7 High School Lessons That Will Help You in College

Looking back on high school, it may seem like you really didn’t learn much of anything. You spent your time passing notes in class with some people you’re already losing touch with, and most everything your parents told you seemed useless or went in one ear and out the other. But there are a few lessons you probably learned in high school that are just as important to remember while you’re in college as they were the day you learned them.

  1. There’s a study style that fits you best:

    There were probably at least a few classes in high school that were challenging enough that you needed to study for the tests. And you might’ve failed a few of those tests as you figured out exactly how you study best. In college, any strategies you learned that worked for you are going to come in handy as you take mid-terms and finals. Did you discover you bomb tests if you cram? Does reading your notes out loud help them stick? You’ll be glad you learned how you study best when your first major test rolls around.

  2. You have to budget:

    Whether you were earning your own money from an after-school job or your parents gave you a set amount of lunch and gas money each week during high school, you had to decide how to spend it. Going to the movies, sneaking off campus for lunch, and buying all the candy from the vending machine can add up pretty quickly. If you don’t pay attention to how much you’re spending, you could spend every Thursday and Friday trying to mooch lunch off of your friends because you’re out of cash. Budgeting becomes even more important once you hit college when you suddenly have many more expenses and may not have your parents to fall back on. Take what you learned about budgeting in high school and apply it on a bigger scale for college. It might mean packing lunches and staying in more nights, but budgeting will help you in college and beyond.

  3. It’s important to balance school and extracurriculars:

    It may have seemed unfair in high school when your teacher wouldn’t cut you any slack for being late to class because football practice ran late or you couldn’t change out of your theater costume fast enough. But those teachers were actually preparing you for college, where you are responsible for going to classes regardless of your outside activities, be they sororities, intramurals, athletics, or something else. You get to choose whether you miss class, but the professor still gets to decide your grade at the end of the semester.

  4. Be safe:

    Unfortunately, many high schoolers have to learn this lesson by seeing a classmate get injured or killed in a car crash or get pregnant before finishing school, but it’s a lesson that needs to be taken to heart. Don’t tempt fate by drinking and driving or riding with someone who has been drinking. It’s never worth it, and that’s especially important to remember when you hit college where drinking is much more rampant. College and new freedom (and maybe the booze) will also probably present you with many more opportunities to have sex. Protect yourself every time to avoid pregnancy or STDs.

  5. There are some subjects that you just don’t enjoy:

    High school was a great time for figuring out what you’re good at and what you really like to do. You don’t have the pressure of knowing you’re paying big bucks every time you change majors or try an extra elective. So if you didn’t like the subject material in a course (or several courses), use that knowledge wisely when you hit college. Don’t like science? Don’t major in biology. Hate writing papers? English is not the career path for you. The interests and talents you discovered in high school will certainly help you keep your time in school and your student loans to a minimum.

  6. Teachers can be great to have on your side:

    Many students find at the end of high school that teachers can be great advisors, mentors, and even references when applying to or considering colleges. Having a teacher on your side when trying to get into schools or decide your next step can make a huge difference in your confidence and even your chances of getting into your first choice college. Once you get in college, proving yourself to professors can have equally beneficial effects. Professors can bring you in on research, recommend you to grad schools, or help you network when looking for an internship or job.

  7. Breakups aren’t the end of the world:

    We’ve all had a high school breakup, the kind where it feels like the whole world has crumbled down because one immature girl or boy doesn’t like you anymore. And we all survived, probably a little wiser for it. The intensity of relationships only increases once you hit college and many people go into relationships hoping they’ve found “The One.” So even when those relationships turn sour and it feels like the end of the world, remember that it’s not. Feel sad, think about what you’ve learned, and move on to the next one. You’ll enjoy your college years more and waste less time dwelling on each painful breakup.

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