1. Hectic Schedule
While some people thrive in the time of peace and serenity they get during a busy day, that's not me. I always want to be doing something or have something planned, because nothing is more boring, to me, than sitting in my room doing nothing. I want to be active, because the more things I have going on, the less I procrastinate and the more I enjoy late night reading after a day of hard work.
2. Maintaining a small group of friends.
Friend groups vary from person to person based on how social they are and what they are looking for in a friend. Instead of having a large group of friends, I prefer a small, tight group of homies. I like to be really close to the people I surround myself with rather than acquaintances who need to catch up every time they hang out. I want to really know the person who I call my friend, because for me, quality is definitely more important than quantity.
3. Letting myself sleep.
I understand why an assignment might seem important enough to lose sleep over; however, in my senior year of high school, I decided that all-nighters were a load of crap. I learn a negative amount of information after getting four or less hours of sleep, so why would I jeopardize all of the other classes I had that day for one assignment? I definitely did sleep less than three hours a couple of times this year, but then I slept through school and my next night of work, so after experiences like that, I learned that if I did the work early when I had more free time I could survive my schedule while also getting five or more hours of sleep.
4. Laughing at myself.
The ability to not take yourself too seriously is something I was able to master this past year. When I failed an assignment or forgot to turn in stuff or said something totally incoherent after a long night, I was able to make fun of myself. Being able to accept perceived shortcomings and move on is so important. We're legally adults, but we're still young and we are going to mess up some more, so why take yourself so seriously that you can't laugh off the mistakes?
5. Using every opportunity I had at school.
As I left high school, my counselor told me that I really took advantage of my educational experience during my four years of high school. I took two languages, I tried marching band, I wrote for the yearbook, I was the editor in chief of my high school newspaper, I was a member of countless clubs and I made sure that I tried out things that I would not have done before, because I wanted to use the opportunities I had. Heck, I took so many courses that I hit a cap in the number of credits I could take per semester, so I took an early bird gym course just so I could get a study hall that aligned with my editor classes, so I could take the editor class without credit. But that is how it is supposed to be, and I hope I can do the same when I go to college at the University of Pittsburgh.
6. Being close with my family.
I know that a lot of kids my age are not close with their parents or siblings, and I understand that there are a variety of reasons why that may be and I am in no way judging the relationships you have. But I am really close to my family. However, it is pretty easy to be tight with my parents and three siblings when they are all amazing, unique and brilliant in their own way. I am so glad that I am close with them because they have been there for me my whole life and I am glad that I let them be a part of it because they all give such great advice and are so willing to help me.
7. Being my own person.
I am glad that I wasn't afraid to be myself, because the friends I have now are the ones who understand that even if I am sarcastic to them, it doesn't mean I don't love them. It's just the way I am. Being authentically you allows you to make friends who love you for you not who you pretend to be, and that is so important.
8. Having thick skin.
I am so grateful to have been able to take all my failures and learn from them. I would like to believe that I never let one failure weigh me down enough to hold me back, and I have my thick skin to thank for that. I did not always do as well as I wanted in high school, but being able to take criticism and failure is the only way to learn, and I am so grateful that I did because all those mistakes allowed me to learn something new. The moment you take a failure personally rather than objectively is the moment you hold yourself back from learning.
Although there is a lot I did wrong in high school that I want to improve upon in the next four-year chapter of my life, I cannot see my high school experience as one giant mess, because there are some things I did that I am really proud of. I will undoubtedly try to set the bar even higher for myself, but you can't just look at failure when reflecting, as it is just as important to understand what you did wrong as it is to know and emulate what you did right.
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