What I Wish I Learned in High School
by Kira Taylor
High School was an interesting experience for me- as it is most likely an interesting experience for everyone who attends a high school. I was a full time FLVS (Florida Virtual School) student from the 2nd semester of 6th grade to the end of 10th grade.
I decided at the end of my 10th grade year that I wanted to try to attend part time at my local high school. I started my 11th grade year at my local public high school with four classes after not being at a public school in a long time- let alone a public high school. I was very nervous as I didn’t know anyone and have always been pretty shy, so thought it would be hard for me to make new friends. I was used to the homework load of FLVS, but now I was learning in a totally different style. I had a lot of anxiety because everything was formatted differently. The one thing I looked forward to was the two friends that I made in my English 3 Honors class. Sadly, I got sick for 2 weeks and was out of school. Even though I was trying to get as much schoolwork done as I could, I still could not catch up as much as I needed to. I was not physically and mentally able to go to school anymore for that many periods without getting sick again.
My school said that I would not be able attend anymore. My mom was determined for me to go there for one class- my English class ,the only one I was enjoying and had friends in. I was so excited, even though I had to do hospital homebound for three of my classes I still was able to go to my English class. From then on, I have never taken my mental health for granted.
For my senior year, I did take three classes which I was ecstatic that I felt good enough to do. I did have some health issues occur again and family issues, and I had a better year. I attended as many games as I could, went to both my homecoming and prom, attended spirit week, showed my spirit at the pep rallies, etc. I learned way more about myself than I did my Junior year. I realized that while things were not perfect- as nobody’s is perfect, it was the best it could have been!
This is my list of what I wish High School taught me:
- Your mental health is most important:
Getting your schoolwork done is very important and it is also important to keep your mental health in mind. You should try to participate in AP, honors, and/or dual enrollment classes if you want your GPA to be high to get into the college of your dreams and/or graduate early. I would say take the amount you need, but try not to overwhelm yourself too much. If you are looking to go to a community college and/or a college that doesn’t weigh SAT scores, GPA, etc. as heavily, then I would not worry too much about going all out on doing higher credit courses. Mental health is most important, therefore, if you are not looking after it, it will be harder to succeed. Stress can occur easily and can mess up the way you think, how much you are comprehending and make you feel like you can not accomplish as much because you have so much on your plate.
- How to make sure you do not change who you are for anyone. You make the decision of who you are and who you want to be. I know how tempting it is to change yourself to impress your crush because he wants someone different, it is not worth it. All you are doing is hurting yourself in the end. I have realized while liking someone is fun it can be nerve wracking if you feel like you must change yourself. I have learned that if someone really likes you for who you are, they would not hint that you should not act the way you do or dress the way you do.
- How to defend yourself against someone who is verbally harassing you or trying to harm you.
As I have gotten older I have realized how unsafe the world can be at times especially for people my age. I have noticed through Twitter that there are way more reports about girls being sex trafficked. There are tweets about girls my age being watched at a grocery store or followed because they are young women. This is very sad that there are sick people out in the world that will traffick anybody. Also, after all these school shootings, I feel like we should be more aware of the signs and what to do in any case when someone is trying to hurt you.
- Taxes: What exactly they are, what they do and how to fill out the form when you have a job. It is very important to know how to budget to save your money if your job does not automatically take part of your money out for taxes as you get paid.
- How to use a credit card wisely to slowly build up your credit so if you ever decide to apply to rent an apartment that you have a good credit score.
- How to tip a serve, hairstylist, valet, etc. correctly to give them what they deserve based on their performance and how much the work cost that you paid for.
- Understanding how to pick the right candidate for president, vice president, governor, etc. What qualities should we look for?
- Understanding how insurance works: How to know what insurance I have and or will get depending on my job? What do you get from your insurance?
Good news! If you are like Kira, and feel your high school education left out some life skills, MissHeard Media is hosting How To 101: Life Skills Crash Course for Teen Girls! Hosted by MissHeard founder Lindsey, you’ll get to practice tons of skills you’ll use out in ~*the real world*~.
Register: How to 101: Life Skills Crash Course