Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

For most people, the first few things that come to mind when the words ‘high school’ are uttered are academic related things such as Grade Point Averages, SATs, ACTs, class rigor, and class rank (and if we’re being honest, Disney Channel’s High School Musical probably also makes this list). But funnily enough, my best piece of advice when it comes to surviving high school has nothing to do with time management, having good SAT strategies, or discovering the best study methods as quickly as possible– albeit all of these are important. For those of you who are just starting the four-year, emotional roller coaster known as secondary school: Make sure you find your place in a loving, tight-knit group of friends.

They can turn your whole day around.

We’ve all had those days where nothing ever seemed to go right; those mornings that started off with spilling coffee all over the pristine, white lab report that had been carefully finished the night before–also getting all over the shirt picked out for the day. A pop quiz during Literature, of course, on the one day you didn’t read the assigned pages and your dissection partner in Biology thought it would be funny to stab the frog in different places with their pencil–ending up with you drenched in the foul smelling water. You skip out on lunch because someone spilled yours all over the floor, no one bothering to help you clean it up, and you finally trek through the day thinking it could not possibly get worse…until your friends swoop in with a joke or two, making you laugh for the first time that day. And you realize, being around them, that maybe the day wasn’t so hopeless after all; and maybe it really was just a bit funny when the poor frog getting dissected decided to enact its last, posthumous revenge on you. 

They are your rock when things get hard.

It would be a lie to say that high school is a breeze. There are the inevitable late nights, and even more painful, sitting through classes while pretending to be alive after only just a few hours of sleep. There are also the emotional hardships that come with being a teenager, with relationships, hormones, and the process of discovering one’s identity. However, all of these things that have to be overcome seem not as daunting when you are facing it–not only by yourself, but with your friends in tow. Friends will be there for you as your personal pillow after nights of poring over that Calculus theorem. They will offer you words of encouragement as you fight your uphill battles, and cheer you on when you succeed. When those days come around when simply getting out of bed is a hard feat, it will no doubt be a source of immense reassurance to know that you will have people to fall back on as soon as you enter the familiar, locker-lined hallways.

Friends and study buddies? Not mutually exclusive!

Friends are great to have around to relax with after a long Saturday morning of SATs or to kick back and hang out with after a particularly grueling week. But it also works the other way around! When finding yourself particularly unmotivated or puzzling over a certain History question, scheduling a study date at the library or over video chat with friends could be the perfect remedy. With multiple minds powering together to solve problems, things will get done much quicker, and with a bigger group, the chances that at least one person knows how to explain a difficult problem are much higher, providing studying with friends to be extremely beneficial. Although there are the dangers of procrastination and not getting any work done, if determined together to power through–especially with the promise of food afterwards–the assignment is sure to get done.

Although it may seem at times much longer, at the end of the day, high school really is only four years. With all of the late nights and ups and downs, these years are really a journey–and you should get by with a little help from your friends.

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