Your High School Career on Paper: What Will it Tell About You?

By Elizabeth Hansford on September 18, 2013
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Throughout my high school career I was nothing but a slacker. My senior year was brutal. It was packed with every single class I had to have in order to graduate. I even had extra classes I had to take outside of school just to get all my required credits. Talk about leaving everything to the last minute. I was a trouble-child in middle school, and even though it faded with age, it followed me like a shadow right on up to high school. It became hard, then, putting everything into four blocks per semester, as I’d put myself in a position where I needed to play catch-up. As I have firsthand experience, trust me when I say this: you do not want to waste your free time outside of school on more school.

Everyone starts out with a dream. In elementary school your teachers ask you what you want to be when you grow up and what your dreams are. Well, there are colleges out there that will answer those dreams. They will prepare you for what you wish to be. First, though, you have to go through high school. Colleges, after all, only get to view you and all your accomplishments by what you can show them on paper. Basically, you should spend your time in high school filling up your own paper with things that will make colleges say, “Wow!” when they learn about you. If you choose not to make your high school years count, the colleges that can make your dreams come true will never accept you.

My advice to current high school students, then, about how to make the best-possible first impressions on their ways to making their dreams come true, comes down to this: “Make every year count, no, make every second count.” Be sure to make the most of it. How you use this time affects you and you only, so do it for yourself.

Sure, your parents and teachers will want you to do your very best, but remember: everything you do in this part of your life is strictly for you and your future. It won’t affect your dad’s chances getting into college; he’s already been there and done that.

Also, you should remember that every single thing you do in high school will follow you wherever you go, whether you choose to stay where you are and raise a family, go out to the city for the college experience, or even try to get a job at McDonald’s. It doesn’t matter what you do, people are always going to be looking back at what you did in high school. So, again, make it count. Pretty simple don‘t you think?

If all this “make it count, and do it for yourself” talk isn’t convincing, I’ll try another strategy: What you do in high school is directly related to the money you’ll one day earn. Plain and simple, if you want money someday, you’ll want a good high school reputation. Believe it or not, it really does pay off to do well in school. Good grades, good attendance, and a handful of extra-curricular activities will get you a long way.

High school doesn’t prepare you for the real world very well, but it does try. And it accomplishes a lot with the really important basics like teaching you how to be on time, how to follow rules, and even how to survive an eight-to-five job. If your high school record shows that you couldn’t do these things well, it’ll be like telling the world that you won’t be a good employee or college student or anything else that expects some basic accountabilities.

Even if you’re not thinking about college, after all, and plan to lounge on mom’s couch as long as you can, it’s probably going to mean that mom will, at some point, want some help. She might even want rent. That means a job. A job means having a high school diploma, that is, if you want any real money for your hard work. And a high school diploma means making the most of high school.

About the Author

Elizabeth Hansford

Elizabeth Hansford

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