Some of you might claim that high school was the best four years of your life (so far), but if you are anything like me, your high school experience was less than glamorous. Everyone told me to stop being so sour and that someday I’ll miss it, but why would I? I don’t know about you, but I didn’t love being stuck in a box with the same people every day for 13 years. It's time to move on to something different. Now don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of amazing experiences in high school that I am grateful for, but there are plenty of others that I’m ready to part ways with. Instead of reliving my high school days, I’m spending the summer closing that chapter and preparing for a brand new blank page. Here’s how you can, too.
1. Clean out your friend list.
This applies to social media and real life. You know those people you were only friends with because you had classes together but you never spent time together outside of school? Yeah, it’s probably time to let them go. Go on your social media pages and delete anybody who posts anything negative, any drama or anything that doesn’t positively impact your mood. Unfriend anybody who makes you jealous, too. Why spend so much time looking at social media posts that just make you upset? If you clean out your friend list and decide which people are truly important, I promise you will feel much better.
2. Say “so-long” to the mean girls.
Whatever you do, do not give the mean girls a chance to target you anymore. Now that you aren’t stuck in the same building as them every day anymore, you have the chance to get rid of their toxic behavior forever. Block them on all of your social media accounts and block their numbers from your phone so that you’re no longer concerned with what they might say about you behind your back. If they can’t see your profiles or contact you, then they can’t get to you anymore, and that's a good thing. Furthermore, don’t talk to them or about them. Don’t listen to anyone talk about them, either. If you get rid of their social media presence and stop all communication between you and them, then soon you will stop thinking about them, too. Before you know it, you won’t even remember that they exist.
3. Connect with some of your new peers via social media.
While social media has its cons, we can’t forget that it has pros as well, and one of those is connecting with people. Since you’ve been going to school with basically the same group of people for your entire life, you might need to brush up on you friend-making skills. A great way to get started on making new friends before freshman year starts is finding some of your future peers on social media. Many colleges have class Facebook pages solely for that purpose. Make sure you find that page and introduce yourself on it so you can start getting acquainted with other incoming students. This will make move-in day much more comfortable since you will recognize the faces around you instead of feeling like you’re lost in a sea of strangers. If you’re lucky, you might even find your future roommate through social media.
4. Do something by yourself.
Sorry, you’re going to have to figure out how to walk across the dining hall to grab an extra napkin all on your own. If you’re not independent by nature, then now is the time to work on that. In college, you won’t be traveling in packs all the time like you might have in high school. It is extremely unlikely that one of your friends will have the same exact schedule as you, so sometimes you might be eating lunch alone or walking to class by yourself, and that is perfectly OK. It is important to remember that everyone else is in the same exact situation. If you want some practice before you head off to school, go see a movie or grab some lunch on your own to get used to it. Trust me, it will make you feel less nervous when school starts.
5. Spend more time with your family.
Believe it or not, you are going to miss them way more than you think you will after you move out. It can be really hard for parents to watch their children move out and go off to school, so make sure that you spend extra time with them before the fall comes. Instead of hiding in your room every evening, try doing something with your family, such as watching a movie together. Also, don’t eat in silence at the table. Try to start conversations over dinner to make it more enjoyable for everyone. Your parents actually enjoy having you tell them about your life willingly. Give them hugs more often and make it a point to spend more quality time with your siblings, too. They might not say that they don’t want you to move out, but deep down they don’t want to see you go.
6. Keep in touch with true, genuine friends from high school.
Even if you did not have a stellar high school experience, not everyone in high school was a two-faced gossiper. Before you leave your hometown this fall, make sure you reach out to those friends who truly stuck by you no matter what happened. Thank the people who helped you survive AP calculus, helped you pull through senioritis and helped you stay positive when you just wanted to complain about everything. Tell them how much you appreciate them and work hard at maintaining those friendships despite being far apart. Genuine friendships are hard to come by these days, so don’t let them slip away just because you won’t be at the same school anymore.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others.
So what if so-and-so won more awards than you did at Honors Night? Does it actually matter? No. That does not make them a better person than you. Comparing yourself to others is incredibly unhealthy because it just makes you tear yourself down. What you see regarding other people's lives is generally only what they want you to see. They try to make their lives seem perfect when in reality they are far from it. It is dire to realize how unrealistic the “perfect” lives that you see on social media are and comparing yourself to those will only make you feel frustrated. Keep your focus on yourself, on what you have achieved, how you are progressing towards your goals and what areas you can improve on as a person.
8. Stop grieving over your test scores and class rank.
Numbers are just numbers; if you did your best, then that's all you can ask for. Maybe you didn't get the high test score that you wanted or graduate in the top ten at your high school, but you probably won't even remember those scores or ranks ten years from now. After you graduate from college, no employer is going to deny you a job simply because you didn't get a high SAT score. Furthermore, numerous studies have found that standardized tests do not accurately measure intelligence anyway.
High school might not have been the best four years of your life, but that is over now. You can't hold onto those negative feelings forever because they will only hold you back. In just about a month, you will have a clean slate and the chance to totally reinvent yourself if you wish, so don't let the past drag down all of the positive things coming your way in the future.
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