1. Not everyone has to go to college – Especially if you’re drawn to working in a creative field you may not even need to go to college. At the most getting certifications or simply going out and creating something amazing and making a name for yourself may be enough. So much of the creative field is luck and who you know. Sometimes going to college for art or film can get you in front of people who will propel your career, but unless you’re going to some of the top art or film schools in the country then your chances of meeting key players is slim. There’s nothing worse than being a starving artist who has to pay student loans. My advice is go out there and be a starving artist. Try your best and hopefully you’ll get lucky. If you don’t then you at least tried.
2. You don’t have to go to college right away – Schools pressure students far too much for my liking into going to college out of high school. I was so scared that I’d take time off and then never want to go to school, so I basically forced myself to start college even though I wasn’t ready. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s to never make a decision out of fear. If you want to take a year off and explore the world, while you’re young is the perfect time to do it. You might even grow up a little more before you make a commitment to attend university. I know that I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life until I already finished college. Sometimes people just need more time to figure out who they are and where their passions lie. Perhaps you may even find yourself at the first point on my list and find that college isn’t for you at all. Whatever it may be, never let yourself feel pressured into doing something, especially something as important as choosing your life’s career.
3. Your grades ARE more important than dates and parties – When I was in high school who I was dating was more important to me than school, sad to say. I spent more time and energy into talking to them and spending time with them than I did on my homework. If I could go back I wouldn’t even date in High School or college. If you’re someone like me who finds it difficult to focus then put all of your focus into your future and spend less time worrying about relationships. At best, keep your relationships casual, which leads me to my next point on the list.
4. You probably won’t end up with your high school sweetheart and that’s okay – As I mentioned above I dumped all of my energy into my relationships throughout high school and college thinking that they were forever. However, as you grow older and mature a bit more chances are you and your SO from high school or college will outgrow each other. It’s only natural. So, if you feel that happening, don’t worry it’s not the end of the world. It will feel like you’ll never find true love again, but believe me you will and you’ll probably have a better understanding of what love truly is, too.
5. Apply to as many colleges as you can – Laziness and money kept me from applying to more than one college and I’ve always kind of regretted it. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you’re going to apply to colleges apply to as many as you want to. You might just get into Harvard, I mean, maybe, you never know…
6. Study for your SATs – I couldn’t be bothered to study for my SATs when they came around. I ended up getting a decent score, but I probably could’ve done a lot better had I studied or put effort into bettering myself in my weaker subjects like Math.
7. Take your SATs as many times as you need to for a higher score – I ended up taking the SATs twice and got a higher score the second time around, so if you think you can do better go for it! If you do then you can send the higher score to colleges and have a better chance. There’s always room for improvement and it might just make a difference.
8. Don’t force friendships beyond high school – I didn’t realize until after high school was over that most of the friends you had from kindergarten to 12th grade you were only friends with because you had to spend 8 hours a day with them 5 days per week. Your world really opens up beyond high school and you can start to really pick your friends more. In high school your friends are somewhat picked for you. When you leave, your friends could be from anywhere in the world. If, however, you do stay good friends with some people from high school you probably get together with them every time you’re in the same state or perhaps even more often. If you’re like me, you know who your friends are and you make time to see them, other than that I don’t really have much interest in anyone else I went to school with.
9. Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time – It took me way to long to learn how to feel confident in who I am. I spent all of high school and even later feeling inferior, judged, and not as good as other people. If you compare yourselves to others you’re always going to be judging yourself based on a warped perception of another person. Because of this I was always trying to find a way to fit in and always ending up feeling out of place. I know that being confident and finding your voice when you’re in high school is a difficult thing, but take it from me, trying to impress people and fit in is a waste of time. Find what you love and what makes you you and be confident about it. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time this way when I was younger. The power is in you. Trust and believe.
10. Lastly, know that you’re young enough to try something new and screw up – The best piece of advice I ever got from anyone was that before you’re 30 the world is your oyster. While you’re young go out there, try new things, screw up, because that’s the time to do it. The world is so much more forgiving when you’re in your 20s verses your 30s. Go out there and explore, throw spaghetti at the wall and see if it sticks because you may just succeed! If you’re focused and always try hard then your 30s are going to be so much more fun than your 20s because you’ll be secure and successful. So go out there and try new things and always put your all into everything you do! I may sound like a motivational poster, but I swear to you it’s true and this is everything I wish I learned when I was in high school.
What do you wish you learned when you were high school?