So I was talking to my younger cousin a few weeks ago at a family party. She’s about to enter high school and I wanted to share some thoughts with her. Considering I’ve been where she is, looking back now there are things I know for sure that I would have done differently. And I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned along the way with her, because I know that I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was just starting high school or transitioning to college.
I told her the best advice I could give her was to take high school seriously. Take your interests seriously. And to follow them. Some people chalk their interests off to being just a hobby, something to past the time. Well guess what time is precious and obviously if you’re using it to do something you enjoy, it means something to you. And that’s the best way to spend it. Your interests may point you in the direction of your future career. Try everything, and explore what you’re good at. This way when you get to college you’ll have a much clearer picture of where you want to go, and who you want to be.
I think there’s this misconception about high school and college. That high school is just there to get you the grades to pave your way to college. A time to still be immature and go with the flow. Your future is years and years away. But guess what? It creeps up on you pretty quick. And before you know it you’re a freshmen in college trying to navigate semi adulthood. Wondering why the hell you feel so ill prepared for all of this.
At the same time, people think college is the time to find yourself, and find what you want to do with your life. You don’t have to declare your major until your second semester anyway. But guess what? In college,
shit gets real. And if you prep yourself in high school, your aim will be much more precise in college. College can definitely be a time to find yourself, but all’s I’m saying is don’t limit yourself to your comfort zone. It’s nice to have a schedule and to find your groove, but trying the things that scare you, and going after the things you want are much more rewarding. Don’t hesitate, be the person you want to be. Be the best version of yourself. Go for it! Try out for your school talent show. Create a new club. Enter a contest. Meet new people. Make new friends.
I’m not saying to give up your high school years, be a kid, have fun. But do the work. You’ll never regret it in the end. Because it will pay off.
I’ve always been a school kid. It’s always been my thing. Even if I wasn’t particularly good at a subject, I’d try. I’d get tutoring, I’d ask to do extra credit. I worked my ass off. And I’m proud to say that in college, I wrote papers like a boss. And somehow I managed to find my groove in every class. (Even philosophy) My
shit was together on an academic level. But I found out too late that I was in the wrong place for what I really wanted my career to be.
I went into college having an idea of what I wanted, and came out with a more precise view. Some people would say that now is the perfect time for grad school. It’s always been on my radar, it’s something I’d like to do in the future. Go to school specifically to study the art of screenwriting, writing for television and film. But I can’t fathom taking on more loans at this point. It’s just not feasible. The only thing is now I feel like I still have so much more to learn. In my case college was only my first step. And I’m sure that’s true for many. But I’m someone who wants to have a plan and now that plan is all out of whack. I wish I would have done all that soul-searching in high school, then I would have been way ahead of the game, once I got to college.
End result is, we can’t go back in time. All we can do is move forward. And make the best of the now. Going to college and finding what I want to do and getting to explore a few ways to tell stories through video and writing was a vital piece of my life’s puzzle. I don’t regret that. But now I have to take it and put it to good use. Everything in life is a stepping stone. This was just my first one. Time to find my next one. Good vibes and good things to come.
So I leave you with this. Study your craft. Do research. Ask questions. Try. Fail. Try again. Plan ahead. Bond with fellow peers with similar interests, pick their brains. You’re gonna need them around later to give you feedback on your work. Choose the right school for you. I can’t stress that enough. But most importantly find something you love to do. And if you find your interests vary, do it all. Because you can. That’s what double majors are for. Breathe. Take breaks. Learn the beauty of a mental health day. Understand it’s a lot of work, but you can do this, and you will get through this. And Graduation day will feel all that much sweeter. Find what you love, and go for it. Too many people in this world, have jobs they hate. And if you ask me, that’s a shame. No one should hate going to work in the morning. It’s a terrible way to live. Because pardon the outdated term but, You Only Live Once.
Best of Luck this year young-ins!
You got this!
Rock what ya got!