Today I am sharing 5 things I wish I knew in high school. Being a high school dance team coach for the past seven years, I spend a decent amount of time around teenage girls and can’t help but overhear some of their conversations. Even though I graduated high school eight years ago – sigh – a lot of the conversations are scary familiar. If I could go back and give my high school self some tips, here is what they would be:
1. Don’t sacrifice time with your friends for your high school boyfriend.
I always hear people say “you’re not going to marry them anyways” and I don’t necessarily believe that. I know plenty of people who are happily married to their high school sweethearts. I was in my high school relationship for six years. I wish I would have known that it was okay to spend a night with my friends and not just with my boyfriend. Your friends are the people who get you through high school and are there for you if and when your relationship goes south. It is hard to have those people to count on when you haven’t spent any time with them.
2. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have – it matters the quality of the friendships.
I think this is something that really surfaced for me at the start of my mid-20s. I have had a very solid group of close girl friends since high school but found myself hanging out with people who did not genuinely care about me just to be included. Once I realized who was really going to be there for me – I started putting more time into my real friendships and honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made.
3. Even if you are not best friends with someone – always be sincerely nice.
In high school, I was so consumed with dance team and my core group of friends that I never really took the time to get to know people outside of the group. I would smile or say hi, but never actually engaged with people – probably thinking we wouldn’t have anything in common.
A few years ago, I went to Mexico with my family and a girl from my graduating class was on the trip. We never really chatted in high school and I can’t believe the friendship I was missing out on. If I would have gotten to know her in high school, our friendship could have started that much sooner.
4. If you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life – that is ok.
When I started looking at colleges, my mom and I started chatting about what my major was going to be. I had no idea. Some of my friends had wanted to be teachers, nurses or lawyers for as long as they could remember – that was not the case for me. I selected Nursing and began my college career. If you weren’t aware – I currently work in Marketing and have a degree in Mass Communications – Public Relations. You can see how that worked out.
I wish I would have known that it was ok to not know. Instead of starting college with a full schedule of Biology and Organic Chemistry – that ended up counting for electives only – I could have taken my generals and been more prepared to select a major later on.
5. Save your money now – it will pay off later.
If I could go back – I would tell myself not to buy the $200 pair of jeans or go out to eat every single day. I had a good serving job at the end of high school and all through college and I was spending the money just as fast as it was coming in. I can’t imagine what I could have now if I just would have saved it.
I can’t complain when I look at how my life is turning out. It is pretty great! 🙂 I might not have had all of the right answers back then but I am glad I had the experiences to help mold me into who I am today. #3 is what brought Nate and I together when we were 23 and I don’t know what I would do without him.
What are some things you wish you would have known when you were a teenager?