just a few days from starting my very last year, so i just wanted to share some tips for anyone in their last years of high school, for anyone who is starting soon, or for those who want to thrive at school in general! ☀

set realistic goals for yourself.

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everyone has unique personalities and upbringings. don't force yourself to chase someone else's goals, but don't underestimate your talents and skills. setting clear, realistic short-term goals to achieve a long-term one will help you stay motivated and self-accountable all without crumbling under pressure. no matter how small your goals may seem to other people, you deserve to feel proud about every achievement you accomplish!

pursue the passions you truly love.

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if there was one piece of advice i regret not following my freshman year, it was to be involved. i've learned that being involved in high school can mean more than just being a passive member of a lot of clubs. don't be afraid to stick with a passion that isn't academic related. rather than making yourself disappear in clubs you don't actually care about, you can use that time and energy to create new clubs, businesses, volunteer efforts, workshops, and portfolios related to what you truly love to do! being dedicated to your passion with like-minded people will improve your high school experience.
don't have any passions yet? don't worry! high school offers learning opportunity after learning opportunity for you to fall in love with a wide range of interests. there is no shame in taking time for yourself to explore different clubs, activities, and communities; the experiences you gain from being involved in your school will be beneficial to you even if you don't end up committing to one particular niche.

be ready for change.

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this is a harsh reality that many high school students wake up to realize at some point, whether it's because of a change in friend groups, a sudden interest in a new career path, or any unexpected outside circumstances. you most likely will not graduate with the same mentality you had your freshman year, and that's okay! being in a place where everyone else is also developing their character allows you to see things from a new perspective. the best thing about high school is that you can learn from any significant experiences and encounters you had as a way to grow and mature.

distance yourself from toxicity.

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it's inevitable to come across somebody sour in high school, but this does not mean that staying in an unhealthy relationship is your only option. surrounding yourself with damaging people will only destroy you too, and it's not worth being unhappy in a certain group for the sake of not being a "loner". it's easy and tempting to want to date someone for the sake of dating, or being a part of a clique just because you want to seem cool, but it's hard to thrive in an environment you feel hopeless in.
one failed relationship may seem like the end of the world, but this can be your second chance to meet new people who can help you thrive, or simply focus on what you care about and enjoy your own company.

take care of yourself.

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this may sound obvious, but most people tend to forget about looking after themselves and their surroundings when they're buried under piles of coursework. don't sacrifice special family outings, reunions with childhood friends, job opportunities, or even taking a relaxing bubble bath for optional activities and classes you absolutely hate. forcing yourself to take on strenuous courses will have you miserable if you don't enjoy the classes and the challenges they have to offer. it's really okay to have some fun once in a while!
in more extreme cases, some people overlook basic necessities such as showering, sleeping, eating, drinking water, and getting daily exercise in favour of taking on too much work. a flexible, fairly-challenged lifestyle that allows you to safely manage your health and academic life may be hard to attain when you want to take lots of challenging courses and do volunteer work every single day of the week, but there is no shame in not taking a few rigorous classes in order to keep yourself sane. your health comes first!

anything else?

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if you're looking for extra ways to make the most out of high school and have amazing experiences, you can try out any of these activities!
. internships in your career interest (i.e. film, pre-med, graphic design, theater, etc.)
. study abroad language courses through merit-based programs such as NSLI-Y, AFS, or YFU
. contacting an university professor and working with them on a research project they need assistance with
. blogging/vlogging about your high school experience
. creating your own webtoon or literature series
. selling your handmade items
. online/in-person tutoring
. being a part of yearbook and/or the school magazine (or better yet, start one if there isn't any yet!)

thanks for reading! if you'd like to share your experiences trying these tips, don't be afraid to send me a post card!