6 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Starting High School

A part of getting older is learning things you wish you would have known when you were younger, so I want share with you some little nuggets of awesomeness that I wish had known when I was a teenager. Now I was a teen not too long ago and I know there is a difference between hearing and actually doing.

Please do not just read what I am about share. Instead, do something about it.

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1.) Geeks and Nerds Rule the World

If you have been called a nerd, geek, smarty-pants, or bookworm, please do not let it bother you! Brush your shoulders off because one day those same kids will be working for you.

Bill Gates was an ultimate nerd and so were the founders of Google. You know what they have in common?

Billions of dollars in their bank accounts.

Grades matter when it comes to opportunity. Students who display better grades or portfolios end up having more opportunities than those students who had average or poor grades.

What is more important than grades is surrounding yourself with smart people. Ashton Kutcher had it right during his speech at the Teen Choice Awards. There is nothing sexier than being really smart.

My assumption on why the so-called nerdy kids are more successful is because their strengths in academics as teenagers cross over into real world skills and industries like computers, science, engineering, entrepreneurship, and robotics.

If you are a nerd, rep it proudly. If you are not nerd, surround yourself with nerds.

2.) Guys Grow Up, Girls Get Hotter

I remember growing up in school there would only be one or two attractive girls and most of the time they seemed out of your league. Dating is challenging, especially when you start becoming old enough to actually have real relationships.

In my school, there were always like twenty guys trying to ask the same four or five girls to the movies. When you are younger, you are around the same people all the time and the world seems small. But when you go to college or take a job in a city, you notice that there are a lot of smart, attractive women who would make great dates, girlfriends, or partners.

Girls get hotter because our perspective of what is hot will change. Looks will still be important but substance, intelligence, and personality will play a larger role in making you happy.

Now ladies! I know you are probably tired of childish, immature guys who have no clue how to be romantic or even spell the word for that matter. Guys will grow up. They will become comfortable in their own skin and will learn ask you out respectfully. In the meantime, please be patient with us and focus on making yourself better instead of worrying about us guys. There will be plenty of time for that later, and with much better options for you.

Find your passion and purpose, take leadership positions, and rock at school. Most of the time, the cute guys in high school are not good enough for you anyways. You will realize this at your high school reunion. If you are an intelligent lady and are full of adventure, you will love college and being around smart people with ambition.

3.) Traveling and Adventure Will Be at Your Fingertips

The most challenging thing for me as a teenager was ‘boredom’.

Why?

I had no car and zero dollars in my pocket, I was not old enough to get into the good movies, and there was really not much for us to do consistently with other people our age. I would dream of traveling and doing fun things like going to restaurants to try new food, vacationing to exotic places, and jammin out at a music festival.

Once you are in college and especially a professional with a job, you can do all these things. You can buy $10 tickets in the nosebleeds section of sporting/music events, take a significant other out to dinner, afford a couple hundred dollar plane tickets, and invest in hobbies that you always wanted to pursue when you were younger.

The awesome thing about those hobbies is that there are usually organized socials and groups of people who have the same interest and hobbies for you to meet with and get to know.

4.) Being Cool Becomes Being Average

If you look at all the successful people in the world, most of them were probably really weird, mature for their age, outcasts. One of my favorite quotes is from John Meyer. He said, “Stay in your room and work on your craft because I promise you the parties get much better.”

In high school, “cool” is something everyone is doing or wearing. Being cool makes you a part of the in-crowd. In life, something everyone is doing is called “average”.

Most people hate their jobs, most people have to dress the same to work, and most people end up living very similar lives. There are so many crazy, unique things this world can offer you.

While in high school, focus on being unique, different, and yourself. Being unique will make you stand out from the crowd, which I know is a bad thing in high school. But in the real world, being unique gets you a job, a promotion, and accepted to your dream college.

5.) Friends Do Not Matter Except Your Bestie

When we are teenagers, we care too much about what other people think. We like knowing that people like us. Well get this…

Once you graduate high school, you will most likely never see 95% of your high school classmates and friends again. I graduated with 250 students in my grade and I keep up with about ten of them to this date.

So if you’re not going to see these people again, why would you let what they think bother or decipher what you do while in high school?

Just focus on your besties! Why?

Because you will cherish those friendships forever. When you get older, your friendships become less authentic and more convenient. In my opinion, childhood friendships are the best because you genuinely grew up liking the person for who they are. As kids, you do not care what your friends do for a living or how much money they make.

6.) Be Friends with Everyone

You are probably confused because I just told you that 95% of your peers do not matter. But what I mean to say is that what they THINK of you does not matter.

This last point is about caring about your peers and the people around you instead of worrying about what they think of you. Every connection matters when it comes to success. Being friendly and genuinely caring about others will go a long way even if you never see them again. You will receive more luck and opportunities because of your connections, kind gestures, and impressions you make on others.

This is called networking.

I am glad high school is over because being an adult is way cooler. But just remember that the opportunity to be surrounded by hundreds of people who are the same age every single day will most likely never happen again. So go out there, network, and be a social butterfly even if you are natural recluse.

If you are a parent, teacher, educator, college student, or mentor, please share something you wish you would have known before starting high school in the comment box below.

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