Senior Advice: Shala Edition
Every year, a new group of seniors is formed and given all of the responsibilities that come with that title. As a student who has been at PBA for three and a half years, and someone who has been a senior for almost six months, I’ve learned a thing or two. So here’s a list of advice produce by yours truly that I hope everyone from freshmen to juniors will find refreshing.
1. Be honest
Honesty is probably the easiest thing to preach but the hardest thing to practice. It’s hard to tell the truth to teachers and it’s even harder to tell the truth to friends. While people won’t appreciate it at first, especially when you’re telling them something they don’t want to hear, they’ll grow to value your honesty. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had a friend curse me out or just completely stop speaking to me because I told them the truth. From experience, I can tell you they all come back eventually. And if they don’t, do you really want to be friends with someone who can’t handle the truth?
2. Being quiet isn’t always a bad thing
Sometimes there’s nothing to say, sometimes there’s things you don’t want to say and that’s more than fine. You don’t always have to be the loudest or most outspoken person. If you’re usually like this, people might assume there’s something wrong with you. When this happens, it’s okay to tell them to truth. Sometimes you’re upset or you’re thinking or you really just don’t want to say anything. Let yourself be quiet, it’s not a crime.
3. Mind your own business
If I’m being honest, high school drama is juicy and can provide you with some of the best laughs of your entire life. We, including me, are all guilty of indulging from time to time. This is perfectly normal and widely accepted, but don’t make it your thing. After a while, sticking your nose in other people’s business isn’t fun, it’s just boring. There’s some things you just shouldn’t know and that’s perfectly okay. Minding your own business allows you to focus on yourself and enjoy a near drama-free life. Of course, you can’t relieve yourself of all drama, c’mon it’s high school, but you can significantly lighten your load by not rubbernecking. But hey, if you’re in the business of instigating drama for your own enjoyment because you’re a bad person then by all means, have at it.
4. Be observant
Being observant is a sure way to save yourself some stress and tap into the PBA environment. This can help you read situations and people. If you know how students, faculty, and teachers behave in certain situations you can become prepared for almost anything. Being observant is good and can provide helpful information, but just remember, not everything you observe needs to be shared.
5. Grades aren’t everything
High school is stressful enough without trying to be on your “A game” all the time. Sometimes you slack off and you know what? It’s not that big of a deal. Trust me, as someone who’s been accepted into a couple of different colleges, one or two C’s will not make or break you. Put in work, but don’t over do it and know that sometimes it’s okay not to do everything. Honestly, sometimes I don’t do my work just because I don’t feel like it. I’m not saying to do this (though this isn’t too bad every couple of months), just be aware that you can take breaks when you feel like it. Every cycle won’t be your best and that’s completely normal and okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
6. Stand up for what you believe in
In high school, people have a lot of different opinions. Some people will not share the same ones you do, either because they have different values or because they haven’t matured enough to seriously consider the subject. Don’t be scared to tell them how you feel. Change can only be cultivated through discussions. Be open to other opinions, but don’t sway your own unless you’re sure you want to. While it’s important to stand up for what you believe in, you don’t want to be overwhelming. Say what you mean and how you feel but don’t go around repeating it to everyone at PBA or getting in people’s faces over it. Most students respond when you tell them something calmly, albeit this cannot always be done when they say something knowingly ignorant. Use your own discretion about when and where to make people aware of your beliefs and don’t be afraid to go against not only students, but teachers as well.
7. Don’t make a lot of friends, make good ones
A lot of friends you have in freshman year will not transfer over to your senior year. This is okay because people grow and change throughout the years. Be careful about who you trust and what you say but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Be friendly with everyone, but know who your friends are. Don’t be afraid to get rid of friends that are toxic or really just aren’t affecting you positively. You get to choose your friends so don’t let anyone make you feel bad for the choices you make.
8. Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously
High school is stressful so if you don’t try to have fun you’ll have the worst four years of your life. Get to know your classmates and kids from other grades. Go out with kids from school and your advisory. There’s no reason why school friends have to be restricted to school. Have fun with your teachers and the faculty, they’ll respond positively if you approach them that way (most of the time; everyone has their grumpy days). You can’t have fun if you take yourself too seriously. You’re going to make mistakes and say dumb things, that’s just a part of the experience, so why linger on it? Allow yourself to have fun and be a kid. Make dumb, but not dangerous decisions, you’ll never get this chance again. Don’t be ashamed to be yourself and grow during high school and have fun while doing it.
Senior Shala McKee