Do you have any advice for navigating High School?
First, I want to say that high school sucks while you’re in it. But one day, you’ll wake up and realize that you graduated from it 10 years ago, and all the life you lived after it was so much better and more fun and more important. Hold on to that for dear life. Those four years can be daunting. Kids can be vicious. And boys can be awful. But it can also be magic. My advice is true blue friendships, an open and honest relationship with your parents, and finding a teacher or two you can really trust in your school.
I know everyone is worried about being “cool” in high school. You’re worried about clothes and what everyone thinks of your clothes. But if you can find a few really great friends who make you feel like the coolest person in the world, everyone else will matter less. Friends will have your back when you fail a quiz. They will make you laugh when your crush forgets your name. And they will dance barefoot with you at every Homecoming and Winter Formal. The only people I still talk to from high school are my two best girl friends. We called ourselves the Trifecta. (We thought we were VERY cool.) These friends will be your respite. Find them and hold them close.
Your parents are maybe going to feel like the enemy at this age, but they are not. Your gut feeling will be to hide everything from them. But try to give them a little. You don’t have to tell them everything, but the more you share, the less they will feel worried and overprotective. I understand not everyone has perfect parents, so maybe this one isn’t ideal for you. I also want you to remember the value of your friends’ parents. I was extremely close with a couple of my friends’ moms, and I am still so thankful for them. I even keep up with one of them on Instagram to this day! That leads me to my third piece of advice: find a teacher or two you trust at school. Maybe it’s your art teacher or your math teacher or even a guidance counselor – any adult who you can use as a sounding board or feel safe with when you need it. I was extremely lucky in high school and had a few female teachers who made me feel like I could do anything I wanted. They were so important on my journey.
It sounds so cheesy, but stay true to yourself and what feels right in your heart. Be kind. Be sympathetic. And you will fly through those four years.