High School "Survival Guide"

To many elementary school kids, the thought of high school scares them more than anything in the world; and rightly so. High school is a scary place, as a 7th grader you will probably be the smallest and perhaps the dumbest. Throughout this post I am going to talk to you about the three main aspects of high-school: Being cool, making friends, and academics.

Being Cool:

There are many things that one can do to be cool. However, there are also many things one can do to not be cool. First impressions are key. If you walk in to high school shy and withdrawn, chances are that your entire high-school experience will be riddled by bullies and the lack of friends. Here are a few ways to make a good first impression:

1. Dress with style. Even if you have a uniform at your school there are still some ways to look cool. If you have to wear an Oxford shirt, roll up the sleeves and unbutton the first 3 buttons. If you are required to tuck in your shirt, DON’T! There is nothing nerdier than following the rules. If you are a girl and you are required to wear a skirt, don’t wear it down to your ankles. The skirt should start at your hips and start about 8-10 inches from the top of your knee.

2. Walk confidently. There is definitely a fine line between confident and snobby. Nobody likes a snob. Try to walk around as if you are familiar with the area, even if you aren’t.

3. Talk with some “ooomph”. Don’t be shy when talking to peers or teachers. They are people who are at the exact same level as you.

4. Don’t be early. Get to school on time. If you get there early you may look stupid.

5. Find old friends. There must be at least one person who you have previously met. Stick with them for a while so you don’t look like a loner.

6. Remember: everyone is scared. Even if they don’t look it, the way you feel is exactly the way they feel.

My second aspect has to do with making friends. For many, this may seem impossible. You probably haven’t had to make friends for the past 5 or 6 years. Even adults are scared to approach new people; it is natural to be nervous. To make friends you have to stand out. This is a very hard thing to do, almost impossible: you have to be unique without being different. Kids are very good at picking up people’s differences and they target differences very quickly, however when someone sees another person who sticks out of the crowd they will tend to gravitate towards them. If friend making isn’t your forte, here are a couple of tips to help you out:

1. Everybody wants friends. Approach people, chances are they don’t have many friends either. If there is a large crowd of people, get in there. It may seem difficult but it is necessary to socially survive in the high school environment.

2. Quality not quantity. Find a core friend, someone who will stick with you through thick and thin. Don’t go trying to find as many friends as possible because you may end up with nobody in the end.

3. Build on what you have. If you have one good friend, that is okay. Look for more friends but don’t look for too many or you may just seem needy. If you have 3 good friends, you are doing very well for yourself.

4. Make yourself known; in a good way. If you aren’t overly social, this may be a little difficult for you. People talking about you behind your back can be a good thing. If people know you, they will gravitate towards you.

Making friends, and being popular are fairly big parts of high school but the biggest, by far, is academics. If you can’t keep your grades up, your high school experience will be much less fun. Of course, the best way to do well in school is to be smart. If you are intelligent, high marks should be easily attainable. There are, however, a few ways to do well in school even if you aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

1. Stay organized. Organization is 50% of doing well. All schools give out an agenda, use it. If you don’t like how they look, you can easily customizable or you can just buy a different one.

2. Focus. During class, don’t let your mind drift. You are in class for about 7 hours a day. It shouldn’t be to hard to concentrate for this period of time. Lunch, recess and after school are times that you can fool around and do whatever you want to.

3. Study. Many of you think that you can take tests and do well. That may be so for elementary but not for high school. In high school, when you don’t study, you fail.

To conclude, I would just like to say that high school is awesome. I’m going into grade 9 and I’m always looking forward to the next school day, and trust me, I’m not into the whole academic thing. High school is the most fun when you learn to balance fun, friends, and work evenly. Without balance high school is stressful and overwhelming. The best tip I can give about high school is: dive in. Most kids say they will do something a certain way and they never do it.

If you’re going to high school or if you’ve ever been in a very stressful leave a comment or e-mail me at robertdalesio@gmail.com

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