9 Pieces of Advice for High School Students from Recent Grads
We asked recently graduated Oregon high school students, "What advice do you wish you could have given yourself when you were a freshman that would have helped make your high school experience better?"
Even though school looks very different this year, their advice still applies:
❶ Focus on school.
- "Take all your classes seriously from the start, as a senior your cumulative GPA is affected by your first semester of freshman year, and your GPA is important for applications."
- "Your actions now will have consequences in the future. Grades matter, attendance matters, commitment matters."
- "Stay on top of your grades because it'll open more doors than you can imagine when looking for post-high school opportunities."
- "Sometimes it's hard to show up to class but it's always easier when you do."
❷ Start good study habits.
- "Try to do things on time and stop procrastinating because it always makes things become more stressful."
- "Use a planner, or find some way of organization that works for you. Write down deadlines and things you need to get done or prepare for. It also helps being able to check things off your list. It gives you the feeling of accomplishment and relieves some anxiety or stress."
- "Once you start slacking it is hard to get back on track. Stay away from Netflix."
❸ Ask for help.
- "Talk to your teachers more to get help and advice."
- "Ask for help, there is nothing shameful about needing help. If I would have asked for help I would have done a lot better."
❹ Believe in yourself.
- "You're smarter than you think. Don't doubt yourself."
- "Don't be scared of taking difficult classes and don't be scared of failure."
- "Be more confident in your abilities to do anything you want. Don't limit yourself and be afraid to succeed."
❺ Get involved.
- "This is the first step, go for that sport, go for that activity, the sky is the limit. Don't be shy, do as much as possible during high school since you only go there once."
- "Try as many things out as you can so you can figure out what you want to do with your life."
- "Even if you think it's not for you, try it. Sports, coding, journalism, try it all. You might surprise yourself, I sure did."
❻ Be your best self.
- "Hang out with friends who will better you as a person. Don't let negative people affect your high school experience."
- "Don't worry about what people think. It stops you from stepping out of your comfort zone."
- "Be kind. You will never regret being kind."
- "Be disciplined. Stay away from drugs and alcohol."
❼ Think about life after high school.
- "Start thinking about what you want to do with your life. I know not everyone knows what they want to do at this point in time, but it is indeed helpful to try and figure it out. Job shadow! See what you like and what you don't, everything helps."
- "Start learning about college BEFORE your senior year. You'll be much more prepared, understand what's going on better, and have more time to work out the kinks so you feel comfortable throughout this process."
- "Do not wait until the last minute to start visiting colleges! Do it as soon as you are interested in the school and visit as many colleges as you can."
❽ Stay balanced.
- "Don't believe that every mistake you make is the end of the world. Remember that you know what the right thing to do is, and don't lose sight of it."
- "School is important, but make sure you stay balanced. Remember that failure and making mistakes helps you grow, and that it's okay to not always be perfect."
- "Don't stress so much about academics. Make them a priority but don't spend all of high school worrying about grades and tests, go have fun with friends, and get out of your comfort zone."
❾ Enjoy it!
- "Enjoy high school as much as possible. High school really does fly by and the years pass in a blink of an eye."
- "Step out of your comfort zone a little, reach out to others, and just have a blast. Basically make every second count, because it goes by way too quickly."