1. School isn’t everything, not even close. There’s so much more to the world, so much more to life. Enjoy it as much as you can but don’t let it make you feel claustrophobic.
2. You know that boy you’re obsessed with? The one who takes the role in all those scenarios you play out in your head? The one who leads you on incessantly but doesn’t take the time to actually know you or care about you? He’s not worth it. He never was, if he can’t see your worth and your value don’t waste your time or tears on him. Life moves on.
3. Your friends in school aren’t necessarily going to be your friends for life. But that’s okay, the ones who are worth it will stick around and the others were meant to be in your life for a time, but not forever. That’s just how life works.
4. That being said, make sure your friends support you and lift you up. It’s okay to move away from a group of people if you don’t share the same values, that doesn’t make you a bad person it just makes you human.
5. Your self worth cannot and will not ever be defined by a number. Be that a grade, your weight, how many people you’ve hooked up with, anything. You are human, that’s something that cannot be restricted to anything as limiting as a number or even a few words. You are whole and beautiful and wonderful.
6. Enjoy your metabolism while it lasts. Eat that burger AND those fries. Drink the milkshake, don’t settle for water if you’re not feeling it. Don’t put yourself on restricting diets in the hopes of looking like those girls in the magazines, that’s the result of Photoshop, not a carb-free, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, all-you-eat-is-salad-leaves rabbit diet.
7. It’s okay not to have had sex before you go to college. It’s okay not to have had your first kiss yet. It’s also okay to have slept with a hundred people and kissed more than you can count. Neither is ‘weird’ or ‘frigid’ or ‘slutty’. The right people aren’t going to care about your experience and love is about so much more than that. You do you and everybody can go get f—ed (literally!!).
8. Talk to your parents. Remember, they’re getting older as well and it’s only going to get harder and harder for you guys to spend time together as you grow up. Make the most of living at home cause it’s one of the things you’ll miss most once you move out.
9. There’s so much more to life than parties. It’s perfectly acceptable to stay at home on a Friday or Saturday night (or both!!!), it’s fine not to go to a single party in your high school years if that’s not your thing. Honestly, the ‘live while you’re young’ thing is a little overrated anyway.
10. You’re going to get your heart broken. By a boy, a girl, a friend, a lover, even a relative. It’s simply a fact of life but don’t put up walls to stop yourself getting hurt, you’ll never be truly happy that way. Remember to turn to your friends and family when it gets tough, they’ve been there for you before and they will be again. They’re the ones who’ll stick around.
11. Don’t spend the entirety of your school life studying. That’s not to say you shouldn’t study at all, just don’t spend four hours a night bent over a textbook revising. It’s time you will regret having wasted when you’re older and it simply isn’t necessary.
12. You don’t need to have everything figured out by now. You don’t need to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, or even the rest of your education. Pursue what you like and everything else will fall into place anyway.
13. A lot of people are going to walk in and out of your life over the next few years, learn to say goodbye. It’s hard and painful and messy but it’s just another part of life.
14. Live in the now. Tell that person you like them, ask them out, kiss them. Get your hair dyed bright blue, then purple, then blonde. If someone has screwed you over, tell them to their face. Compliment strangers, pet random dogs, try that drama class. Life’s too short to spend time worrying about rejection or what people will think.
15. On that same note, stop trying to control everything. Whatever’s meant to be will be, whatever isn’t won’t and it will all be okay in the end. Life has this weird way of working out despite all odds, just have faith.
16. Choose subjects and uni courses you enjoy because you like them. Don’t feel like you need to do engineering because your father did, or like you can’t do maths because none of your friends do. It’s your life, not theirs and you don’t need to live up to anybody else’s expectations.
17. Make connections outside of school. It’s a reminder that your high school’s gates aren’t the boundaries of the world and that there is, actually, life outside of the education system. It sounds simple but trust me, that concept can get lost over the next couple of years amidst piles of homework and constant drama.
18. Above all, just enjoy this time. It may suck at times but that doesn’t change the fact that you’ll never be as young as you are at this very moment in time. Don’t take it too seriously, or let it get to you because you’re going places, baby, and this is just the prequel, the front page, the intro. You have your entire life ahead of you.