What high school did not teach me

Can you remember one of the most pivotal moments in your life?

Mine happens to be my transition out of high school. That was only 2 years ago! And I learned more in these past two years than I did in my entire 13 years in school. However, there were 3 main morals that stuck with me forever

Friendships undergo the ultimate test: Who stays and who goes? 

Over the span of 6 years in high school, every person tends to undergo changes in their interests and personality. As a result, it is normal that our friendship circles change during the different phases we encounter.

Such a mentally exhausting question allows us all to ask: When do you find out who your true friends are? For a large majority, genuine friendships aren’t established until after high school.

Most of us fool ourselves into thinking that the cohort we see 5 days a week for 6 hours a day will remain in contact with us after graduation. This is a common ideal that we tend to underestimate.

The truth is most of us will attend separate institutions, whether it is university, college, TAFE or straight to full-time work. Basically, we no longer have the same schedules, meaning finding mutual free time is a challenge we all have to endure. That is when we come to terms with the reality that genuine friendships are determined by effort and sacrifice – who are the willing ones? Who aren’t?

We come to the realisation that sometimes we were just friends with that person simply because we saw them every day in our History class.

Believe it or not: the HSC is not the be all and end all! 

Whenever I reflect back on my HSC year – it was mentally hell on earth for me – I was clouded with the idea that there were no second chances, no other options. This was it. If I stuffed it up, I was convinced my life was over.

The HSC was the hardest thing I had ever come across in my life … only up until THAT point though.

Wow! Here I am finishing my second year of university thinking the complete opposite. You can take my word for it. The important thing is to step back and realise: What actually is the main purpose of the HSC? To be frank, it’s only ONE (not the only) means to gain entry into university – not a means to an end (university is not an end in itself).

Remember: There are options available. Other pathways exist.

Mistakes will be made. Be thankful for them. Here’s why you should be: 

For some of us, the pathway we choose in life after graduation isn’t always the one we pursue to the very end. My friends call this the 3rd year crisis – more or less. It is when you realise you were meant to be a lawyer instead of an engineer, a musician instead of an accountant.

You know what? That’s okay. You have time. The world is reminding you that there is no rush to be settled with a full-time job by the time you’re 21. Allow yourself time to find out what you love to do rather than settling early with something you’ll spend your entire life being miserable about.

There will be failures. I’ve failed a subject at university before. The thing is, unlike high school, you have to start again. Thank God for this, seriously.

It was a wake-up call to not take this opportunity, that I had been given, for granted. It was a wake-up call to ditch the mediocre attitude and come to terms with the fact that achieving goals requires hard work – there is no other secret.

Mistakes are not delusions, failures or burdens – they are important life lessons, opportunities to grow in good character and are great reminders to stay humble.

SO … What have YOU learned?

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