I finished high school not too long ago. Looking back onto my high school career, I’d say that I wasn’t too bad of an average student–I graduated as Ontario Scholar, won a couple graduation awards, and left my mark. I made friends and probably a few enemies as well. My high school career was pretty average and I shouldn’t complain, but if there’s one thing that stuck to me in my senior year English class, it would be this Socrates quote:
An unexamined life is not worth living.
So I do think about things I should’ve and could’ve done back then that I would now benefit from, and I wish that I had tried harder to overcome obstacles. These are the regrets I have when thinking back to my high school years.
Not getting a part-time job.
My parents weren’t the type to push me to get a job. In fact, they seemed to have preferred that I didn’t work. I did want to work and earn my own money, though, but I always found an excuse not to go through with it. It was too much of a commitment, too far, or I wasn’t good enough for the jobs that I was interested in.
But having a job benefits you in so many ways. You experience what it’s like to be in the working world and earn money that you can spend or save. It eases you into the adult world. It teaches you to appreciate the value of a dollar.
Not developing a good study habit.
I made my way through high school without really studying, but mostly because I didn’t know how to. I know now that the people with good study habits in high school had an easier time adjusting to studying for university courses. High school really is where you need to build your academic foundation. The experience of following a routine or working with a system for studying is so important in university when you have so little time to do so much; otherwise, you end up spending most of your time trying to get organized rather than studying.
Being closed-minded toward new opportunities.
Us millennials are blessed with the opportunities we have, to the point where we sometimes tune them out as if they’re spam mail. I used to be so picky–I liked singing, but I refused to join the school choir because they weren’t “my type” (I was an angsty self-pronounced punk rocker). It wasn’t until a classmate almost begged me to join that I finally decided to give it a try…and loved it. Choir became my new favorite interest.
As a high schooler, you have so much time to explore, compared to being a university student. There are so many convenient and free opportunities to try out. Plus, generally getting more involved helps you grow as a person and is also a great resume or university application booster.
Pleasing others and not myself.
Thinking about this almost breaks my heart, knowing that I spent so much time trying to please my peers, teachers, and parents, but putting myself as last priority. I did and said so many things at school to avoid appearing a certain way. I chose my courses and applied to university based on what my parents preferred. In a generation of hyper-parenting, it’s so difficult not feeling guilty choosing a path that you want, knowing that your parents had tried their best to prepare you for the path that they want for you.
In the end, you are the one who are responsible for fulfilling your own wants. Who will tend to your wants if you don’t yourself?
Not keeping my friendships and relationships simple.
Starting drama is stupid. Being indirect is stupid. If I were to go back, I’d be honest and straightforward, as well as deal with the issues I had with people. Gossiping doesn’t do anyone any good, and it only brings about more tension and dislike.
Being lazy and physically inactive.
I am beyond guilty of putting off gym time for far too long. During high school, your body enters into the adult stage, making it a great time to start becoming regularly active if you aren’t already. Like many other things in life, getting into the habit of working out regularly will make it easier to stick with later on.
Do you have any high school regrets? Share them with us in the comments!