Advice from a Recent High School Grad

By Bailey Daniels

High school is a time when students have an array of new opportunities. Looking back, here is some advice about maximizing your four years that I wish someone had given to me:

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. I regret not getting involved in theater sooner, just because my friends weren’t interested in it. I was nervous to branch out and try something new on my own. When I finally did, I made so many new friends from all different social groups, had a blast and discovered something I was very passionate about. I almost missed out on all of that because I was too afraid.

Do it anyway. You’ll find new friends, interests and opportunities.

Get excited about your school. Go to the games and go all out for the theme with your friends (yes, even if this means wearing neon head to toe). Cheer really loudly. Go to the musicals, choir concerts, band contests, art shows, academic team contests and tennis matches. Support your friends and classmates.

Be proud of the school you attend and be the kind of student who adds to the experience for everyone around you. When you graduate, you’ll be an alum who always has a place to call home because you built a community at your high school.

Lastly, in the words of one of my favorite teachers, Larry Mattingly, “try to be grateful for where you’re at, what you’re doing, and those you’re doing it with.” High school is only four years, and those four years go by pretty quickly. Be thankful and grateful for your education.

Be appreciative of your teachers and the lessons they’re teaching you – not only the book lessons, but the life lessons they sneak into their curriculum as well.

Take in all that you do in high school because it might be the last time you have the opportunity to participate in certain kinds of clubs or sports.

Most importantly, be thankful for and kind to those people you are sharing your high school experience with. Some of those people will stay close with you through the rest of your life, and some you may not get to see again. Cherish the memories and the relationships you build.

Four years may seem like a long time, but don’t wait until the second semester of your senior year to start participating and being appreciative of your high school experience. Remember to be in the moment and jump into all of the opportunities you’re given.

Bailey Daniels is the Development Intern at Youth Resources.