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How to survive High School (& other tales of triumph)

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how to survive high school

Hannah Margaret is a college student, our guest writer, and blogger at hm. ~~ As a recovering theater-­nerd with a plump face and matching cardigans, here is what I have to offer in terms of how to survive High School. Your teen years are for the toughest and the most prepared. This is my attempt to save you from the same failures, humiliation and mistakes I suffered from, and lessons I learned about how to survive High School! surviving high school

1. First and foremost: know who you are. If you don’t know who you are, let’s be real that’s just about everyone, know who you want to become, just have a direction. Without some sort of grounding you’ll float and sway every direction. Maybe it’s just an idea based off a TV show (Gilmore Girls anyone? Rory was my idol.) or maybe an older girl on your softball team. Or even it could be an idea that you have made up in your head. Chase after that. Don’t let anyone tell you who to be other than yourself. I cannot reiterate this enough.

2. Always get your energy and your passion out in some way or another. I always write. In my case, there are so many words you shouldn’t, but desperately want, to be said to your nasty frenemy or that pest in the locker next to you but refrain. Instead I wrote it. Get the pent up frustrations, anger, jealousy, whatever you’re feeling, out through running, singing, art, really anything you’re passionate about. This was my saving grace as a snarky teen. Also, it allowed me to maintain my position as good student and kid, it kept me calm, cool and collected (a major feat for any teen). It’s all about staying emotionally level, aware and, though it sounds stupid, keeping it real.

surviving high school

3. One of my favorites: ask questions and be present in class. This proves to the teacher that you are paying attention (at least for that tidbit), and you are in the market to know more. At the end of the day, it’s your teachers that you want on your side. Graduating middle school, high school and college requires dedication to your studies. So prove it to the people in charge. I was accused numerous times of being the “teacher’s pet”, but who cares? I still, four years after high school, call and email my teachers if I need answers, connections or just want to catch up. It’s fantastic and useful.

4. Don’t be consumed with the social hierarchy (the class system, the gossip, popular vs. unpopular) that, ultimately, means nothing. When I was studying abroad for six months, the international students from all over the world asked me if American school systems where like what they saw the movies. Maybe I am overstepping here, but I think they really are. Sure the pretty girls and jocky guys seem to have everything together now but just you wait. There are people that are four lockers down from you, maybe someone you’ve never even spoken to, they are quiet and not cool, and they will be the next Bill Gates, Obama or Conan. Never, I repeat, never get caught up being the “top dog”. Always work on your own character and achieving your own after-­high-school goals.

In my senior year of high school, after years of being ignored and awkward, I made the ultimate rebound: I won Homecoming Queen. But just like I was saying above, my biggest mistake was putting too much self-­worth in the hands of my classmates. Four years later, as a senior in college, I can say that the award means nothing in comparison to the life I have lived abroad, to my achievements in college and to my future steps. Feeling like you are fulfilled and worthwhile comes completely from within, and even though I am in college and 21 years old, I must remind myself of that every day.

surviving high school

~By Hannah Margaret Allen. For a fantastically great posts and a well-traveled blog adventure, check out HannahMargaretAllen.blogspot.com