Ever wish you could go back in time and tell your past-self some things present-self really wish they would’ve known sooner? Last year’s seniors may not be able to go back in time to their sophomore year, but they can pass down their experiences and life hacks with us as we trek down the same road. Here are 10 things that the Class of 2018 Rams wish someone would have told them earlier.
Whoever said your senior year is the best year of your life was lying. Don’t get them wrong, the seniors have enjoyed the last year of their long high-school ride, but they want you to know that it’s nothing like the musical. Under all the glamour of being the top dogs of the school and being so close to graduating, senior year is very stressful and it’s okay to cry. No one is expecting you to peak during this time of your life and if anything, it’s a time for mistakes and growth. A word to sophomores: Don’t worry too much about junior year and the JRP because senior year is harder.
“Girls don’t matter. Er- let me rephrase that; having a girlfriend isn’t everything.” -Tommy Olmstead. Gentlemen, as much as society might give off the impression that having a loving significant other in your life will make everything better, the 2018 Rams will tell you it is most definitely possible to function and even thrive without one. Girlfriends and boyfriends are great, but don’t spend your whole high school career looking for “the one” and let it define your worth. Surround yourself with good people, love yourself, and when the time is right, the right one will come. The high school experience is about so much more than being the perfect campus couple.
Present self is ALWAYS WRONG. We often make the mistake of thinking that our “future self” will be much more inclined to finish that seven page essay than our present self, but allow our past seniors to tell you a little secret- present self is wrong every time. There is no guarantee that your future self will not be any less tired or any more motivated than you are in that moment so do your future self a favor and stop procrastinating. Pushing back responsibilities until a later time is not synonymous with making them disappear. They will only reappear in your to-do lists with a closer deadline than you had before. Get the things you need to do out of the way first and enjoy yourself free of worries- this is the best way to indulge in guilt-free down time.
Take as many AP/challenging class as you can because if you opt out of these opportunities because of the seemingly overwhelming workload, you’ll regret it. However, everyone has their limits and you should always be aware of the classes you’re signing up for. Here’s a secret: The course descriptions aren’t always accurate. To get the best feel for what you’re about to get yourself into, talk to people who’ve already taken the class!
Don’t hate your teachers. No, this doesn’t mean you necessarily have to love all your teachers. What this piece of advice does entail however is that your life will be easier when you show at least a basic level of respect to your teachers and stay on their good sides. It’s hard to learn from someone that you’ve made up your mind not to like and it makes going to that class that much harder. Not only is this a core characteristic that we value here at Rogers, but it also makes getting recommendation letters from your teachers a lot less daunting.
Eenie-meenie minie moe doesn’t work anymore. Remember back in kindergarten when you could say this simple riddle and choose who you would play with during recess or which of your classmates you would sit next to for lunch? Well after having gone through it all, our 2018 Rams will tell you that you should select your friends a bit more wisely than that. Your friends are some of the most influential people in your life during high school and the type of people that you surround yourself with can impact your own identity greatly. Positivity, good habits, negativity, and bad life choices are all contagious. Keep this in mind when deciding which people you will invest in and which crowd you choose to be a part of.
Your SAT/ACTs really do matter, and the time you spend studying for them impacts what score you’re going to get. At some point in time, the notion that “you are more than a test score” was interpreted into “SAT/ACTs aren’t that important and it’s okay to not study for it and stay out late at a game the night before.” Yes, your scores don’t define who you are and there are a plethora of other ways to showcase the amazing person that you are to colleges. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try. Find a good balance between healthy motivation to display your maximum academic potential and maintaining your sanity by reminding yourself that this isn’t the text that determines your whole future.
You’re never too busy to be involved. Many of our graduated seniors said that the one thing that regret most about their high school careers was not getting more involved in clubs and school sports. Their number one tip was to be a part of as many things as your schedule allows and don’t be afraid to try anything. Don’t let the fear of being cut or not getting a position stop you from pursuing your interests. One of the upsides of being a young adult is that you’re not exactly an adult yet and you are provided with a safe environment to find your passions. Rogers offers a variety of extracurriculars on campus (check out our guide to the extracurricular world: All about the extracurriculars) and there is at least one that you are bound to fit in with. If you end up not liking something as much as you thought you would, the option to try something else is always open, but the thing you will regret most is not having tried at all.
Open up. Everyone has their own boundaries of comfort and some are born more extroverted than others. But becoming more open throughout high school can really enhance your overall experience. Whether this comes by letting go of preconceived stereotypes about certain people or taking the time to listen to opinions that might contrast with your own, having an open mind can help you grow much more than simply keeping to yourself.
Worry. But don’t stress. Grades are most definitely important and a healthy amount of worry to keep you on your toes is important, but the insurmountable stress you may feel at times isn’t necessary. As people who have made it to the other side of graduation, our past Rams will tell you to keep in mind that in the long run, you’re going to remember the football games, the hangouts with friends, and the memories with people much more than the feeling of getting an A on essay. This is not to say that fun is more valuable than education, but finding a healthy balance and remembering that your high school GPA doesn’t determine your whole career pathway is crucial. Keep yourself sharp and never forget the importance of getting the best education you can, but remember the people in your life that matter too.