What I Wish I Knew in High School

HELLO VICTORIA. Victoria is a young lady in high school that my coworker Amy tutors. Victoria’s been reading the blog and studying hard with Amy, so I hope this article lifts your spirits!

Speaking of high school, I have recently gone back to high school . . . as a coach! One of my good highschool mates now teaches at our old school and as I’ve been unemployed, I’ve started helping him with coaching the high school rugby team. I’m around kids a lot now and they’re great. I was low key afraid of that they were going to be rude, but it turns out they’re really good kids. I told my mother about this fear and she said “Well, were you a bad kid when you were a high school athlete?” “No” I replied “Then why would they be rude to you.” Good point mother. I’m quite the potty mouth (sorry Victoria) and sometimes when I’m excited I will go off, the kids even reprimand me for it. I think a lot of this has to do with my friend/their head coach being a good mentor for these kids. But being in this setting again, has reminded me of myself when I was a high school kid and I wanted to get into the things that I wish I knew back in the day.

Disclaimer – I know that for a lot of kids, high school can be a very sensitive time and I’m not writing for every person out there. However, these ideas are reflective of my experiences. I personally loved high school and my brother often likes to remind me that I peaked at that time . . . I actually peaked in university. Also I believe that my beliefs in this article are good for people of all ages, not just high school kids but I sure wish I knew these things when I was 14 years old with a face full of acne.

I think something that’s important to remember about being a teenager in particular is that it’s the first time in your life that you will be sentient. As a teenager, you have a better idea of what you like/dislike in life; music, movies, attraction in people. It’s the first time in your life where you can start seeing the bigger picture without actually seeing the bigger picture. And because you’re starting to see things differently, you’ll find that you’re also trying and doing many things for the first time. Whether it be new social interactions, new hobbies, or new studies – there are a lot of firsts. It seems scary but within reason I think that it’s important that when you’re young to create a habit of trying new things and going beyond your comfort level.

Personally, I wasn’t much of an athlete before high school. But after reading a football manga – I gave football a chance in the 9th grade. Playing football in the 9th grade then gave me the confidence to do something else new for the first time – play rugby. And I played rugby into university. Playing rugby at the university level meant that I was given more first experiences with responsibilities, social interactions, and putting myself in a position to grow. If you put yourself in the position to try new things, you’re putting yourself in opportunities to flourish and experience great loves, just like how I did with sports. Of course, everything within reason. Don’t be doing drugs or hanging out around the wrong crowd. When trying something new, just think: will this new experience benefit you? Why is this first time so scary? What’s preventing you from trying it? What’s the best thing that can happen and the worst? What is there really to lose.

Speaking of what’s there to lose, when you’re young there really isn’t as much to lose. School will and always be your number one priority. For most of you, money is not your responsibility, you’re most likely not taking care of family members, and you’re also not in the position to cause trouble as you spend all your time under a roof with your family or at school with other kids in the same position as you. So with all that being said, I suggest taking chances. Make a few extra dollars on Christmas? Maybe try putting that money into stocks. You’re going to make more money eventually. Someone asks you to hangout, go out and make a new friend. It’s only going to cost you time and at your age, you have loads of that (you still shouldn’t waste time). There’s a really cool concert but you have to study for a test? If your folks allow it, go to the concert. Who knows when that act will be in town again. You can always make up for your grades. Always take risks when you’re young – it’s important for your growth and enjoyment of being young.

Be yourself. So freaking generic Baron, you make me want to throw up. It’s true though, you have to be yourself in order to be happy in life. It’s a must! I have a few friends from high school that I’m still friends with. I’m talking about people that I’ve known for half my life and soon, the majority of my life. That’s because I’ve always been myself, not just that but they’ve always been themselves as well. When you’re real like that, you don’t attract everyone but you attract everyone who matters. Those are the people that are meant to stick through life with you. Not just people but if you’re true to yourself, you can live the life that suits you the best, with a job that (hopefully) suits you best, with hobbies that suit you the best, and with big life decisions that suit you the best. Honesty is the best policy!

Lastly, I wish I knew how good it was. My football coach once said that once it’s all done and settled, you’ll have nothing left but the memories. You’ll never see some of these people again, you’ll never play high school sports again, or play in a high school band again – it’s just over. And that’s the beauty of this time of your life. It’s finite but wherever you look, there’s opportunity to prosper. Teachers will provide you with opportunities in school. Friends will provide you opportunities to never be alone, and time will give you the opportunity to make mistakes. With all that – just take advantage of this and make as many memories as you can. When you get old, like me . . . you’re going to wish you took more pictures, you’re going to wish you spoke to that girl/boy/person (like who you like), you’re going to wish that you said thank you to your teachers. You’re going to do everything I mentioned in this article and you’re still going to wish that you did more.

If you count them, it’s only four years (five for me lol) but make those years count.

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