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How to Survive High School

By Bailey Metcalf

High school in the movies is portrayed as one of the best times in everyone’s lives. It is this time for teens to go through a lot of first: first car, first love, first breakup, first club achievement, first competition, and many more. High school gives students opportunities and responsibilities that teens have never had before.

School is about learning and bringing oneself out of his or her comfort zone. Students at West High go through their daily four classes a day along with their after-school sports, clubs, or work. Keeping school and extra activities balanced for students is hard, so here are some tips about how to survive the world of West High.


A student’s academic life is the most important. Keeping up grades and good study habits is important to graduating. If a student even plans on going to a college, forming good study habits and a schedule of when certain assignments are needed to be completed is good to start in high school. Even if one is not planning on attending college after high school, life plans may change, and good grades are a requirement.

In class, it is important to pay attention to what the instructor is saying in order to understand the material. Class participation, like answering questions or even asking them, helps not only a student in their academic journey, but it also helps the teacher understand where to further elaborate in the subject. Taking organized notes using colorful pens or highlights can help with memorization during a lecture. Occasionally jotting important information down while listening to lecture can be enough if the instructor is going to quickly to make organized notes.

After school hours are over, forming good study habits are things like sitting down for 30 minutes every night to study or do homework. The study habits are versatile between person to person, whatever works for one person may not work for another. Keeping everything that needs to be done and the days that they need to be finished by marked down in a calendar, list, or whatever works for the student is a good way to complete all schoolwork on time.

Forming study groups with friends is a good way to make schoolwork less miserable and fun. It can be effective too; students are more likely to obtain information this way and help to see more perspectives on certain subjects. Study groups are also good to make connections within the student body.


Speaking of connections, high school is full of people and people become friends. Picking the right friends in high school is difficult, but it is possible to find friends that will be there for the rest of one’s life. Having a group of friends, a best friend, or getting into a romantic relationship is something that makes high school a better time. Being a good person to other people is important, treating others the way that one would want to be treated is a good motto to go by.

Unfortunately, not all people are great. Friends and romantic relationships can end and can turn a person completely upside-down in emotions. One of the only ways to find out bad or toxic ways about a person is to have a good friendship first and that can turn into drama, bullying, and can even cause a person to develop depression and anxiety if the loss was bad. It is good to note that in some cases these relationships can be fixable, but if they are not, the end of relationship with a friend or significant other gets easier with time and is not worth ruining one’s life over. There are many people at school, such as teachers or counselors, to talk to if it is hard for one to get through this type of issue alone. Talking to a trusted individual, even if it is someone in his or her personal life (family member or a friend), about anything that one is struggling with is encouraged, as mental health and mentoring is wanted or needed.

Advice from Seniors at West

A few seniors from West High school were asked what kind of advice they would give underclassmen. Their responses are as follows:

Dallas Lindsey: “I highly recommend extracurricular such as clubs, student council, and sports because it just makes high school more enjoyable and the opportunity to meet great people. Try to take the opportunities given and work hard to achieve your goals. Aldo, I would recommend taking Dual Enrollment classes. They are not as hard as they seem and a great way to get your basics out of the way [for college].”

Connor Ramsey: “I would say to make the most out of high school, to always give it your all, but enjoy it while you can. While it can be hard at times, just push through it and get to the fun stuff because the farther you get in, the easier it gets, and the more time you get to spend doing the fun stuff.”

Brandon Goskie: “I would tell them to keep those who you love close and help one another. Don’t even quit something just because it gets too hard, you can always push through. Do not let anyone tell you that cannot to do anything. Follow your dreams and be who you want to be, not what everyone else wants you to be.”

Abeni Kyle: “Take your studies seriously and remember to have fun with your friends.”

Josh Alberts: “ I feel like one mistake I made in high school was not understanding my credits, like the elective focus. I didn’t know what my elective focus was until the end of my Junior Year and that was hard because you can only have so many classes after that. One thing I do think underclassmen should do in high school is extracurricular activities, be involved in high school. Don’t just go there to learn but to have fun and enjoy it.”

Carolann Rivera: “Do not push things off until the last minute to take care of what you can in the moment because the next moment is not promised. Always study for a test even if you think you mastered what has been taught and try to put yourself out there. I really regret being shy and reserved and not being my full potential.”

As the writer of this article, I am a Senior at West High School. Personally, high school changed me in a lot of ways. I got to grow into who I am today and meet amazing people along the way. My biggest point for a lot of teenagers in high school now is that high school is only four years of your life. You aren’t going to be sitting and doing AP classes for the rest of your life, it is just a semester or two. It is worth taking those classes in the end. Live in the moment, stay off of your phone and enjoy what is in front of you, go to that football game with your friends, go on that date, join that club, join the sports team you’ve always wanted to play, work hard in your classes, and be true to yourself and others. Being a teenager is a weird time in everyone’s life, keeping a good head on your shoulders and learning from your mistakes is the way to survive your high school career.

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