How to Be Successful in High School (also Applies to Life After High School!)

– Use your planner – usually the school will provide you with a planner. If not, just go to Walmart or a dollar store. Buy one that views both the months and the days of the week. Write down your homework assignments and important dates. When a teacher announces an assignment, quickly jot down the assignment and the due date in your planner.

– Do not take naps after school everyday – I am very guilty of this pleasure since junior high school. Everyday after school, I would go home, eat some food while watching some TV, lay on the couch, and take a 2-hour nap. I would wake up feeling a big groggy, but soon I would feel awake and refreshed. The consequence of this was that I wasn’t able to fall asleep again until past midnight. This left me with only 5 hours of real sleep. I was extremely sleep deprived and I fell asleep in almost every single one of my classes. This year, I’ve stopped taking naps and I am awake in all of my classes (except for one because the lights are always turned off in this class, which turns off my reticular formation). The reason I am awake and alert more is because I am extremely tired by 11 o’clock. I sleep very, very well now. I just lay in my bed and I’m out until my alarm wakes me up, so I truly get a real long sleep and I feel alive when I wake up. Plus, I devote those 2 extra hours in my day towards homework, so that I can get to bed even earlier than when I had spent those hours wasting energy taking naps. Don’t take naps!

– Do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend in high school – Isn’t it boring going with the same boy or girl to Prom, Homecoming, Sadies, and Sweethearts? Bleh. Come on, it’s a lot more fun experimenting with different guys or girls on these dance dates. Well anyways, it’s true a boyfriend or girlfriend in high school may jeopardize your success rate in high school. Why? They are too distracting! Hours and hours are spent with each other. Several times you’ve been tardy because you couldn’t stop making out with your sexmate. Even more hours that should have been spent for homework were spent to do some sexting, Facebook instant messaging, or moaning to the cellphone. Gross. High school is a time to discover yourself. If you don’t even know what the heck you are or where you belong, then how the heck do you know what you want in a partner? Frontal lobe doesn’t fully develop until your early 20s, let’s not regret anything and just wait until college. We’ve got to finish our self discovery and begin to love and accept ourselves before we start truly loving someone else.

– Smile – The biggest tip of all because it makes the biggest difference. Instead of frowning and getting angry when your alarm clock rings, simply smile and embrace the opportunities of a new day. Smile when you go to check your grades. Smile before a game (or in my case: race). Smile at teachers and students and you’ll notice that they will treat you very differently. Smile. Smile. Smile. This leads to having more confidence and people asking you out on dates and dances. You’ll be a teacher’s pet. You’ll get away with anything and will have unlimited help towards your desired grade. All you’ve got to do is smile. When you smile, it opens a lot of doors for you. You’ll be different because you’ll speak up more, answer and ask more question, and have the confidence to go up to your crush. People will love you more and this will expand your social network so you’ll get far in life.

– Join sports, clubs, and volunteer.
– Also, get as many leadership positions as you can. – It’s really important to get involved in your school and your community. You develop social and leadership skills that you’ll need to be successful not only in high school, but also in college and in the future. There’s an extracurricular activity for everyone. There’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) that will help with public speaking, business skills, and problem-solving. People who love to run or throw things, but do not like the pressure of a team sport can join Track and Field and/or Cross Country. In individual sports it’s all about becoming a better athlete and a better person by pushing yourself to beat the time instead of beating a team or another athlete. Clubs and volunteering allows you to meet new people and experience different things. It’s a great way to expand your world and have different outlooks on life. It’s also good to start helping others at a young age because that good karma will have many benefits in the future. Plus, it just makes you feel good. That nice warm feeling in your heart is not because of high cholesterol, it’s love.

Other valuable tips that I am too lazy right now to give a 200 word description of:

– Never brag. Never criticize. And never get into arguments with others (unless you’re in debate or something).

– Be more laid back. Stop being such a perfectionist and stop taking things so seriously. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Have fun.

– Do not go to bed until assignments that are due tomorrow are done , so you can sleep and wake up peacefully. You won’t have to worry about having to study or work on an assignment quickly in the morning. Even if the assignment will take hours, it’s better to take advantage of your teenage mind being more alert at night to do your assignment ’til 2 in the morning instead of sleeping at 11 and having to wake up and still be tired at 4 in the morning to work on it.

– Do yoga, stretch, and do some breathing exercises before you go to bed everyday – This will do wonders on your skin, body, mind, and soul! Stop going to bed having built up so much stress and tension in your skin and body. Release it through stretching and breathing and you’ll wake up a whole new person!

– Always try your best to look good – Buy trendy clothes. Wear some makeup. Work out! Put on some moisturizer for goodness sake! People love being around people that look good. Just a little effort to look your best will really pay off. Looks really do matter especially in the high school environment where first impressions are everything. Who cares if you’re extremely kind or if you’re amazing at the guitar. Looks are everything and people will treat you differently just because of the way you look. I know… it’s harsh, but get over it – it’s high school.

– Work hard and don’t give up – clich, but you don’t realize how hard it is for people to actually do this. What lazy slobs and pansies.

– Don’t blame others or circumstances for your problems – Excuses will not get you anywhere. For example: Don’t you just feel like an idiot when you lie about why you were tardy? You blame your parents or the alarm clock for not waking you up. Does the teacher even look like he or she cares? Does the teacher wipe your tears and excuses you from the assignment you missed? Heck no. In reality, they don’t give a honkers. They’ve heard these lame excuses for years. Some interesting and some just plain unimaginative. Stop blaming others and circumstances for your mistakes. Instead just own up that it’s because of you and only you that you’re in this mess. It’s better to tell the truth and say that you forgot to set the alarm clock so you missed the bus and your parents couldn’t drive you to school. Simply apologize and say it won’t happen again, and ask how you’ll make up the assignment. Your teacher will know that you’re speaking the truth and probably will not punish you. Teachers love honest students who don’t try to save their own face by blaming others.

Take challenging courses like AP, IB, or honors courses. – These classes really do help prepare you for college coursework. Also, if you pass AP and IB exams, then you’re eligible to receive college credit, which can really save you loads of money on the long run. Also, these challenging courses tend to bring in students that are actually committed to learning and teachers that are more educated and care about their students, so you’ll feel far more motivated to learn.

-Keep on going. Life goes on, so should you. – Life may be hard now, but get it done and you’ll feel relieved and accomplished. It’s like that big exam that you have to study for and you want to shoot yourself and end it all right there and now, but just study and take the exam and life is a-ok. The big book project is just a little roadblock in your life, so make the most of the journey and then you can get back to your regular life of playing video games or whatever you enjoy doing.

-Remember to not overload your schedule. – Be realistic about how much time you have in your day to do your homework, hold a part-time job, do sports, or be president of the mathletes Time management is an essential skill, but it’ll be useless if you die from all the stress. Plus, it’s better to commit your time and efforts into the activities you’re most passionate about instead of trying to make your college application look better.

-Use that brain of yours to THINK, instead of spending hours (which could be better used to actually do the homework assignment) to find ways to cheat. – Indeed, I am quite guilty of spending time on the google search engine to look up answers for my assignment because I was lazy to actually use my brain power. It does take some energy out of you when your brain starts heating up from the thinking, but it’s so worth it when you get the assignment done and you actually learn something.

-Take care of your health. – To be successful in school, you’ve got to go your classes, so that means not getting sick. Exercise, eat your fruits and vegetables, wash your hands, and avoid that kid who is coughing.

-Don’t eat that marshmallow! – There was that Stanford marshmallow experiment on delayed gratification where little kids were told that if they didn’t eat the one marshmallow while the experimenter left the room for a few minutes, then the kid would receive another marshmallow to eat. Overall, the kids had to fight back their temptations to not eat the marshmallow and it’s really tough–some cave in and eat the one marshmallow and do not receive another, but some kids hold back and are therefore rewarded for waiting with yet another marshmallow (overall they get 2). The kids were then followed for years and the experimenters found out that the ones that wanted that sweet marshmallow in their mouths immediately didn’t do so well in school, but the kids who delayed gratification and got the 2 marshmallows did well in school. So here’s the lesson, don’t fall into immediate gratification like sex, drugs, not doing homework but instead partying and playing video games, but instead hold off these things until you get schoolwork done and other priorities out of the way… then instead of ending up with a bad job and less opportunities (one marshmallow) you can instead wait for the good job and more opportunities (2 marshmallows). Hooray!

– Go discover yourself and find the place where you belong! – That’s what high school is all about. Don’t lose sight of this purpose. Once you’ve done this magnificent self-discovery, then all the universe’s possibilities opens before you.