About a year ago, I shared my advice for high school freshmen (read the post here) and I got a ton of positive feedback on it. You all also seemed to love my “Sixteen Things I’ve Learned by 16” post, so today I thought I’d share something that’s a bit of a combination of the two; “10 Things I Wish I’d Realized Before Sophomore Year of High School.” If you ask me, sophomore year of high school is one of the most crucial when it comes to finding and accepting yourself. You’ll start to see friendships unravel more so than freshman year and you’ll face a lot of tough decisions socially. This is my first post in this year’s Back to School series and I’m honestly really excited to start this yearly series up again! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly love the fact that summer’s ending, but back to school themed posts are so fun to write for y’all! Find all of my Back to School posts from years past here. I truly hope you get something out of this post and can use this knowledge this school year, whether you’re a high school sophomore or not. Let’s get into the post!
- If you truly love doing something, it’s worth fighting for. No matter what other people think. – Maybe you have a blog that you’re passionate about, maybe you’re really into theatre, maybe you go to a ton of concerts because it’s where you feel the happiest. Don’t let anyone take any of that away from you. Just because someone else doesn’t like what you’re doing or expresses their disapproval of it doesn’t mean it’s bad for you.
- You can’t always expect people to return the friendship you give them. – Sometimes it won’t matter how many things you invite someone to, how many hard things you’re there for them through, or how little you judge them when you feel like you completely had the right to, they might not return the favor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let this hurt me and I wish I’d known to lessen my investments in certain friendships earlier.
- It’s okay to miss a social event simply because you don’t want to go. – There will probably be Friday nights when you don’t feel like staying out late for the football game and that’s okay! Your real friends won’t judge you for choosing to spend the night in hanging out with your family or just catching up on sleep. Plus, there will be many, many social events in high school so you shouldn’t feel pressured to attend every single one if you don’t want to.
- Own it. Always. – Own your personality. Own your appearance. Own your hobbies. Own your school work. Take pride in everything you do and you’ll never have anything to be embarrassed of.
- Ten years from now, most of your peers’ opinions of you won’t matter. – I’m not saying you should go wild because it doesn’t matter in the long run, you should keep in mind that you still have to live with the reputation you create for the next however many years. However, you shouldn’t let the fact that a few of your peers think you’re “uptight” or “not cool enough” hurt your confidence.
- If all you can talk about is grades and other people, you should get new friends. – Seriously, if you find yourself sitting at your lunch table and the only conversation you and your friends can hold is filled with complaints about grades and gossip of what so and so did over the weekend, you should start to get the idea that these aren’t good relationships. Try to change the subject, but if it drifts back every time you might want to find some new friends because there should be far more positive and interesting things to talk about!
- Wherever you are, be all there. – Think about it. How much better of a friend would you be if you focused solely on listening, supporting, loving, and being there in the moment with your friends whenever you’re with them? How much better would you be at chemistry if you only thought about chemistry as soon as you entered the classroom? Be mindful of these things and start channeling your energy into whatever you’re there to do.
- You get out whatever you put in. – This one feeds off of the last point a bit, but it’s such an important thing to remember. Yes, there are people that can breeze through courses successfully without studying, but in most cases, you’ll get the grade you work for. This isn’t just true for grades either, it’s true in all aspects of life. If you never hang out with a friend or aren’t there for them in times of need, you can’t expect them to have a clear schedule for you or to be there when you need them to be. You can’t not read the Bible or go to church and expect to feel a remarkably close relationship with God. It’s just not how life generally works. I don’t know where I heard the quote “life doesn’t work unless you do,” but I’ve found that it’s so true.
- At the end of the day, there’s going to be a God-shaped hole. You decide how you fill it. – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home feeling unsatisfied even though I got the grade, made the team, and hung out with so and so. There’s always going to be this God-shaped hole in our hearts, but we get to decide how we try to fill it. You might stuff the space with extracurriculars, an AP course load, or a cute boyfriend, but nothing will fit quite right. Only a close relationship with God will.
- You need more than one best friend. – If your only best friend gets grounded for a month, who are you going to hang out with? If you two get into a big fight, who will you talk to at school? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, make a few close gal pals that you know you can always count on individually. I went through a bit of a dark time a while back because my closest friend was grounded for a couple months and I hardly had any plans the whole time. Learn from me and don’t let that happen to you!
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re able to take something away from this post!