14 Pieces of Advice for High Schoolers from a 20-Something

Another item scratched off my list with a list of future posts!

Give 14 pieces of advice to a teen who is graduating high school.

I wrote this and then realized it said “graduating high school” so some don’t necessarily apply. But here is what I would say to high schoolers in general.

  1. Don’t base your worth off social media. In fact, just avoid social media in general, it only leads to more drama at your age. I overheard a group of high school girls talking at a restaurant and all I heard was, “I only got 1 like I’m going to delete this,” “The most likes I’ve gotten was 45,” and I became incredibly sad for them. Put as little weight into social media as possible. Please, at least for your own sake.
  2. Be nice to your parents. At this age, it’s hard to see that they are growing older just like you. There will come a time when you wish you were a little bit nicer to them. I know you don’t want to believe it, but they know more than you, and they just want to help. Go easy on them.
  3. Don’t be so caught up in what everyone else is supposedly doing. A lot of people your age are probably having sex. Most people your age are probably not, whether they admit it or not. If you don’t feel right doing something, go with that. Don’t be pressured. Don’t give anything to anyone who isn’t worthy. You may find someone somewhere down the road who is totally worthy and you’ll look back and think, “Why did I give in to that person?” Treat your body with respect, it’s the only one you have.
    1. On a totally different note, if you think something is cool, do it. I don’t care if band, chess club, badminton, etc. isn’t considered the “cool thing” to do. If it means something to you, do it. People with hobbies like that become the “cool kids” in college.
  4. Learn to accept rejection. You’re going to deal with rejection for the rest of your life. Learn how to deal with it now and you’ll be one step ahead of the game later in life. It happens to everyone, so don’t feel so bad.
  5. Do your homework. That includes reading your textbooks. I know you are able to get by without doing the reading, but you can form these habits now and make it much easier on yourself in college.
  6. Make connections with teachers. They’re not all lame. Having a teacher on your side is almost never a bad thing. When you need letters of recommendation, references or even just life advice, teachers are wonderful resources even after you finish school.
  7. Get into a skincare routine. Again, you’ll be grateful later. And ladies, always take off your makeup. No matter how tired you are. Leave some make-up removing cloths by your bed so you don’t even have to get your butt out of bed at night.
  8. Make actual phone calls. I know it’s so much easier to just send a text or tweet or whatever the kids are doing these days, but I’m telling you nothing beats hearing someone’s voice when trying to communicate. Too often text messages are misinterpreted and overanalyzed and that just leads to issues. Avoid all of that and just pick up the phone.
  9. Drive a little slower. You can legally drive, you have your first car, you feel invinsible right? Wrong. Cars are deadly weapons. Keep yourself, your friends and everyone else on the road in mind when you’re cruising around. Wear your seatbelt and remember that you are not a pro.
  10. Stop gossiping. Even if you think you know for absolute certain that something is true, don’t tell people. Minding your own business is a lost art form, even for adults.
  11. Fall in love. Teenage love is a one-of-a-kind and once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. Keep a good head on your shoulders (even when it’s up in the clouds), and go for it. And just in case you were wondering, your first kiss probably won’t even be the best kiss you ever get, maybe not even the second, so don’t worry about it!
  12. Have your heart broken. I know it seems strange for me to advise this, but you will be a stronger and wiser person if you allow this. And there may be a day when you look back and think, “I thought my heart was broken then, I had no idea what true pain was.” But that means that you allowed yourself to feel. To quote The Fray, “It’s alright if you don’t know which way you’re gonna go. Just don’t be afraid to feel it all.”
  13. Be kind. You never know what is going on in someone’s private life. The world is hard enough on you at this age as it is, don’t make it harder on those around you. Remember that you’re all in this together.
  14. Be young. Live like a teenager. Make mistakes. Get grounded. Have sleepovers. Sleep in. You don’t have to have everything figured out yet, and there’s no way you even could. (I’m almost 23 and I don’t have anything figured out yet.) Go to college as an Undeclared student so you can try out a little bit of everything before deciding. Enjoy being whatever age you are. You have your whole life ahead of you to be an adult (and believe me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be). So be young, while you still can.
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