5 Tips For High School Underclassman From A Regretful Senior

Cielo, a Los Angeles dreamer, enjoys recognizing images in the occasional cumulus cloud that meanders through the California sky, documenting interesting events and quotes and observations, and learning about different cultures, customs and lifestyles.

When I was a freshman, I was worried about many things, none of those things being school. My worries of fitting in or knowing who was fighting after school or playing sports overshadowed any idea of raising my grades to impress colleges. I had no skills with time management; I didn’t mind being a mediocre C-student; I failed to study for imminent tests. If I had a chance to verbally implant some sense into the lackadaisical head of the younger me via letter, I would. That letter would say something like this:

1.)    Make studying a habit: those grades aren’t going to raise themselves with the meager help of studying 15 minutes prior to the test during homeroom. A plant never watered will never grow. (Make sure you know your aphorisms.)

2.)    Plan ahead: things as simple as choosing an outfit the night before school can save you about 30 minutes in the morning. This way, you wont start your day stressed out because you are frantically shuffling through the closet for a scarf or your right sneaker. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

3.)    Lateness is rude: I have yet to master the art of punctuality, but hopefully if you start now, by the time you are my age, I will have. If you ever want to bring up those grades, turning things in on time is pertinent. Early bird gets the worm.

4.)    Start studying for the SATs: speaking of pertinent, (adj. Having logical precise relevance) thousands of enigmatic (adj. puzzling) words will be thrown at you for you to store in your brain until you release them on the SAT test. These are also words that will greatly improve your vocabulary and possibly speaking and writing skills. SAT math can be very tricky, start practicing. SATs are a huge factor in dictating whether you get into college or not. You may not know now but you want to go to college, trust me. You will be in for a surprise with our economy.

5.)    Don’t worry about fitting in: I will never be able to stress this enough. You will come to find that standing out grants you much more approval. You are different: that is good. Embrace it! And as for those who do not accept you or are terrible friends, it is okay, you do not need them in your life. Nor will they be in your life in the years to come. (I won’t ruin the suspense, but you will be shocked to find which friends you have lost and which friends you have gained over the years.) Worry about yourself; you are the only one you can depend on being there for the rest of your life.

I really do not want to sound like a parent but heed my words! The upcoming high school years will be much easier if you do.

Listen! And Love,

The Future You!

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One Response to “5 Tips For High School Underclassman From A Regretful Senior”

  1. Chelsea
    December 1, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    Terrific list! Not worrying about fitting in is hard, but individuality is important. People who don’t necessarily fit in when they’re in school often stand out in great ways as they put together their adult lives. Creativity is important!

    Being mindful is a skill I wish I’d known about when I was in high school. Here’s an article about it and how it can help teenagers and others:

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