Advice from High School


Nola on her first day of high school!

At the beginning of this year, I made a list of goals for my senior year, ranging from starting a business (not going well) to working out four times a week (also not going well). One of them, however, was to submit some type of writing to the Blotter—which is now coming to fruition! There is no better activity to spend my time on than crafting a list of my opinions and thoughts that no one asked for, especially as I am running out of time to do so at BC. Without further ado, I present a list of my top 15 lessons and pieces of advice I have learned throughout high school that I am self-centered enough to believe will matter deeply to you. 

  1. Pick up one new hobby, extracurricular, or habit each year. Keep the ones you really like throughout high school, but do you really want to let your 14-year-old self set a routine for the next four years?
  2. Be prepared to accept that some of your friends are going to change and become new people, and you may not like the new person they’ve become. Sometimes you’ll change together, and sometimes you will watch a friend become a complete stranger while you stay the exact same. I would do anything to have been warned that my friend groups would change so I could have been more at peace with it at the time.
  3. When you’re giving your dishes to one of the cafeteria staff, bend down so you can actually see them as you thank them. This isn’t even advice. Just don’t be a jerk.
  4. JSTOR is a resource sent from the heavens for your convenience and pleasure. Enough said.
  5. Voice and Style will help you so much. In my humble opinion, at least. I give this class full credit for why the college process wasn’t stressful for me. If I hadn’t taken Voice and Style, I definitely wouldn’t have been writing this article, and I wouldn’t be considering journalism as a potential major in college. That could be you too!
  6. The things you think are cringy now probably seemed pretty cool to you back then. Embrace it. Everyone cringes at some part of their old self. Your “bad” stages are just character development to get you to where you are now. 
  7. Go to JADA. Always go to JADA. Unless you have another commitment, I can’t think of many good reasons to skip it because it is a space that welcomes everyone. It’s an amazing way to learn so much and become an ally for different communities, so always choose JADA over having an extra free. It’s the right thing to do. 
  8. All the teachers at our school are remarkably interesting people, and you should ask them about their lives. Ms. Durham was featured in the New York magazine for playing Bocce. Mr. Sanchez has done countless performance art pieces around New York City. WT has more unimaginable stories than I can even list. Ms. Moore used to ride a motorcycle. And that’s only a few.
  9. American Studies is really not that bad. If you just sit down and do the work, it should be a breeze. However, part of the AmStud experience is being terrified of it as an underclassman, so you didn’t hear it was easy from me. 
  10. Don’t eat out every day. Save the money. Plus, our cafeteria’s food is pretty dang great. 
  11. Start an audio journal (or a normal one, if you prefer). I did NOT take my own advice on this one at the beginning of high school and kick myself every day for it. Writing is hard, and keeping up the habit is even harder. I started taking a voice memo of me talking about anything I wanted to on my walk to school every day at the beginning of my Junior year, and it’s made it so much easier to record my life without having to sit down and write often. I so wish I would have recorded the first half of high school in my audio journal too. The sooner you start, the better.
  12. If you are lucky enough to have already started a journal, record your first impressions of new people you meet. You will appreciate it as your relationship with that person changes over time.
  13. Save your work throughout high school. Just like recording first impressions of people, you will be shocked at the end of your high school career to see how much you’ve learned, how bad your first essays were, or how much you used to hate a subject you now love. Plus, they can be useful—hanging onto biology or chemistry notes if you choose to take an advanced course later can help you prepare.
  14. If you simply just start thinking you’re cool, you will automatically become cooler. Perhaps this is just life advice. But it really does work. I came to this magical realization around January of my sophomore year, and it’s only been up from there.
  15. Make a list of your own advice for others as you go through high school. Maybe one day you’ll spontaneously write an article for the Blotter too.