The 5 Things I Wish I Knew in High School
So you're new to high school and you get the feeling everyone knows what they're doing. Ah, but do they really? Your parents constantly remind you of the most obvious- study, do your homework, no parties- so by default, they must be crazy. Your teacher teaches high school Biology and hates his life, so something obviously went terribly wrong. Your counselor seems to know what she's talking about, but she works with a thousand other students. So how are you sure she's giving you genuine advice?
But alas, we have our great friends. They are our saviors; giving us the most solid guidelines constructed from years of passed down legends. It is they, who help us find the chillest schedule. It is they, who improvise studying 5 minutes before our final. It is they, who calculate the best time to take an SAT. And it is they, who know more of the admissions process than the devil incarnate- College Board. We love them, trust them, and understand them. These kids actually know how we feel.
If only that were true. Sorry guys.
Heartbreaker #1: You're Not Going to Graduate College as Early as You Think.
I know. I know. The deception. Some of you may already know this because you either have siblings in college or just know your stuff. But the rest of us, myself included, were under the delusion that taking 7 AP classes was somehow going to let us graduate early- saving a crapload of money.Let's straighten this out. We take Advance Placement courses for two reasons: One, we want to impress colleges; and two, they fulfill college credits. What exactly are college credits? These are units that help distinguish your college standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.) and provide certain perks the more they accumulate (early registration).
With these credits, you can accomplish certain G.E. requirements, not having to take irrelevant courses. It's with this freedom, we can begin to take classes that matter- courses that contribute to our majors and are actually interesting.
Heartbreaker #2: Curves. Curves. Curves.
Has anyone ever told you, taking an AP course is on a curve, so an B is actually a A? Do yourself a favor; forget what he said and slap him back to Earth. B is actually an A? In what world does that make sense? If you truly want to succeed in high school and go to a great university, then there are no curves.
Your main priority is to fulfill everything with passion and diligence. You are striving for that A regardless of your teacher, competition, and GPA. So focus on what's important to you and never lower your standards. Because in reality, high school myths originate from those who need ways to make themselves feel better.
Heartbreaker #3: Extracurriculars and The Well Rounded Student.
I love this topic because it's precisely why I didn't do well in school, and fell short of my dreams. I wish I could travel back in time to stop taking on so many challenges that now seem irrelevant. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the experience and the skills I acquired, but I feel I could have done so much more.
I am what we call, a jack of all trades but a master of none. It means I took an incredible amount of time to be good at lots of things, but never took the passion to be great at any of them. Colleges want passion; they enjoy seeing students who are interesting and love what they do. This defines your character, your standards, and how dedicated you are to establish a reputation for yourself.
Heartbreaker #4: On Being Interesting.
Speaking of reputations, another thing high school students miss out on is finding their true niche. It is extremely easy to fall into the cracks of casual mediocracy and appear the same as everyone else, skill-wise. We have all done it before. We see our friends taking the same classes and doing the same sports and playing the same song on the guitar. So what do we do? We copy them, and by definition we become followers- not leaders.
If I had a second chance, I would take the time to understand what excites me. Today, that's medicine, but it took long enough to realize it. Being interesting encompasses a great volume of meaning, but we see it everyday: that student who inspires to be a pilot, the girl who researches viruses at a local university, and the thrill seeker who faces death every weekend. And we can't deny it, we love these people.
Heartbreaker #5: Life is What You Make it to Be.
I now realize life is short. But some people don't expect too much from themselves. I'm not attacking anyones way of life- so hakuna matata. It's just I like to see life as a way of proving to others what you're capable of. Call me old fashioned and honor-oriented, but my life is dedicated to working vigorously hard so I can someday have an impact on millions of other lives.
I wish I knew this much earlier. High school would have been so much more meaningful and fun because it's easier to study knowing that everything I learn contributes to my knowledge. And it's this knowledge is what will inevitably help me reach my dreams.