The Do’s and Don’ts of Surviving High School

Photo courtesy of Shishi Shomloo.
Photo courtesy of Shishi Shomloo

Ahh, the infamous First Day. I know it sounds scary; I’ve been there. Starting high school (or changing schools) is never child’s play, but trust me, when you look back on it, you will realize how silly you were for worrying about things that are completely normal and, surprise, surprise, happening to everyone else around you. Many of us tend to forget that, but we are never alone in anything we’re going through! Instead of biting your nails in the back of the classroom, try and mingle around. Find the person that looks as terrified as you and share a laugh about it. Here for your guidance is a survival guide for high school, based on my own painfully shameful 4 years of experience at a place I used to call h-e-l-l. Enjoy!

1. Don’t gossip.

This is one of the ugliest habits of humankind and the reason that mean girls exist. Think about it. You do not need that in your life. Being judgmental of others is a flaw that all of us have, but MUST you really go around spreading rumors about someone you barely know — or even worse, your actual close friend — and quite possibly make their life miserable? Absolutely not. You can like or not like your classmates, but there’s no need for gossiping.

2. Don’t be mean to teachers.

Really, no need for this. I know you may be thinking that teachers are out to get you. Not all of them are good at their job, there will always be at least one that “hates you,” and, believe it or not, they hand out the homework for a good reason. It’s only when you distance yourself from your current point of view and situation that you see some things make more sense. Teachers deserve a lot more credit for putting up with us, and you will probably realize that once you graduate. Just let them do their job, and you do yours — simple as that.

3. Do be careful who you trust. 

Being naive is the worst thing to be at any age — and especially in your teens. We all know kids can be cruel, but, boy, how your own peers can turn on you! Be careful what you say and to whom you say it. Not everyone is worthy of your trust and loyalty, so be cautious when giving out those.

4. Don’t put up with bullies.

This one is so so SO important! If you are being teased and the usual “kill them with kindness” does not solve it, TELL SOMEONE. Bullying should not be tolerated. The same goes for if you see anyone being bullied. Do not hesitate to help and speak up for them. There is always someone willing to listen and help. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

5. Don’t feel like your life is over when you fail a test.

Because, the truth is, you most probably will at some point. And guess what: Life goes on. Getting good grades is very important, but beating yourself up over this is not going to fix anything. There’s always some way to make up for it. Ask for help, get a tutor, work hard, and all will pay off.

6. Don’t stress over the prom.

THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW! THIS ONE NIGHT DOES NOT DEFINE YOU AND SHOULD NOT BE THE REASON YOU ARE LOSING SLEEP! That being said, as someone who had two proms, I will state that they both sucked. But it’s not the end of the world! You don’t have to go, and if you do, try to have some fun. God knows I did.

7. Do fight for the college you want to get into. It is your future, after all.

ALSO, VERY IMPORTANT!! The only regrets in life are regarding things we haven’t done or tried harder to do. At least that’s my case. I did not care much for my grades until it was too late, and I could not get into the college I wanted to. As a result, I had to settle for an alternative, and you do not want that to happen to you. All those weekends spent doing homework will pay off once you’re majoring in something you are passionate about.

8. Don’t hold on to all the little things that don’t really matter.

I promise you, no one will remember the zit on your nose that you cried about locked in the restroom.

9. Don’t miss out on things.

Just try everything that is new to you and that will get you out of your comfort zone. God knows, life gets brutal after graduating, so why not learn some stuff by trial and error sooner rather than later, right?


Having said all that, I must admit that I miss high school. All of these once so-horribly-huge problems now seem petty to me, and I get very nostalgic thinking about it. I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again knowing all of this I just shared with you. It would’ve saved me some nerves, for sure.

Not everyone’s high school experience is going to be peachy, but those are the best years of our lives. Might as well try to make them as bearable and enjoyable as possible!




Mili: Ever since Harry Potter was introduced to Mili in the 3rd grade, the way she sees the world has changed. A firm believer in all things magical and a proud Ravenclaw, Milica is a part-time English language and literature student and a full-time fangirl. She’s also multilingual and a grammar enthusiast. When she is not attending to her 6 cats, all named after fictional characters, she can be found watching Supernatural. She’s a lover of coffee and books, a true Gilmore at heart, and an aspiring writer with hopes of becoming a person who loves their job.

Shishi Shomloo: If she isn’t vegging out in front of her computer or making terrible puns, Shishi Shomloo is probably looking through the viewfinder of her camera (she finds that oftentimes the world makes more sense that way). Other interests and hobbies of hers include writing, drawing, eating, and crying over fictional characters. You can reach her at [email protected], and more of her work is available on her Flickr.

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