8 Things I Learned In High School

We stay up late memorizing and studying, but the lessons that will truly resonate with us for years to come will never be found in classroom textbooks or chalkboards; they will be the ones that we won't even remember learning in the first place.
by Daryn Agapay   |  Mar 20, 2016
ART Trixie Ison
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It's no lie that high school has played a major role in molding you into who you are as a person. Most people downplay the importance of high school years simply because it simply prepares you for what lies ahead (ehem, college), right? Sure, we students are pretty proud to know the difference between a sine, cosine, and tangent function, or even recite the parts of a eukaryotic cell by heart, but the lessons that will truly resonate with us for years to come will never be found in classroom textbooks or chalkboards. Come to think of it, the lessons that will truly stick with us til the very end will be the ones that we don't even remember learning in the first place. Here are undeniably awesome/awful things I learned in high school.

You are NOT defined by a number.

Your GPA, your exam scores, how many friends you have, how many classes you're taking, how many likes you get on Instagram, how many followers you have on Twitter—these do not define you! So what if you only get 9 likes on your Instagram post? So what if you have 800+ followers on Twitter? It doesn't matter. After graduating, none of it will matter. What does, however, are experiences, morals, values. Potential employers won't care about what you've done in high school. Aim for good grades, but grades aren't everything.

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If One Direction can break up, so can you and your friends.


The harsh reality is realizing that you and your best friends could grow apart. Just like seasons, people change. Your friends will experience things differently compared to how you do, therefore develop different interests and blend with a new set of people who share the exact same passions. This is a part of life—for people to leave you and for friendships to fall apart. It's okay to be sad about it as with most things, but it's something that you should never regret. If the friendship was good, call it a happy memory. If it was bad, then call it a lesson.

No matter where you go or what you do, there will always be that one hater.


There will always, always be that one person who doesn't like you. Even if you've basically done them no wrong. But that doesn't mean that you should change yourself to avoid being loathed by that one person. Keep your head up high, princess. Their opinion doesn't matter. Just keep doing what you're doing and push yourself to achieve your goals. The future you will be glad you did.


Group projects will test you in every way possible.


As a student I used to dread group projects. Sure, the idea of what students could get is good: builds patience, encourages teamwork, trains cooperation, but more often than not, the work done between groupmates is rarely ever equal. There will always be that one burden of a person who just can't/won't exert the same effort as that of their groupmates. Okay, maybe group projects test all those values aforementioned; but it still tests more than that. You'll discover so much more about your friends and sometimes it won't be very pretty.

Sometimes you need a little bit longer than normal to recover—and that's okay.


There will be days when you're staring up at the ceiling with your life in complete disarray, clutching the sheets and wondering: "What am I doing with my life?" You could feel like a failure, maybe like a worthless human being, but none of that is true. Those voices in your head pounding all those negative thoughts are just your emotions talking. You are not worthless. You are not a failure. You are a person capable of great things. You have a heart, soul, dreams and aspirations. Do you have life goals? Great! Now go ahead and CHASE THEM.


Everyone is fighting their own battles.


Ever heard of the phrase "the happiest people are the loneliest"? Don't assume that someone is happy when they're always surrounded by friends and laughing. Don't assume that a person is wealthy just because they're the first to get the latest gadgets. Don't assume that someone is confident because you never see them struggling to speak up in front of a lot of people. We all have our own battles outside of what others see. Learn to let go and not keep your emotions so bottled up inside. A heart can only take so much before it breaks.

It will be over faster than you think


When we're stressing over all those projects, when we're so busy chasing deadlines and studying for exams, we oftentimes keep wishing for days to end and other days to come sooner. We don't take into consideration how fast time flies. While we're busy chasing deadlines and making the grades, we forget to truly value the crazy roller coaster ride that is the high school years. Shoutout to all the high school students giddily awaiting to finally wear that toga and gap. Enjoy high school while it lasts. It'll fly by faster than you think. Allow yourself to spend way too much time on your prom makeup; let yourself cry over that failing grade; rant about that strict professor. It's all part of the journey.


It's all in your head.

Did you ever think about how many times a day you use the words "I can't"? Why do we even grant ourselves such self faithlessness? When nobody else believes in our potential, when nobody else supports our dreams and aspirations, we only have one person left to hold on for balance: ourselves. Time waits for no one and life is way too short for second guessing. Do you want to be a writer? Go for it! Cheerleader? Try out! Want to take that gap year to travel? Why the heck not? The point is, whenever you doubt yourself regarding what you can or cannot do, then you will have proven to yourself that you really can't; and you will have lost the battle before it has even begun.

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About the author
Daryn Agapay
Candymag.com Correspondent
As a certified Candy Girl, I constantly push myself out of my comfort zone to experience all the adventure life can bring and to pour my heart out into everything I do. If I'm not writing, you may find me obsessing about cats, latte art, fashion, books, or french fries.
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