High school is the best time of many people’s lives. For others, it’s a complete and utter nightmare. But for every high school student, there are a few things that you just can’t prepare yourself for, no matter how confident you may be about the future. While constant studying, homework, college prep and trying not to fall asleep in your classes might be consuming most of your brain, it’s likely that the other half is focused on your social life. The harsh reality of the matter, however, is that in the long run, many of these things don’t matter as much as you think they do – or even at all.
High school – and life after it – requires some preparation. Here are four areas that you might think you’re an expert in, but should really should read about, just to be safe.
According to EdSource, a recent survey reported that less than half of the U.S. high school students feel they’re ready for college. No matter which side you’re on – ready or not ready – rest assured that there’s little that can prepare you for the actual experience, short of diving right in.
One way to prepare yourself for college is to take AP classes. The coursework will teach you critical thinking skills necessary to excel in the university classroom. When it comes to the application process, selecting a school and ultimately making your move onto campus, you’ll find yourself faced with an entirely new lifestyle.
In college, you’ll be living on your own, making your own schedule and facing new responsibilities; not to mention taking your education into your own hands. Appreciate what you have now, live in the moment. College will change you, in a good way.
- Life Skills… Seriously
Unfortunately, understanding the Pythagorean theorem will only get you so far. Many high schools don’t teach a lot of basic life skills, and you’re going to need those more than anything once you get into the real world. The Huffington Post wisely recommends that you educate yourself on life skills like finances, cooking and handling stress while you’re in high school.
Because unfortunately, you might not learn them any other way. You may not need help figuring out where to put the stamp on an envelope – as this particular Huffington Post writer lamented – one day you’re going to have to do things like sew buttons, file taxes, open a bank account and know how to do more in the kitchen than boil water. You’ll also have to manage necessities like auto and health insurance, that is, once you’re no longer eligible to be on your parents’ plan.
- Getting Auto Insurance
Getting your own car might be one of your biggest dreams and goals right now, but owning a car isn’t all made up of fun and driving off into the sunset. A car is an investment that you’ll have to put some serious thought into, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is having those thoughts clouded by factors like what make and model will boost your popularity. And don’t forget about the fact that you’ll have to make car payments – and pay for insurance. Unfortunately, there’s no answer out there to help you pay (asides from your own financial planning), but when it comes time for you to look up the best car insurance for students, sites like CoverHound are a helpful resource. Figuring out various types of insurance on your own is just one of the things you’ll be dealing with later in your adult life.
This last item on the list will be brief, and maybe one of the hardest to remember. While there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to getting started on your dating life, the truth is that high school relationships aren’t always fruitful. They can seriously distract you and bring about undue stress. Staying with your high school sweetheart is pretty darn unlikely – and that’s coming straight from Psychology Today. In high school, you’re just not prepared for the level of maturity, understanding and commitment that a serious relationship needs to thrive.
Overall, keeping an open mind, staying humble, and taking initiative to educate yourself will all serve you well during high school and beyond. Eventually, you’ll be able to look back and feel proud, rather than reflecting on all of the things you wish you would have known or done to have made your life easier. Regardless, growing up is certainly no easy journey. But try to keep in mind that no matter what life throws at you, if you keep the proverbial good head on your shoulders, you’re going to survive it – guaranteed.