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How I Survived High School (So Far)

Updated on November 6, 2018
Kambi Briggs profile image

Kambi has been around the block with high school; she's a senior, for goodness sake!


I’m going to start out saying that “survive” is a bit of a harsh word in this case. For those of you who are incoming Freshmen, let me reassure you that high school is not a jungle, the wilderness, or any dangerous equivalents.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s going to be a breeze, but it’s not as hard as you may have heard. There will be challenges, but nothing that you cannot get through! I promise. As of writing this, I am in the thick of my Senior year of high school and, though it’s been a fair ride and I’ve gotten through perfectly fine, I can’t wait to get out.

First off, pay attention during your Freshman orientation! During my Freshman year, I was not registered into high school till a month later, so I didn’t get an orientation. I had no idea where my classes were, I didn’t know anyone, and I just felt lost. So, if you get to go to your orientation, do it. But if you can’t, don’t panic, you’ll be okay.

This is me and my State Officer team (2017-2018) during the 2017 Oregon Leadership Institute. FBLA is full of amazing people like these!
This is me and my State Officer team (2017-2018) during the 2017 Oregon Leadership Institute. FBLA is full of amazing people like these! | Source

Next, I would seriously recommend getting into a club, sport, and/or an organization. You don’t have to, but it gives you something to hold on to, you know? And it’s a great way to meet new people and get comfortable in your school! Personally, I joined a Magic the Gathering club when I first started… then realized that no one wanted to play with me because I was new and a girl. Then I joined FBLA! The Future Business Leaders of America is a non-profit organization created to help students become educated in business, serve their community, and many other things. That being said, I would most definitely recommend finding an FBLA Chapter at your school and if there isn’t one, then you could get people into creating one! It’s possible and I 110% recommend it. I’ve met incredible people during my time in FBLA from all over the nation! And even if you don’t go for these, don’t worry, I promise you’ll make it through anyway. But you should still seriously consider it!

I would also recommend actually paying attention in class. 10/10. Highly recommend. It should be considered a necessity. This should be a given, honestly, but there are so many people who don’t do this and it drives me a bit nuts. Sure, it’s easy to just sit there and do nothing but talk to friends or play on your phone, but it’s not worth it. You don’t have to hang on to every little thing your teacher says, but if y’all are reading in the textbook, read along! Almost everything you learn in class will be important for tests, unless the teacher says otherwise. If you have bad eyesight, ask to sit in the front. If you are prone to spacing off or falling asleep, try to get a seat close to the front. If you don’t understand something, talk to your teacher!!! ASK QUESTIONS! This will not only help you become more engaged in class, but it also segues us into the next topic…

Try to get on your teacher’s good side. I don’t care if it’s the nastiest teacher in the school or if you hate the class. If you get at least a little bit on the teacher’s good side, it just makes your class experience much easier. You don’t have to become the favorite, but don’t be the one kid they regret having in class. And they will become very helpful down the road when/if you decide go to college: you may be asked for letters of recommendation. Teachers who don’t like you won’t be willing to write a good letter. You’ll do fine in these departments, just make an honest effort and you’ll be okay.

Now, something that you’ll learn as you high school years go on, is that people don’t like Freshmen 8/10 times. Sorry to break it to you Freshmen, but it’s the truth. The moment you walk into the doors of the school, the Sophomores will tolerate you to a degree, Juniors will be annoyed of you, and Seniors are going to wonder who let you into their school. I’m not saying that you’re going to have a target on your back. I’m saying that you shouldn’t expect to make friends with a bunch of older classmen. Trust me, by the middle of your Sophomore year to the beginning of Junior year, you’ll understand in a way I don’t even have to describe. You’ll get through it though, don’t worry. Just do your best!

This one I have to put in for the sake of others… DO NOT SCREAM OR YELL IN THE HALLWAY. DON’T DO IT. STOP. Depending on how your school system works, you could be simply annoying or you could be disrupting a class. That’s not cool. Some people, believe it or not, actually want to learn and get through high school successfully. You being in the hallway--right outside of their class or even nearby--does not help ANYTHING. Just stop. Be respectful of others and I promise, you’ll be okay.


When it comes to worrying about school, a lot of people overlook the actual school work. Please, please, please don’t forget about this part. You’ll understand later on that, by doing the assigned homework and the small classwork pieces, you are saving your grade from plummeting if you happen to be gone a few days later on. And, more importantly, you will actually understand what’s going on.

And finally: FINALS. The one thing that makes everyone haywire two times a year. But, to be honest... Finals are not as bad as you may think. If you’ve been following along with class and keeping up with work, it’s basically a review of what you’ve been taught. And, if you keep every test you’ve taken prior to the final, you’ll be perfectly prepared with minimal stress. No need for insanely long study nights, no cramming, and plenty of time to do other things for school, like cleaning out your locker or that one piece of work you hadn’t gotten around to in English… (∗∕ ∕•̥̥̥̥∕ω∕•̥̥̥̥∕)

Like I said at the beginning of this, high school is not some jungle that you have to survive in for the next four years. By making an honest effort and using common sense, you will be perfectly fine in a technical aspect. But no matter how much I inform you or how many articles you read on “how to survive high school”, your experience will be different from anyone else because, well, you’re not anyone else. And so, my best advice would have to be…

to take a step back. Look at where you are now. Look at yourself, your friends, your family. Take a good look at your situation. There’s a huge chance that some, if not all, of that, is going to change or alter during your four years of high school. You’re going to meet new people, your family relations may change, your situation can turn around in a matter of months. Whether it be for better or worse, know that you’re going to be okay, and these things will not last forever. Four years is not long once it’s over, so make the best of it.

© 2018 Kambriann Briggs


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