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How to Survive High School: 5 Tips Every Teenager Needs to Know

Student Life

Sat, June 01

High school is an exciting chapter for most students. It is one of the formative years riddled with opportunities for teenagers to be independent and discover their passions and interests. As you embark on your high school journey or are already in the middle, it's important to have some tips to guide you. Here are five ultimate tips that can assist you in making the most of your high school experience.

1. Build A Good Relationship With Teachers

The student-teacher relationship is the most important, as teachers provide guidance and support for us. A good relationship with teachers can maximize your help in high school. Talk to teachers before and after class and actively ask clarifying questions if you are unsure about anything.

Teachers will have time to answer your questions, but you can email them to discuss your concerns if they are busy. Teachers are also open to you scheduling a meeting with them before, during, or after class. If you build a good relationship with teachers, you may even talk to them about your concerns and share your experiences with them.

Remember that some universities and colleges require teacher recommendations. Building a good relationship with teachers is important for getting the necessary support and boosting your application.

Kampus Production from Pexels

2. Participate in ECAs

Getting involved in extracurricular activities that you are passionate about is one of the most important in juggling a balanced high school life. You can join clubs and societies that you are interested in. I have an interest in sports, so in my freshmen year, I joined my school's athletic council to promote sports and wellness throughout the school community. You can join your school's sports team if you don't want to join clubs or societies.

Participating in sports offers invaluable opportunities to cultivate teamwork and collaboration. By working together towards a common goal, you can learn to appreciate the strengths and contributions of each team member, fostering a spirit of mutual trust, unity, and friendships that extend beyond the boundaries of sports.

Through ECAs, you can meet like-minded people who have the same interests as yours. Participating in any ECAs can open up the opportunity to meet new friends or connect with your teachers.

HTSCHOOL2019 from Wikimedia Commons

3. Set SMART Goals

Setting goals is the main motivator for achieving success in academics or extracurricular activities. A suggestion for making goals is using the acronym SMART, which stands for:

  • Specific - What are you trying to achieve?
  • Measurable - How will you know when you achieve it?
  • Achievable - Is it in your power to achieve it?
  • Realistic - Can you realistically achieve it?
  • Timely - When exactly can you complete it?

Using the SMART goal method can allow you to break down your goals further and make them more easily achievable. An experiment by a Stanford psychology professor, Albert Bandura, shows that breaking goals down into smaller steps can help make progress more achievable. Hence, you are more likely to achieve them. So, you should stick to creating short-term goals that you can complete in a few months rather than creating goals that extend for more than a year.

4. Don't Give Up

Failure is a natural part of life. Throughout high school, you will be met with ups and downs, but the most important part is getting back up after defeat. Instead of being scared about failure, you can change your mindset and think about it as a learning opportunity.

By embracing defeats, you can extract valuable lessons from mistakes and make better choices in the future. It can help you develop character and buildg resilience, allowing you to bounce back from unforeseen challenges.

Next time you get a low score on the test or you do not agree with what the teacher has told you, don't stress yourself out too much. Think of it as an area that you should put more time into perfecting next time. Remember, all that matters is knowing that you have tried your very best.

Vila from Unsplash

5. Be Yourself

Lastly, be yourself! High school is a period where you discover your passions. It's when you begin to understand your strengths and interests.

By staying true to yourself, you can explore the different factors and ways that can shape your individuality. Being authentic allows you to build genuine friendships with the people surrounding you, and those friends you make will impact your high school life. Even though peer pressure exists the most in high school, you should still embrace who you truly are. This way, you will befriend like-minded individuals who accept who you are, not who you want to be. The friendships you make in high school can follow you through college and beyond.

Stay true to yourself; you can better judge your passions, education, career, and how you want to live your life.

Following these tips can give you a better experience throughout high school.

Do you feel like following these tips can help better equip you for high school? For those high schoolers, do you have any suggestions for younger teenagers and freshmen on better surviving high school? Feel free to share your experiences and leave suggestions in the comments below.

Ethan Yau
5,000+ pageviews

Writer since May, 2024 · 3 published articles

Ethan is an eleventh grader at an international school in Macau. He enjoys spending his spare time reading, writing, and exploring the city. His favorite books include Fahrenheit 451 and Shoe Dog. He is an active member of the arts community in his school and was previously an editor of his school magazine. Beyond academia, Ethan is a competitive swimmer, representing Macau in swimming championships and meets across Asia.