School has started! Time for a new beginning for students, teachers and parents. Now would be a great time to evaluate your goals for this school year, by the way. Do you want better grades? Do you want to be more involved in extracurricular activities? Want to study and score higher on the ACT? The first place is to start with making goals. Check out our post about S.M.A.R.T. goals for some tips.

For this month, I reflected back on when I was in high school and what advice I would give myself having learned the hard way about some things. So here we go: Five pieces of advice I would give myself in high school!

  1. Be nice to EVERYONE. This includes teachers, students in your grade and in other grades, and even the maintenance staff. You never know when you will need someone’s help along the way, and being known as the nice person will help. Who doesn’t want to be around someone who is kind to everyone?
  2. Utilize your resources. Teachers, staff, your school counselor, and your Career Compass Coach are all great people to seek guidance from. Not sure how to sign up for the ACT? Ask. Not sure which post-secondary school offers your career path? Ask. Everyone on the school campus is there to help you.
  3. Be social. Go to the games, dances, and other events at school. Even if you think they are going to be lame, go anyway - you may have a blast and would have missed out on that memory with your friends.
  4. Work hard in your classes. Do I remember all the hours I studied chemistry or practiced math problems? No, but what I do remember is applying to college and being glad I had spent the time working in my classes.
  5. Figure out what you are interested in. Soon you will graduate from high school, and it will be time to figure out what you will want to do. Think you want to be a nurse? Volunteer, get an internship, or find a part-time job at a hospital or doctor’s office where you shadow nurses. Either you will love it and be confident in your decision, or you will decide it isn’t for you. If that happens, don’t fret -- get another internship to see if you like another profession. You may think you know what a teacher does because you have been in school since kindergarten, but until you ask questions or shadow someone in that position, you probably have no idea. Keep learning about your strengths and weaknesses to help you figure out the career path you are interested in.

Above all: Make the most of your opportunities, make great memories, and do your best! Good luck this school year!