10 non-academic things learned through high school


Cassidy Brackett, Staff Writer

Going into high school, I was expecting it to be all about academics, but I was surprised by how many non-academic things I have learned. I have learned the amendments to the constitution and grammar rules, but I have also learned life lessons that will apply to my life forever.

Time flies.

The end of my freshman year was the first time that I realized how fast time was flying by, and it becomes more real to me every day. As cheesy as it sounds, you really have to get the most out of every day. Graduation is approaching faster than you think, and you’ll be out of here for good.

Don’t wait until the last minute to get things done.

For the majority of freshman year, I didn’t have to worry about staying on top of things because, fortunately, I wasn’t drowning in homework. However, this year has been a totally different story, and I’ve found myself procrastinating. I had to find a method to stay on top of all of the assignments that helped me avoid so much unnecessary stress.

Have at least one friend who calls you up for no reason.

Last semester I had a friend who called me nearly every day to catch up and ask me how my day was. This semester, we have both gotten busy with our own activities and don’t have as much time to talk over the phone as we used to, and I miss that a lot. If you don’t already have someone who calls you every day to check in, then try to be that friend to someone else.  

Your happiness always comes first.  

Last semester I let a friend talk me into taking a class that I knew I would not enjoy. As the semester progressed, my hatred for the class grew and I absolutely dreaded going. Although I hated that class with my entire heart, it helped me see that I had really been putting other people before myself to the point where I was willing to be miserable for a whole semester if it meant that someone else was happy. You do not have to risk your happiness for others, it is important to know that you sometimes have to put yourself first.

Find something you enjoy and stick to it.

Over the past few years, I have been working on finding an activity that can take up my free time. Getting involved in high school is something that I wanted to do, but I doubted that I would ever actually go through with it. By getting involved, I learned a lot about myself — likes and dislikes, who I wanted to hang out with and who I didn’t, and how good I was at managing my time and priorities.

High school is nothing like “High School Musical.”

When I was younger, I watched “High School Musical” more times than I care to admit. Going into high school, I knew that I couldn’t expect it to be just like the movie, but I had high hopes. Since freshman year, I have been hit in the face with reality, and realized that I’m not Gabriella Montez, this isn’t East High and Troy Bolton isn’t roaming the halls. On the bright side, I’ve had the opportunity to star in my own version of the movie, and my co-stars outshine everything I hoped for in my childhood daydreams.   

Forgive the people who hurt your feelings.

Forgiving people has always been something that I have struggled with. In high school, I have learned that people will hurt your feelings whether it be intentional or not, but if you hold a grudge against everyone who has ever hurt you then, eventually, you are not going to have anyone. Over the past year, I have been working on forgiving people and letting go of grudges, and there has been a positive effect in me as a person. Holding grudges is just wasting energy.

The right teacher makes all the difference.

Sometimes, you do all of your work in class, you study for hours after school and you do everything in you power to pass a class, but nothing seems to be working. I have learned that having a teacher who is willing to help you pass and a teacher who is not at all interested in your success can be the difference between having an A or a B in the class. Do your best and work hard, but know that, sometimes, there’s nothing else you can do. Don’t hold it against yourself — the world isn’t going to end because you have a low grade.  

Not everyone will want to be your friend.

It used to stress me out when someone didn’t like me. I would stress myself out trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Eventually, I realized that it is not always my fault, and it is usually nothing personal when someone does not have an interest in being my friend. Don’t stay focused on the few people that aren’t for you, instead look at all the people who are.

You are going to make it.

When I was younger, I could get a paper cut and be convinced that my entire hand was going to fall off, but I can remember my mom telling me that I was going to make it. I have found those words to still be true. I often find myself getting stressed over minor inconveniences, but I always hear a voice in the back of my mind telling me that if I could survive a paper cut 10 years ago, then I am going to make it through exam season.

High school means more than getting good grades on your math test. You are going to go through a lot, but I promise you are going to make it.