"I need to make my own mistakes & learn from my own experiences."
If you ask my brother, that sentence would probably be the one sentence that would describe me in my early high school years. Stubborn, stubborn, & stubborn. Looking back I wish someone would've told me, or wish I would've listened when people told me my "motto" needed to be modified. So please, right now if this topic applies to you, refrain from any defense mechanisms that usually block out the people trying to give you advice & listen. Just hear me out! Me being super duper wise now (joke😏) would change that motto to: I need to make my own mistakes, but before I make them I should take a step back and think, "is this going to benefit my future self or not?"
Now I know what you all may be thinking; how can I take a step back and think about an irrational decision when most of the time they're snap/quick judgements? It's especially hard when you're caught up in the moment, but reassuring and making sure you are truly 100% okay with the decision and don't think you'll regret it the next day is one of the biggest favors you can do your self. It'll save you from a lot of self-issues like stress, disappointment, & shame.
For incoming high school girls/guys, it's probably the most critical time for this motto. You're all worrying about making a reputation for yourselves, being popular, & just fitting in. PSA: do not get too caught up with popularity. Now I'm not telling you to go into the first day of school and not make any friends & be a loner, I'm telling you to be cautious with the people you surround yourself with. Make sure that the people you think are your friends, support you, bring something to the table, & aren't secretly trying to bring you down. I know you are going to come into contact with people who will befriend you & then betray you, but you can look for signs that help you identify that person before they really hurt you. If they are constantly trying to catch you slip up so they can call you out about it, they're not your friend. If you hear from multiple people that they are saying stuff behind your back, they're not your friend. If they argue with everything you say or aren't excited for you when you tell them something great that happened to you, they're definitely not your friend. Most of the time, the people you become friends with freshman year, won't be the people you hangout with senior year; so, it is okay to take a step back & decide if your friend is a person who will uplift you or bring you down.
Most of the things you think are cool, most likely aren't. Now don't get me wrong, some people do certain things regardless of societal pressure and I've learned not to think less of those people based off of the things they do. However, if you are trying certain things because you think it's the awesome thing to do, then keep reading. Smoking and drinking isn't "cool". For example, I've never smoked a day in my life; I'm just not into that, however, some of my friends are. If you aren't into it either, don't let anyone try and bring you down for it. Hooking up with every guy you come into contact with isn't "cool". We've all made mistakes with at least one guy, but it's important to realize & respect the morals you hold; don't let anyone bring you down for that either. As a matter of fact, if someone is pressuring you to do either one and you don't want to, what's cool is you saying no. What's cool is that you have the confidence, the power, and the courage to do your own thing and stay true to yourself. People may not like change, but no matter what anyone says, people like different. So, if you feel like you're different from the crowd, don't hide it, embrace it.
Not all of high school is temporary. It's true that 99% of the people, words, and actions are going to mean nothing to you in a matter of four years. Those people who teased you, the words that hurt you, & the reputation that you earned, won't follow you after high school. However, the one thing that does follow you are those C's and D's you got because you slacked off your freshman & sophomore years. IF I COULD STRESS ONE THING TO UPCOMING FRESHMEN/SOPHOMORES IT WOULD BE TO FOCUS ON YOUR GRADES. It's definitely a hard adjustment to just jump into buckling down since middle school didn't really count, but take it from someone who wishes they could go back. A lot of us who don't get good grades aren't dumb, it's just that we don't apply ourselves. I never paid attention in class, sometimes forgot to do homework, and NEVER studied. I think I averaged like a 2.8 with freshman and sophomore year combined. I didn't know how stupid I was for slacking off until the middle of sophomore year when one of the kids I was friends with at school was such a good student because he tried and I was very inspired to work hard. I had to kill myself junior year, which is the hardest year of high school on its own, to get A's and B's just to get my GPA to a 3.1. Instead of relaxing my senior year & making my schedule easier, I have to keep it rigorous (p.s. colleges like rigorous senior schedules regardless of your GPA) and do well in order to continue to improve it. Now, Im applying to fashion schools for fashion marketing and management so a high GPA isn't required, but if I didn't have that leeway, I would be hoping and praying just to get into a decent school. Before you get too caught up in the social scene, keep your grades a top priority.
Be kind. There's nothing that's going to get you more in trouble than the things you say. If someone is saying something about someone, I've learned that its best that you don't comment. Staying out of things you're not first-handedly involved with is key. Sticking up for friends is one thing, but putting yourself in situations where you are not directly affected or hurt by, will just cause you more trouble. Try not to have an opinion about someone if you don't know them; a lot of people will surprise you if you take the time that would've been spent judging to start up a conversation and give them a chance. Be yourself, high school will make you evolve & mature, but it won't change you if you don't let it. So, continue to be/do you regardless of what people say, because I guarantee its the people that are bringing you down that are jealous and wish they can do what you do.
I know a lot of people go through high school and don't have many people to talk to about their problems. Because of this, a lot of good people get caught up in the wrong crowd. I wanted to write this for those people. I hope I can inspire and help you stay grounded through the things you will go through. If anyone ever needs advice, you can DM me or ask me on my ask.fm and I will gladly help you out.
Stay true to yourself💁🏽,