What I Learned From My First Year in High School

Evaristo Derby
3 min readMay 13, 2022

High school, a world of terror and angst: How can one ever possibly succeed?

A visibly annoyed high schooler, Thrive Global

High school, the epitome of what stress and anxiety does to one. Homework, tests, social pressure, it’s all meshed together. Take the worst of the worst foods, and mix them to create one dish. That’s high school, and my first year of it taught me so much. So, what did I learn in my freshman year of high school? Let me share to you all.

How to succeed:

High School, a land of worry and anxiety. How can one possibly survive?

  • Good relationships with classmates.
  • Time management and balance between social life and extracurriculars.
  • Motivation — disregard if you’re smart or dumb, motivation is the only defining factor. Remember, although it may sound cheesy: hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.
  • Organization — You will be assigned vast amounts of work. You need to be able to properly plan and complete all required tasks. Plan, set a schedule, and a list of tasks you need to accomplish. My specific suggestions? A notes page, a Google Docs, or any other similar alternatives.

Stress, My Oh My:

As known by all, stress will always be a monumental part of the high school experience. Let me tell you the truth — you will have all-nighters, you will be overwhelmed with stress, and you will be emotionally hurt. Is there any way to prevent that? To be honest, no. You will have stress. You will be crying at night. Thats unavoidable, but what is unavoidable is a poor reaction and management of stress. So, how does one do that? You need to breathe and use proper stress tactics. For instance, take a couple minutes outside, do something you love, be with your family, etc. Do not constantly work and work, take breaks. Not only will this relax, but it will enhance the quality of your work. Take the necessary action. Stress will be there, but you can control it.

The Experience & Joy:

But more importantly, nonetheless, is the experience that you get out of high school. The funny memories sitting around the life table, the sports one plays, and all the laughs and tears. High school is not about the learning, but about the experience. We grow as students, but more importantly, we grow as people. My first year coming to a conclusion, I am immensely grateful for all the memories I built with my teammates, friends, and teachers, and there are still three more years to go. The stark truth is that high school is stressful, it is, but the memories and joy you get out of it are immense.

Bonding & My Social Life:

The last part I felt needed to address in this overview of high school is my social life. In essence, it is imperative that one maintain a balance between academics and their social life. If one wishes on maximizing their time in high school, and growing as both learners and students, they must have a balance between the two. Be social, have fun, laugh. That saying, you must also set certain restraints, and always bear in mind any consequences that may come out of your actions. Of course, it all depends on what YOU personally wish to get out of high school, because thats what it is all about. It is about growing and finding yourself, your hobbies, and your passions. It is about laughing and crying. It is about growing. High school is growth, and I urge any teens who will or are in high school to enjoy themselves, as in twenty years, when we look back, we will regret not doing so. You will not remember the formula for the volume of regular hexagons, but you will remember your relationships in that class. You will not remember the essay you wrote, but you will take with you better writing skills. In summary, high school is growing, in all ways, take advantage of those four years as you won’t have them two times.