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High School was an awkward phase for me. I had moments where I felt comfortable; however, most of the time, I felt like I wasn’t worthy.
I went to two prestigious Girls’ Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa. Which was ultimately such a blessing for my future but it was hard to see a lot of the times while I was in school.
Even though I am grateful for having attended High School, these are some things that I wish I’d known during attendance:
1. School doesn’t prepare you for life.
After I graduated (or matriculated) from High School, I thought that I was ready to take on The World. I thought that I had learnt everything that I needed to know in order to attend College and take on life. And, I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I found myself in New York City not knowing anything about financial aid, scholarships, credits or student loans. High School is great but it is a bubble where real issues, like financial problems, are left out.
2. Being bullied, to an extent, will make you stronger.
When I started at my second High School in 2006, I was welcomed by most of my peers except for the group of popular girls. They were the equivalent of ‘The Plastics’ from Mean Girls. It felt like they controlled a lot of the social scene and their actions were driven by mean-spirits. I had previously been used to being the popular girl so this gave me another perspective. There was one girl, in particular, who made it clear that she didn’t like me and sometimes it broke me. She would roll her eyes when I would speak in class and make comments. However, my personality doesn’t give in when people are mean to me; I only become stronger. Being bullied by this group of people during High School taught me that if I believe in myself, or something, that belief is stronger than what anyone else thinks.
3. High School is not everything.
In High School, I had this misconception that it was the most important thing in The World. Fast forward to eleven years later, and that is one of the biggest lies that I have ever told myself. When I hear of kids killing themselves (because of a bully or a lot of pressure) during High School, it breaks my heart because life is so much better after High School. High School makes up only a few years of your life, it is not worth being consumed over.
4. The Hierarchy system doesn’t mean anything in The World.
In most (if not all) High Schools, there is a hierarchy system. Usually ranking from popular to the least popular. However, when we leave High School, we are all on the same level. Most colleges and universities don’t care who you were in High School, everyone starts afresh. I remember how I used to think that High School was telling of how I would be represented when I started College. However, this is completely untrue. High School seemed limiting to me but, in The World, there are are limitless chances to get up and start over, again and again.