It might not feel like it at the time, but the high school years are often the best years of your life. It is a constant learning experience, both in the classroom and at home, as you go from being a child to being a young adult.
And while it is important to work hard in the classroom, it is equally important to pick up the skills that you will need as an adult. That includes everything from spelling and grammar skills to the ability to carry out casual conversations, and not everything is taught in the classroom.
In fact, many schools take students on field trips to put their learning into context. One great example is Orange High School in North Carolina, which took students to an award-winning restaurant to teach them about change using pasta. Tasty and educational at the same time.
Whether you know it or not, you are constantly learning — and many of the lessons that you learn will set you up for the rest of your life. They are not covered on any of the tests and not talked about in lessons, but they’re there.
Here are just a few of the most important life lessons you can learn from high school.
1. Nothing lasts forever
It is sad but it is true. Nothing lasts forever, not even high school or the friendships that you make there. But the impermanence of life is what makes it so special. When you remember that nothing lasts forever, it helps you to live in the now and to make the most of it.
2. Procrastination is death
According to one study, 87 percent of students procrastinate, and John Dunsford of XpertWriters.com calls procrastination “the single biggest obstacle that students face.” Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate — if something needs doing, do it. With a little self-discipline, you can establish good habits that will stick with you throughout your adult life.
3. You don’t have to like everyone
Remember that you are not obliged to like everyone — and not everyone will like you. And, despite the fact that ‘likeability’ is more and more important in the workplace, there is not a great deal you can do about it. The more you try to be likeable, the less likeable you become. Instead of worrying about it and trying to please everyone, remember that you don’t have to like people — but you do need to be tolerant and to act with respect.
4. Always be yourself
When you are at school, it can be easy to lose sight of the person you are and to change yourself to fit in with the popular cliques. Remember, though, that nothing lasts forever — so why be someone you are not for the sake of people you don’t even like? Instead of desperately trying to fit in, just be yourself — people will respect you more, especially as you mature into a responsible adult.
5. The buck stops with you
It is easy to blame your friends, your dog, or your parents if you do not get the work done, but ultimately, nobody cares. It is your responsibility to do the work. It is your responsibility to listen in class. It is your responsibility to do your best in your exams. You can make excuses and blame other people, but in the end only you can decide how much effort you put in – and this applies both at school and in later life.
6. Bad things happen
No matter who you are and no matter where you live, bad things happen. That is just life, but it is no excuse to stop living it to your full potential. School — and life — will go on, even if a fire breaks out or a hurricane hits. When bad things are happening, refocus on your work — it will help to take your mind off things and to boost your morale with a sense of accomplishment.
Ultimately, the most important life lesson from high school is the importance of continuous learning. You should not just learn when you are in the classroom — you should constantly and consistently learn for the rest of your life.
Remember, procrastination is death and the buck stops with you. No more excuses. Start your lessons at the school of life today.