The High School Graduation Speech I Wish I Got to Hear as a Freshman
“High school is what kind of grows you into the person you are. I have great memories, good and bad, some learning experiences and some that’s take with me the rest of my life.” – Giancarlo Stanton
My high school experience has been interesting, to say the least. It has been an up and down rollercoaster that has given me some wonderful experiences, but also some pretty bad ones as well. When I look back to my first year in high school as a freshman, there’s a lot of things I wish I had done differently. As freshman, we were all so scared and excited for what the future might bring us, and of course intimidated by our older classmates. Many of us had heard stories and had been given advice from our older siblings and their friends…and many of us had no idea what to expect at all. We knew it would be challenging, but that we would survive. And the day we walked through those doors for the first time, not one of us could have predicted what would happen in the years we have spent here. During my time here, I have learned many things that I wish someone had told me when I was a freshman. So, to all of those who need someone to give them advice on how to survive high school, there are ____ rules you should always follow, not just in high school, but for the rest of your life as well.
First of all, have good, trustworthy friends. This is important because the friends you make in high school will either be good friends for the rest of your life, or enemies. Make friends that have the same values as you and aren’t going to create trouble or unnecessary drama. This can be a huge factor as to whether or not you’ll have a great year, or whether you’ll get caught in the midst of fights and arguments.
Second, don’t worry about where you fit. As a freshman, I forced myself to change so that I would fit into a group that I didn’t really belong to. I know it’s easier than it sounds, but just be yourself and your friends will find you. And don’t worry about being the popular one. If you’re likable and someone people want to be around, they’ll naturally gravitate towards you. As Neon Hitch said, “Fitting in is unnecessary. Embrace who you are. You will go through rough times in high school, but always stay strong and never deny yourself!” or as Birgitte Hjort Sorenson said, “Don’t worry about not fitting in. The things that make people think you’re weird are what makes you you, and therefore your greatest strength.”
Third, don’t be afraid to approach your teachers. This has been one of the hardest things for me in my few short years of high school. When it comes to approaching teachers I would (and still do) get extremely nervous and somehow talk myself out of it. Because of this, I have gotten some low grades that would’ve been easy to fix if I had just asked one of my teachers for help. They may seem intimidating, but they’re there to help you, not to fail you. It’s their job!
Fourth, stay confident and don’t let others intimidate you. No matter how different you feel from your peers, you will be surprised to find that they are more similar to you than you think, and going through the same things and feelings you are. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to them. I know I’ve always had a hard time opening up to my peers and letting others in, but no matter how scary it is people are more accepting than they seem.
Fifth, hold on to who you are and what’s important to you. It’s easy to lose yourself in high school, but just stay true to yourself and don’t let anyone change that. My sophomore year I had to go through a lot of adjustments. I had switched schools, lost my only friend and was going through severe depression. I was having a really hard time and started forgetting who I was. In my darkest moments, I turned to my biggest passions to start becoming myself again. I started doing art again. I would paint, draw, color, collage, any form of art as long as I was creating something. I also started playing the guitar again and would practice for hours every day. Both gave me creative outlets for my emotions. I reminded myself of the bright future I’ve spend years setting myself up for and in the end, I dragged myself out of the dark hole I had buried myself in and made some new friends. So, even in your darkest moments, if you just remember a sliver of who you are, you’ll make it through.
Sixth, take “me” time. Even the strongest students need to take a breather to clear their minds for a bit. It’s easy to fell super overwhelmed in high school, so don’t feel guilty about taking a break and getting some space.
Seventh, stay organized and don’t procrastinate. Stay on top of your assignments, upcoming quizzes and test, and other things you need to get done. Keeping a planner will help you keep track of important dates and will help you stay more organized. To do lists are also helpful. Also, don’t skip a lot of school. Just going to your classes everyday will help you get better grades.
Eighth, know right from the start that high school isn’t like what you see on TV and drop your misconceptions as soon as possible. Did you know that most actors that play high school students in movies and TV shows are often in their mid-twenties and sometimes in their thirties? It’s extremely unrealistic.
Ninth, get involved. This is a great way to meet new people, and joining certain clubs and activities you’re interested in will open up a whole new world and a whole new group of friends who you will have amazing experiences with. You can also gain leadership opportunities, volunteer and more! Also, joining clubs and volunteering will look really good on a college or job resume! So, not only are pursuing things you are interested in, but making important steps for your future as well.
Tenth, last but not least, don’t skip dances or prom. You will have some of the most amazing experiences, good or bad, at these events. If someone asks you, say yes! And, if you don’t have a date don’t be afraid to go with a group of friends.
All in all, I hope these ten rules to follow are helpful, not only in high school, but college and the rest of your life too. Also, it’s important to note that not all of these tips will apply to everyone. Each person is unique and different in their own ways. Just like we have different study habits, or values and morals, we have different rules and tips we follow throughout life. But overall, I hope these tips will help those that have struggled in school like I have.