Hi friends, hope we’re all keeping well.
After graduating from secondary school just over a couple weeks ago, I’ve pretty much become a free soul. During this time of tranquility (and also in the last few years too), I’ve come to realise just how many regrets I have from things that I didn’t have the courage to do in high school.
These include things I wish I could’ve done, hadn’t done, or just tried out.
So I’ll cut straight to the chase; this post is pretty much dedicated to 12 year old me who is just about to enter secondary school for the first time. It is the blog post that I wish I had read first, before diving into high school life.
Of course, if the person reading this is also in the early stages of adolescence, please consider learning from my high school regrets and don’t make the same mistakes I did🙃
With that being said, here are 10 things I wish secondary school me knew before going into hel-I mean, secondary school. Let’s go
✍🏼1. Learn effective studying techniques ASAP✍🏼
For the love of God, please, please, PLEASE, get familiar with the concept of spaced repetition and active recall as soon as you can.
These 2 concepts and techniques will single handily carry you through your early exams, and give you a massive advantage over your peers during the important ones.
Basically when you’re studying, you don’t want to be doing anything passive, like highlighting or re-reading notes. That is absolutely a waste of time and trust me when I say you’ll learn and remember nothing.
The secret to effective studying is by challenging yourself and continuously testing your knowledge of the subject, over spaced periods of time. Force your brain to work during study sessions by actively testing yourself on the material.
Furthermore, if you can implement these tactics into your study regiment so early on, you’ll practically become a pro at them once you reach the 6th year of high school, when everything actually starts to matter!
🏀2. Try out as many different things as you can🥎
Once you grow a bit older, you’re eventually going to start finding things you genuinely enjoy doing. But you’re also going to wish you were a bit better at these things, and begin regretting not doing these things sooner.
This is the importance of trying out as many different things as soon as you can, and as early as possible. You want to just get a taste of everything and see if there is anything you like. 1st year is one of the best years to try find new hobbies, please don’t let it go to waste.
Join as many clubs as you can find, and see if there’s anything you find fun. Even if you just join for one session! If you sincerely gave it your all and didn’t enjoy the activity, then that’s fine! We can move on and find something else. If you did, however, enjoy the activity, then fantastic; you just found yourself a new hobby. The point is you tried, which is by far the most important thing.
Utilise your young and growing mind to become better at the things you like faster. Expose yourself to as many clubs and lessons as you can, and do your best to find something you enjoy.
🔦3. Remember the Spotlight Effect🔦
Right now, you’re probably self-conscious as hell. You might think that people are judging and criticising your every mistake and ‘embarrassing moment’, and that people are always talking about these moments behind your back.
That is absolutely not the case.
Please familiarise yourself with the Spotlight effect as soon as you can, and you’ll realise just how stupid these thoughts are.
Essentially what it all boils down to, is that we all tend to believe that there’s a major spotlight shining down on us at all times as we are walking through life. This means we think everyone is always watching and noticing us, when in reality, everyone is undergoing their own version of the Spotlight effect, and experiencing these same thoughts.
Basically, we’re ALL self-conscious and overestimate just how much other people notice about us. I mean, can you even remember what your best friend or parents were wearing the last time you saw them?
No, of course not, because we don’t pay attention to these small things.
With that in mind, please don’t hesitate to do what you enjoy, if you’re just afraid of people judging you. No one is thinking of these bad things, so just calm down and be yourself.
🤝4. Be Nice to Everyone🤝
Make sure to be on good terms with as many people as you can. Make an effort to remember their names and to befriend them.
Don’t harbour a grudge against someone just because others are, you really don’t want to become someone like that😅
The bottom line is, be kind. Always
🧘♂️5. Remember the Futility of Anger🧘♂️
I promise you, literally all of your struggles and problems are so, so insignificant right now, and don’t matter in the long run.
Even now, I can’t truly remember a major obstacle or challenge that I had really faced in my first 3 years of high school, that’s still affecting me to this day.
Whenever you feel sad or angry about something, ask yourself honestly if this will still matter 5 years from now. 99.99% of the time the answer will be no, so do your best to try move on.
Or, imagine your friend undergoing the same problem as you are, and they’re freaking out about it as well. How would you reassure your friend that everything will be fine, and that it’s okay? Now use that same reassurance for yourself. This technique of ‘Otherizing’ a problem has worked for me on many occasions, so try use it as well whenever you feel down or angry.
💸6. Invest. Now💸
The biggest weapon you have on your side right now is time.
Once you get any sort of allowance, pocket money, birthday money or Christmas money etc, please please PLEASE dedicate a portion of that money to investing in stocks of companies.
There are so many different resources out there on the Internet right now that can teach you how and why do this, but the bottom line is that you’ll be so, so set up for the future. And I know it’s incredibly difficult to think long term at your age, but you really need to improve on this ASAP.
So please, invest your money 🙃
📖7. Keep a Diary📖
Basically, please make an effort to write some things in a diary everyday. Things that left an impression on you, things you think could be a good story to tell, or things that made you feel some type of way. I said ‘things’ a lot there, I know.
The truth is, one of my biggest regrets is abandoning diary writing once it began to matter (at the start of 1st year). I’ve realised that I’ve pretty much lost so many fun, exciting, and hilarious memories to the inevitable marching of time; memories that I otherwise would’ve treasured and valued.
You can also think of diary writing as unleashing your thoughts and emotions daily, that would otherwise bottle up inside you and become unhealthy.
Weirdly enough, one of the motivators that I’d recommend you do to help get started on diary keeping, is to just Google the benefits of diary writing and see how much it’s affected people. Pretty inspiring stuff. But please, do keep one🙃
📚8. Read Everyday📚
It’s therapeutic, you learn new things, and you help improve your brain.
There really isn’t much I can add to an already abundant amount of evidence stating how good reading is at any age. Even if you can just finish 10 pages a day. 10 pages, that’s all I ask you to try right now.
But once again, the best way to stick at something is to find a genuine reason to love it and be passionate about it. Read books you enjoy, and I promise you that if you do this every day, your world will become so much more interesting and brighter.
⏱9. Remember Time is on Your Side⏱
At some points in your early life, you’re going to encounter some pressuring moments, where you feel you NEED to make a decision, right here, right now. These decisions can be related to careers, subjects, music, sports, or anything, really.
Bro, get a hold of yourself.
Just remember that time is absolutely 100% on your side right now. You have an amount of time that some people wish they still had, to figure things out. Everything will be fine, that’s all I can really say👍🏼
🙂10. Enjoy Yourself🙂
God damn, what a corny tip to end on.
But yes, please do enjoy your time in high school. It really does only come once, so you’re better off making an effort to ensure it’s a good memory. Don’t stress about anything (because I can assure you there is absolutely nothing to be stressing about at your age), and have fun🙃
Cool, that’ll probably do it for this blog post. I’m finding some of these posts are turning out longer than I initially thought, which is a bit frustrating.
But yeah, I’ll see you all in hopefully another post. Stay safe👋🏼