Saturday, April 19, 2014

10 Things You Should Do BEFORE You Graduate

I am only a sophomore in high school, but then again, I am a sophomore in high school. I will be an upperclassman in the fall, and if that's not crazy, what is? I was getting an application for student government yesterday at school, when I realized you have to be in the club for at least a year to become secretary, vice president or president. "That's okay," I thought, "I'll be class rep this year and then when I'm a senior I'll run for secretary."

And that's when it hit me. At the end of next month, I will be halfway done with high school. I decided that I needed to figure out what I want to do before I leave, you know? So, I decided to make a list of things I think every student should do before they graduate.

  1. Befriend a teacher. Yeah, this is a plus for getting recommendations for National Honor Society or college, but also it's just nice to get to know the people who have to see you everyday. They're way beyond high school, so you know their advice won't be jacked up. My bio teacher is a former Northwestern student, which is pretty convenient if you ask me. And believe me, they want to get to know you (for the most part). My history teacher this year has written somewhere little ways to remember who is who in our class period. For me, it says something about The Lion King. So yeah! Talk to your teachers! And on that note...
  2. Spend lunch in a classroom. Call it geeky, but it's a lot of fun. It can be pretty relaxing to spend lunch time in the art room-- I've done it, believe me. When I was in eighth grade, I spent much of the end of the school year in my English teacher's room with my friends, because we just loved the atmosphere of the room (and she was a pretty cool teacher). I spent lunch in my Chinese teacher's room once this year, and I, a friend, and a few juniors blasted Chinese music (and, of course, show tunes from Rent) while studying Chinese and talking about stuff unrelated to academics. So, do it. You'll find yourself bonding with people you normally pass in the hallways, or maybe just having a peaceful lunch period.
  3. Send a letter to your future self. Using Letter 2 Future, you can send letters to yourself that you expect to receive in the future. We had to do this for English this year, and I'm pretty excited to see mine a few weeks before I graduate high school. It's a way to think about who you are now and how you want to spend your future. I used it as a way to give advice to myself.
  4. Leave your comfort zone. I'm not saying to change your entire personality... though you can if you want (or at least you can change the way people think you are... I did it in fourth grade, and I've come across as extroverted ever since, even though I am an introvert at heart). But, do something you wouldn't normally do. For example, I went to a school dance a few weeks ago, even though I'm normally too stressed from school work and college prep to let loose. But I went anyway, and had some fun.
  5. Sit on the lawn. If you stay after school after a club, sport, or because you live far from school, if it's warm out, just stay outside and read a book or just observe. After all, more vitamin D makes everybody happy!
  6. Pat yourself on the back. You aced that math test? Pat yourself on the back, even if you're already good at it. You know how to exorcise a demon? Pat yourself on the back; it means you were paying attention in Latin class (yes, I know how to exorcise a demon... thanks to learning Latin and Greek stems in English). 
  7. Give yourself a break. There will be days when things just don't go right. You'll be the last one picked in P.E. You'll fail your math test. You'll forget your chemistry homework. You'll lose the debate. You'll forget to study. You'll have migraines. And on these days, you will feel yourself fall from your former glory and all the hard work you put in. Don't dwell on it. So you got a B minus on that Spanish test you studied really hard for, and you want to cry. Go on and cry, boo. But don't let it hold you down. Be like Tenma Tsukamoto (School Rumble). She got all turtles (equivalent to F), but she didn't let it get her down. But you should aim higher than that.
  8. Watch a school-based anime or read a manga. I know, I know. I'm just saying it since I'm an otaku. But really. I recommend Kyoukai no Kanata, Ouran High School Host Club, Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club, and School Rumble. It's really fun to find that one character that is, well, you. Like, you can feel their every emotion. You get their work ethic. You have the same hobbies. The same struggles. The same fantasies. The same goals. For me, those characters are Gou Matsuoka (Free) and Mikoto Suou (School Rumble). 
  9. Travel somewhere with classmates. I get it-- everyone's crazy, how can I spend a whole week with them, blah blah blah. But even do little things, like concerts and trips to amusement parks. If you're like me and you don't like too many people, then just do it with your closest friends, and you'll be surprised how much more likeable people are outside of school.
  10. Give away your notes. I'm not saying help someone cheat, but if you have index cards for a class, and you know an underclassman who will eventually take the course, help them out a little... after all, it's better than throwing them away. This will probably only work for language courses, because there is a specific vocabulary.

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