High school can be brutal, especially if you’re an introvert. It’s a time where there’s still so much to learn —both about the world and about yourself. You find that you have more questions than answers. And it’s a lot to take on. Psych2Go shares with you 6 tips on how to survive high school:
1. Join clubs, not because they’ll look good on your resume, but because you have an actual interest in them.
High school is already stressful enough having to be in class for 6 hours a day and getting your homework done on time every night. It all feels like an obligation you didn’t sign up for, but one that you’re bound to in the meantime. Don’t let the clubs you decide to join be an extra stress inducer just because it’ll make your parents proud or it’ll look good your resume.
While those reasons will help you feel productive, they might not necessarily equate to personal self-fulfillment. Instead, join clubs, because you have an actual interest in them. This will help you make friends as you’ll share similar interests and have something to bond over as time goes on.
When I was in high school, I unexpectedly took a liking in theatre when I took it in my freshman year. While I didn’t necessarily like the aspect of getting up on stage and performing, I liked the no-judgment zone my teacher created. I liked that everyone could be weird and we all got a kick out of laughing together, rather than at each other. It was a safe environment to take risks. I had friends who joined our school’s theater club, and while I didn’t necessarily take an active part in it, I liked showing up and watching them perform. It still made me feel like I was a part of something just by being supportive.
2. Don’t feel like you ever have to change due to peer pressure just to fit in.
I get it. It probably gets old feeling misunderstood when you have so much swimming inside your head with your tendencies to internalize everything. And it’s probably just as hard to express all of it when you just want to establish a sense of belonging. But, caving into peer pressure and doing something you might regret later on down the road isn’t worth the instant gratification if you’re only going to fit in for a short amount of time.
On the surface, it might seem hip and glamorous, but at the end of the day, you’ll head off into your room alone. And in solitary moments like that, it’s hard to lie to yourself. The mask comes off. Then, what? Your mind will only write monologues that come from a place of anguish.
3. Have fun every once in a while.
Whether it’s winding down with a good book on a Friday night or going to get ice cream with your friends, make time to celebrate the little things in life. It’s so easy to forget that when you’re constantly just trying to get by in meeting deadlines and passing tests. But, you’re only this young once. Allow yourself to enjoy your youth.
4. Become friends with your favorite teacher(s).
Your teachers were once where you’re at right now. Even if you have questions that are unrelated to the content that they teach, if you’re comfortable around them and feel like you can be yourself without being judged, ask away. Your teacher might not necessarily have all the answers to everything, but they can help you find resources or know someone else who can guide you about a certain situation, whether it’s school-related or not.
5. Let your parents know when you need some alone time.
Constantly being surrounded by your teachers and peers five days a week is a lot. So, let your parents know when you need to spend some time alone to recharge. That way, they’re aware of when to give you space. Remember, your parents aren’t mind readers, but they’re there to give you support even during the toughest of times. Always communicate so as not to create misunderstandings.
6. Don’t let your inner critic stop you from trying new things.
I spent most of my time numbing myself through work as I became addicted to performing well academically. I thought that so much depended on that that I didn’t really stop to take any actual risks. I didn’t try much of anything, mostly because I felt like there was no room to mess up.
In the end, everything caught up and consumed me. It got so bad that I actually went through the extreme one night of throwing away all the awards I received and even the projects I worked so hard on. Mostly because it felt so completely empty. And I couldn’t shake off that feeling.
Word of advice: please don’t do what I did. I was incredibly hard on myself. Be kind to yourself. I’m not going to sugarcoat things and jump on the bandwagon that advertises high school as being the best four years of your life. Because they aren’t. So much more happens afterwards. Allow room to make mistakes and be willing to grow and learn from them. It takes a lot of guts to be the person you’re meant to become.
How is high school treating you? What are some tips and tricks that help you get by? Leave a comment down below!