For some of us, high school is one important experience among many—a lasting influence but hardly determinative.
It might seem like your parents and teachers are always trying to suck up all your time. They give you so much homework and so many activities that you never actually have any time to hang out with your friends. For some unhappy teens, life is bad in high school and threatens to stay that way if they don’t get help. And, whenever you finally get a chance to relax with your friends or do something fun, it seems like your parents are always blowing the whistle too soon like calling you back home to study for your finals, or whatever. For these students—the ones with drug and alcohol problems, the ones who are bullied and harassed, the ones who drop out of school altogether—intervention by adults are more important than ever because it helps the teen cope with their environment and improve. That doesn’t mean your parents and teachers don’t want you to have a social life. Usually, the adults in your life aren’t fully aware of how much work you have to do. They always think it’s ok to give “just one more assignment” or “one more chore” or whatever. They never realize how much you would love to get some time with your friends and get to experience a little bit of life. But, I’m also thinking about the huge risks that can come up during your social life. In classes, after school, and on the weekends it’s only human to look for new ways to rebel, especially when certain things are “off-limits” or “against the rules.” We’re all looking for new experiences and more freedom. But in a group with your high school friends, it can be easy to lose sight of the boundaries and egg each other on to break the rules a little too much. It’s all fun and games until suddenly you’ve crossed a line and you realize you might be in serious trouble. Everyone learns that if they speed too much, they’ll eventually see police lights flashing in their rearview mirror. So, if you take too many RISKS and test your luck due to peer pressure in high school, you will sometimes end up with bad luck. Then there will be long-term consequences that you can’t necessarily undo. So, in terms of time management, I just want to remind you to make smart decisions. Or at least, try not to make any really DUMB decisions that could get you in trouble. Those are the things that will catch up to eventually. Nothing will set you back in life as far as getting into big trouble during high school. This can jeopardize your entire college, scholarship, and career experience. Although most mistakes you make in high school will be completely forgotten with time, a BIG mistake in high school can haunt you for the rest of your life. Even an accumulation of small mistakes in high school can also hold you back. It will be harder to get into your favorite college. Your first job options won’t be quite as good as they could have been. I don’t mean to sound scary – it’s only because I care so much about your success that I’m emphasizing this so strongly. Always keep in mind that great time-management quote, “Time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted.” If you’re really having a good time, then it can’t be a waste of time, right? We should always remember to enjoy ourselves. Not to take life TOO seriously. You need to graduate from high school, get into a good college or into the workforce or military, and make enough money to live well and accomplish your life’s work. That’s what will make you feel happy and satisfied with your life on every level.