Hi guys! Happy almost June!
Wow… I cannot believe that I have officially finished my sophomore year in high school. It is so unreal!
A year ago, I wrote a post titled 10 Lessons I Learned My Freshman Year and a lot of my readers found it very helpful.
This year I’ve experienced many realizations, as well as been through a TON, so I feel this post will be super beneficial for anyone entering into their sophomore year or even high school in general. 🙂
#1: Positivity is Key
When I started this school year, I was extremely motivated to get good grades and do my best. As a result of having such a positive attitude, I made it through the first quarter with A’s and B’s (including my AP class!!).
However during the second quarter, negativity came into play. I lost some motivation and began to cease trying my hardest to get good grades. As a result, a C (or two) made its way onto my report card.
Third quarter, I came back strong (new year, new me LOL) making it through with all A’s and B’s. This led into fourth quarter where I had a month that did not go well but as a result of my positive mindset and motivation to pass my classes, ended the year with all A’s and B’s.
The moral of the story is that having a positive mindset will play a positive role. Essentially, positivity is the key to doing great things. 🙂
#2: The clock will keep ticking
Time is elusive. In high school, there never seems to be enough. This school year, I have spent more time on homework than anything else and I definitely did not spend enough time on myself.
Some days I’d sit down to do homework around 3 pm in an effort to get to bed early. I’d end up not finishing the same assignment until midnight. Usually what ended up happening was that I’d zone out, take too many breaks, or spend a minute too long texting a friend back.
What I failed to realize is that time doesn’t stop for me when I take breaks. The clock keeps ticking whether I make productive use of that time or not.
I learned that time management is crucial in high school (and life in general). In order to juggle the many tasks on my plate next school year, I have to manage my time accordingly. As long as I make good use of those hours in a day, it’ll be rewarding.
#3: “Never give up! Great things take time.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream. International Thespian Honor Society. Advanced Chorus. Director of Publicity. Picasso at the Lapin Agile.
Exactly a year ago, I auditioned for a show entitled The Mystery of Edwin Drood and I was not casted. As I shared in one of my previous blog post, 10 Lessons I Learned My Freshman Year, I was disappointed about not getting into the show. However, I accepted the fact that I had lots of work to do to become a better actress. There were many areas I needed to improve. I had decided I needed to be more involved in theatre therefore, I had joined the set crew for that show.
Our spring play was Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I was determined to get a part. A lot of people told me I wouldn’t get in and that I wasn’t good enough. Regardless of those voices, I didn’t give up. I received excessive help from a close friend who is EXTREMELY talented and I kept practicing the script in preparation for my audition. As a result, I was casted as Mote (Mote is a member of the fairy queen’s court in the play).
Due to my participation in these shows, whether it was behind the scenes or on stage, I was able to gather enough points to be inducted into the International Thespian Honor Society. Thanks to Thespians, I was able to audition for the one act we plan to take to competition. Once again, despite the negative voices, I remained blissfully ignorant moving forward with my audition. I am proud to announce that I will be portraying the female lead, Germaine, in Picasso at the Lapin Agile.
Aside from theatre, I also built up confidence in chorus throughout the year and was pleasantly surprised when my teacher decided to put me into the most advanced choir class for my junior year. She also entrusted me with the position of Director of Publicity, a leadership position I am honored to have.
Words cannot describe how thankful I am for these opportunities and the chance to shine onstage. The moral of the story is that if you keep trying, great things will happen. To key is to keep working hard and never give up 🙂
#4: Don’t take the easy way out
In high school, it is super difficult to make decisions about homework. For example, copying homework answers from other students.
However, taking the easy way out won’t challenge you. If you don’t understand the material that you are supposed to be learning, you won’t retain the information. Trust me, I know. 😉
What I’ve learned is that doing the assignments myself helps me retain the information better, where as copying answers down from someone else simply helps me to get credit. There are no shortcuts, especially when it comes to truly learning.
#5: Sleep is kind of important
I know. Sleep? In high school? Funnyyyyyy…
I have been everything but well rested this school year. I kept telling myself that it was either good grades or sleep but what I’ve learned is that it is nearly impossible to keep good grades the whole year without getting enough sleep.
It’s super difficult to function off little sleep when in a classroom setting. Unfortunately I did not retain much information on the days I was sleep deprived.
So remember that old saying? Sleep is for the weak?
Incorrect. Sleep is very important when it comes to high school. Or life in general. In other words, make time for it because your body needs the rest so that you can function optimally during the school year.
#6: Your test scores don’t define you
You are not the C on your report card. You are not the 2 you scored on the FSA. You are not the AP exam that didn’t go well. These things do not define you. You will do well on some tests and poorly on others. And that is okay.
I’m not saying to completely neglect your grades. I’m saying you should always remember that you are much more than your test scores. Forgive yourself, make improvements and move forward. 🙂
#7: Appreciate the little things
In life, we often focus on the larger things that go wrong and fail to see the smaller things that go right.
This school year, I’ve received some unexpected hate from several individuals. This resulted in my focusing on the larger ‘negative things’ versus the smaller ‘positive things’ that truly mattered. The amount of people who tell me I’m amazing everyday is insane and I could not be more appreciative of the compliments that follow me everywhere I go.
I have learned to focus on these little things that matter. Focus on the people who matter, those who uplift you, motivate you and inspire you.
Which brings me to…
#8: Some people care, some people don’t
I made some new friends this year. These are people that I thought I would never, ever become close with or speak to outside of class.
When I was going through some tough times, the people I expected to be there for me weren’t, and the people I least expected to be there for me were for example, the new friends I had made.
The lesson learned is that there will always be someone there to care for you – or to be there for you. Focus on the friends who choose to be there for you. Those are the ones who are worth your time and energy.
#9: The less time you spend on something, the faster you can move on
A really important thing that I’ve learned this year is that the more time I spend complaining about a situation or letting it affect me, the longer it holds me hostage and keeps me upset.
Here’s what I’ve done to cope. Whenever I am upset about something, I give myself 24 hours to talk about it, cry about it, and be mad about it. After that time passes, I let it go. I refrain from talking about it again unless it is absolutely necessary.
Drama costs time and energy and I’d rather use that time and energy towards something more productive in my life. I could be doing something fun with that time instead. Therefore, the faster I choose to cope with it and let it go, the more time I have for other wonderful things that awaits me. 🙂
#10: The future is scary, so focus on the present
As my sophomore year was nearing its end, I realized that college was becoming more and more real by the minute. I started to feel worried about my junior year, senior year, college, getting a job, living on my own amongst other things.
All of these thoughts are super scary.
But here’s the catch: These thoughts pertains to things that are in the future. I’ve spent so much time worrying about things that won’t be happening anytime soon that I’ve failed to be present and live in the moment.
While it’s important to plan for the future, it is very important to focus on what’s happening today. What I choose to do today is what’s going to define my future.
I hope these lessons are helpful to you. I hope they bring much value to you as they have to me.
What are some lessons you have personally learned this past school year? I’d love to hear about it. Share some of your stories and comments below, and let’s discuss 🙂
Until next time,
~ Rina Raj