Since I just graduated a few days ago, I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic about high school. I’ve been reminiscing on the good old days of tennis season, dance rehearsal, and debate practice. But although there were good times, there were definitely also some bad times. Here’s what I regret about my experience.
Not getting my driver’s license on time
This may seem like a pretty silly and minor regret, but I really wish I had gotten my driver’s license as soon as I turned sixteen. I would have had so much more freedom to drive to any place I wanted to go. Although driver’s ed may seem like a lot of work, just get it done. You’ll be grateful. The reward of mobility is so worth it. And with all of the stress of SATs, APs, and homework, sometimes it’s nice to take a drive by yourself. It can be surprisingly relaxing.
Judging people based on first impressions
Freshman year, I formed pretty strong opinions about everyone in my class, which was a huge mistake. As I got to know people, I discovered that they were completely different from who I thought they were. Everyone turned out to be so much more awesome than I thought, so I was angry that I had wasted so much time judging people from afar rather than really getting to know them. A good rule of thumb is to be nice and friendly to everyone you meet, instead of assuming that you won’t like them because of various superficial reasons.
Doing homework inefficiently
You don’t need to do every bit of homework your teachers assign you. Let me repeat: You DON’T need to do every bit of homework your teachers assign you. This was the biggest academic mistake I made freshman and sophomore year. I spent hours thoroughly annotating textbook chapters and novels that I didn’t really need to know that well, while neglecting math sheets that were vastly more important.
Figure out what your priorities are and make sure to put more effort and energy into certain types of work. Don’t waste your time going over concepts you already know or won’t be tested on.
Spending money rather than saving
Before the whole application process started, college (and financial independence) seemed to be in the distant future. Little did I know that in just a few, short years, I would be frantically trying to save money in order to make up for so much mindless spending on things like clothes and makeup.
College is closer than you think and when it rolls around, you’ll need some money of your own. Don’t instantly spend birthday and Christmas money. And if you do, try to only buy things that you really, really need and think you will get good, long-term use out of.
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About Nadira Berman
As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.
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