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Advice for High Schoolers Part 2

My parents were never super stern about grades but they definitely expected me to get good ones. It was more of my own lack of self esteem at the time that caused me to feel like the only thing I really had going for me was getting good grades. I would worry about doing bad on an upcoming test but then if I actually did bad, I wouldn’t care at all. Even when I knew I wasn’t going to college (so didn’t have any use for a 4.0 GPA) I still felt like I needed to get good grades.

And my point with all of this is, we do have control over what grades we get, but only to an extent. I don’t know what that extent is but I often think about a friend I had who studied and studied and studied for everything, tried so hard to do well, and would often get C’s and D’s on tests she’d spent hours preparing for, and felt really bad about it. On the other hand, I could look over my notes 10 minutes before class, memorize most of it, and get an A. That doesn’t mean I’m more intelligent than her, it just means I’m good at memorizing, which is a nice skill to have, but whether or not you have it should not effect your feeling of self worth.

For those who have parents with very high expectations, know that your life is not to be lived for them. I’m not telling you to drop out but if you’re feeling a lot of pressure from them to do good, maybe its best to communicate to them how you feel, that you want to do well but you also wish they were more compassionate about when you don’t get as good of grades. For those who have high expectations of themselves, ask yourself what the reason is. If it has to do with self esteem/self worth, then that tells you that you need to find why you’re letting those things be dictated by your grades.

With all this being said, please don’t think it’s cool to not care about grades at all. Your education is important whether you do anything with it or not. So don’t skip classes twice a week but also don’t freak out if you get a B+ in a class.


High school is probably the time where you and almost everyone around you are most concerned with being pretty, dressing cute, and hoping everyone else notices. I spent far too much of my time trying to impress people that I now haven’t seen in years and will likely never see again in my entire life. Once I realized that it really didn’t matter what any of these people thought I looked like and that I shouldn’t let so much of my self worth be controlled by what I thought I looked like, I stopped wearing makeup, doing my hair, dressing up, and found that my life got so much better once I stopped being so concerned about my external appearance.

It’s definitely really hard to do this and I’m not saying that I was 100% confident after I stopped doing those things or that I am now, but the less we let the opinions of and trends with our classmates and society shape what we choose to do, the happier we will be.

So instead of dressing like the popular girls or guys do, buying expensive things because they’re trendy, or wearing uncomfortable things because that’s what in, wear what feels good. For me that was simply just wearing what was physically comfortable. Sometimes I’d wear my pajamas to school. Sometimes I wouldn’t wear a bra, sometimes my hair would be a bit messy or my shoes wouldn’t go very well with the rest of my outfit, sometimes I’d have bags under my eyes or multiple pimples on my face… but what I learned from that is: no. one. cares.

Not a single person cared.. or if they did, it wasn’t obvious enough for it to effect me. My friends were still my friends. No one stopped talking to me. No one gave me weird looks. No one made rude comments. And unfortunately I can’t say that that’s what will happen for everyone. Those things might happen and they might make life harder, but even if they do and you decide it’s not worth it so you go back to putting effort into your appearance, I can guarantee once you’re out of high school you will realize that it wasn’t worth it.

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

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