We all do things we regret in every phase of our lives, but what if someone shared with you the most recognizable mistakes she had done during her five years of high school, which has quite a high potential of haunting you back in college? We all have our own priorities, interests, social skills, talents and abilities but when it comes to mistakes or regrets, there is only so much that can differ. Here are six of the personal regrets that I had but I hope you'll be able to avoid.
1. An unreasonable desire to be liked by everyone.
As one of the privileged students, I proceeded to my middle school’s high school. However, that alleged privilege turned out to be not so beneficial. Sure, I already knew half of my class even before the high school chapter of my life began, but sometimes you are just in desperate need of meeting some new faces— and I sure met some new ones. Following my urge to be liked by everyone, which I now regard as nonsense, I made friends with all sorts of people. I had best friends who were enemies with one another, yet I made sure to never be bothered by that fact... as long as it didn’t interfere with my goal of having a lot of friends. As days passed, I really internalized the idea of being liked by everyone that I even began building close relationships with teachers and staff at school.
It sure sounds plausible that I wanted to be kind to everyone so that everyone liked me, but once I lost the thread of it, I realized that I put myself in a situation I didn’t like. There were people I called friends whom I’d rather never see, but I still cared too much about earning their love and trust. In my senior year, I literally detoxified myself from the fake high school friendships I was exposed to for so long and here is what I’ve learned: having a only few people around you is way more precious than having a bunch of people who smile at your face only to talk behind your back.
2. Putting guys ahead of close friends.
This one is a little difficult for me to confront, partially because it took me a long time to face the reality that I wasn’t only putting myself in a tight position but also my friends by mistaking my peers for lovers. In a friend group of mixed genders, you eventually get close. But what I did, and other friends of mine avoided, was to have relationships with not one, but two of ‘our groups’ boys’. This truly sounds brutal and thoughtless... and that is exactly how I felt after the two consecutive incidents. What is worse is that both boys were admired by girls within the same exact friend group and I knew it, too. This made me feel like a traitor without any feelings, but in reality, I was just a bored girl with confused feelings. I came to realize how important my friendships were to me only after I messed up, twice! It is just too easy to fall for a person's attractiveness, you can be captured with the slightest of gestures, and we all have different criterion in our pursuit of identifying possible candidates.
Nonetheless, if it means hurting a friend along the way, just ignore him/her. Trust me on this, if you do so, you’ll thank me later. Not only have I lost my close girl friends who admired the boys I fell for, but I lost those boys, too. They no longer remained close friends of mine. So, prioritize your friendships because what is the point of having a lovey-dovey relationship if you don’t have close friends to talk about it with? Who will, then, be there to listen, judge, support and uplift you if not your friends? Be aware of their position in your life and do your best to keep them there.
3. Being over stressed over meaningless things.
Yes, high-school is often too stressful. Yes, parents have crazy expectations. And yes, these things cause major stress. But, it is in your hands (yes, your hands), to control that stress. Sometimes, it even helps you get yourself together. I hate stress so it makes sure to never leave my back. However, I came to realize that stress is what makes me fulfill my potential. That stress is eventually worth the struggle because it pushes me out my comfort zone and makes me do things I would otherwise ignore. Try it and you’ll know what I mean. Next time you feel stressful, ask yourself: How can I make the most of it? You need to change your mindset of what stress actually means. Now, you may see it as a justification for excessive eating disorders, lack of sleep or even the cause of your new acne, but stress is more than that. As soon as I realized that being stressful about something indeed boosted my performance, I made friends with stress! Why don’t you do the same? Not going to lie, though, it wasn’t easy. At first, stressing too much about nonsense things just depressed me. Everything I had to complete stressed me out, every single misunderstanding in my relationships stressed me out, every fight I got in with my family stressed me out… school, home, friends, boys, assessments, presentations, workouts, this, and that… literally everything stressed me out, until, of course, I figured how to not let them.
In my senior year, I promised myself not to stress too much in spite of all the applications and inevitable deadlines. Things got a lot easier and once I got calmer, the stress factor turned into a form of encouragement Sure, I would stress every now and then before meeting all those deadlines but I wouldn’t, by any means, allow that stress to control me.
4. Not allowing for some quality ‘Me’ time.
It took me a long time to realize that I am important. High school consumed me at times; I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore and I’m sure you’ve been there. My point here is that no matter how tough things get, it is important to take some time for yourself. I mean, it may be your final-exam week and you may be drowning in work, regarding even sleep as a waste of time and think you have no right to do anything other than studying, but just make some room for yourself in between all that fuss. The ‘me’ time can be done in the form of meditating, Netflixing, daydreaming, running, reading, simply whatever it is that calms you down. For me, it was television. I would reward myself with an episode per hour of study. It may sound quite exaggerated to allow for so many hours of watching series, but I couldn’t have succeeded without those episodes. Having something you like in your mind as a reward truly helps. A friend of mine would award herself with a chocolate bar after completing each assessment and the duration of eating that bar was her way of allowing for some time for herself. It truly did motivate her to do her best, just like series did for me.
Sometimes we forget to leave some time for ourselves, thinking that studying non-stop will get us to where we want to be. I would do that, study, study and study, but there was always this one thing that was missing: some me time. Find the small things that help you chill out and stick to it, add it to your study routine because it is much more logical to study for 4 hours effectively and leave 1 hour to yourself than to study for 5 hours ineffectively.
5. Caring way too much about the opinions of others.
This is by far the most common misconception among high- schoolers because the never-ending expectations of other high-schoolers literally deprive individuals of self-confidence. I used to let those other people define me, judge me and manipulate my own perception of myself. Now, I couldn’t care less about the opinion's of others, and it has changed me drastically. Whatever I wore, said, thought, did... I was always being watched by others; by people who simply looked for my flaws at all times. Only when I decided not to be bothered by them have I grown into the independent individual I am today. People who are always on the watch for gossip are simply just reflecting jealousy by spreading bad rumors. Otherwise, why would they care so much about the appearance or behaviors of others? Don’t bother to allow it to manipulate your own understanding of yourself because the only person who knows what is best for yourself is you.
Have your own opinion of yourself- whether it be in your looks or your thoughts and act accordingly. Long story short, avoid being the clown of walking jealousies who are nothing but a bunch of worse-than-clown individuals. Acknowledge that those who judge are not any better than you are!
6. Trying to be the 'best' in everything.
I have come to realize that I cannot be perfect at everything I do by literally trying to be perfect in everything I did. Now, I know that trying your best is more important than actually being the best. I played tennis and lost some games, I lost the student body elections with just one vote and I messed up a presentation due to technical issues. The common thing in all those was that I wanted to be perfect. In tennis, at school, in life... just flawless. But my failures have taught me that the most important thing is to fulfill my potential, try my best, get out of my comfort zone and those efforts will eventually pay off. Moreover, rather than attempting to succeed in every single field out there, focus on finding your real passion and that way, you will be subtly motivated to perform your best. Not only will your encouragement be boosted, but so will your chances of succeeding in a more limited field. Trust me, trying to be the best version of yourself is way better than trying to be better than everyone else!
With all that being said, it is important for me to remind you that these considerable pieces of advice are honestly easier said then done. You could try to avoid one and find yourself as a victim of another. But it is okay to do so. The point here is not to completely avoid all six of these things, these are just my biggest mistakes that I thought could be helpful in case you find yourselves in similar situations at some point in your lives. Just remember, doing these mistakes made me realize how wrong and stupid they were. But don't be afraid to make mistakes of your own, as long as you don't repeat them but rather learn from them instead. Trying to stay away from all these regretful behaviors of mine could really come in handy though, I say give them a shot and lets just hope you won't regret taking in the advice.