High School Advice…Sort Of.

So I’ve spent a lot of time in high schools talking with high school students lately. I give them advice about college, but there are other things I wish I could tell them. Collected wisdom from my many misadventures. Like…

If your brother has the opportunity to take the Homecoming Queen to Homecoming and instead takes some random girl, punch him in the face. Random girl might set in motion a chain of events that completely alters the next 2 to 3 years of your life. You know – like ‘Butterfly Effect’. Punch. Him. Right. In. The. Face.

I recommend listening to less music about isolation (The Wall), death (Black Sabbath), and precipitation that happens during the month of November (Guns N’ Roses) and listening to happier, shallower, and much more current Top 40 music. You’ll thank me later.

If you have braces, that sucks. *Hug*

If you’re currently on Accutane, or rather one of the generics still marketed in the United States, I’m sorry. It treats acne and is also used to fight cancer. So that’s fun. I recommend DEMANDING to be put on an antidepressant. Or start drinking underage. Because Accutane isn’t fun. Your joints ache. Your face hurts. Your skin peals. It’s terrible. It also stunts your growth, so, yay.

I recommend securing your very own pad of hall passes. The name of the game is plausible deniability. Most hall monitors and faculty will not ever stop you if you have that yellow/pink/blue paper in your hand as you confidently walk about freely. This worked for me in many-a-jam my last two years of high school. The key is using the illicit pass to get to the safety zone – any teacher you can have a reasonable reason for visiting. Use the pass to get to them and use them to write a new pass so you can be late to wherever you were supposed to be in the first place. This is especially helpful in January and February during your senior year, when you’ve already been accepted and may have already deposited to your school of choice. It’s not quite Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but it will keep those tardies off your records. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Skip more, preferably late in the Spring or earlier in the Fall, when theme parks are still open but are not as busy. I should have done this. Nobody has ever said “I wished I had made it to every single US Government class” and “I really wished I saw the morning announcements.” A good excuse would be food poisoning – you can’t go to the doctor if you’re supposedly in the bathroom for 12 hours, there’s nothing they could do anyway, and it’s gone in a day or two. I’m sure a life-long family doctor would be amicable to writing an excuse note for such a good reason as this. The school would not want to hear details, either. And since you’re in the top 10% of your class (right?) they will not be suspicious. Use judiciously.

It’s very cute the way you and that guy hold hands in the hallway. But girl – no. Just break up. It’s pointless. Every year, in every dorm, in every college and university in America, there’s some freshman guy or some freshman girl in the hallway or stairwell talking to their significant other (who is hundreds of miles away) on the phone. They will not look like they’re having fun. They are not having fun. Don’t be one of them. Don’t let that sweet, sweet boy or girl be one of them, either. Just. Just say no. Let it go.

Take some art classes and get a B-. Why not?

If you have even the *slightest* opportunity to drop everything and move to California, then do it. You can always un-do this decision. But if you don’t do it you’ll spend 10 years half-regretting and half-wondering what could have been if you did something crazy.

Go out for a play. Sure, you might not be any good. But guess what? Neither is anyone else in your school. If they were really good they wouldn’t be doing “Our Town” in a high school auditorium. So give it a chance!

You should go to Homecoming without a date. Much more fun.

The same is *not* true for Prom.

Take Spanish.

Go to the volleyball games. Volleyball is the least appreciated spectator sport in America. It’s fast paced, easy to follow, and best of all – short. Mercifully short. Unlike girls soccer. Or track. Or cross country.

(This was tongue in cheek, mostly.)



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