Ten Things I Learned In High School

I. There is no such thing as too much sleep.
So when your eyes are heavy,
Let them go.
The work you have will still be there in the morning,
And although the world keeps turning
Waking up well rested will allow you
To enjoy your next day.
Facebook can wait.
Twitter can wait.
But those hours of bliss, you can’t get them back.

II. One late assignment is not the end of the world.
So when your teacher comes around and your desk is empty
Do not bow your head in shame
Just shake your head
And make sure you get to it as soon as possible.
Offer an explanation.
Some teachers won’t want it, but some will.
Life is busy.
A five point assignment will not break your grade, 
I promise.

III. Not everyone will like you, and that’s okay.
So when that girl in your fourth period class
Steals your birthday cake because she believes she’s entitled,
Do not yell. 
Handle it with grace.
Do not show that it bothers you.
It takes a lot to be the bigger person,
But you will have a power that she will not,
The power of respect, compassion and kindness
Which will take you further than 
Any birthday cake.

IV. Only you can push yourself to your full potential.
Do not expect your teachers to push you.
You will have to find it within yourself 
To stay motivated to get the grades you want
Because not every teacher has the time
To constantly be on your ass about everything.
Organize yourself; get a planner if you have to.
Teacher give you the best advice
But only you can follow it
And only you can push yourself to success.
 

V. Your mental health is worth a lot more than a college tuition.
So when you’re on the brink of tears
Because of a calculus or physics assignment
Go to sleep. Take a bath. Eat a snack.
You will feel better after you separate yourself from the melodrama.
There is so much that you have yet to know
And in time, things will become clear.
Be patient with yourself.
You can’t be good at everything.
You don’t have to be.

VI. These are not the best four years of your life.
So when you and your best friend drift apart
Be sad, but do not be too surprised.
High school changes people, yourself included.
There are days when you’ll be on top of the world.
There will be days you won’t want to get out of bed.
There will be days where education seems pointless
And there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
But sweetie trust me, you have to remember It’s only four years.

VII. Take care of your body; it’s the only one you have.
So remember to eat.
Remember that you need two thousand calories a day
And remember to sleep.
Remember that eight hours is barely enough.
The shower is your best friend
Whether you need to think about life
Or wash your hair to clear your head
Do not take the power of warm water for granted.
Your body will thank you.

VIII. Sometimes people’s problems don’t need to be fixed
But their feelings need to be validated.
So when a friend comes crying to you 
About how his parents are unfair
Just listen.
Don’t try to fix their problems.
Just listen.
Allow them to vent and let them know
It is perfectly natural to feel what they feel.
Your friends will appreciate you more for this.

IX. A mistake is not a failure, but an opportunity to learn.
So when you get a bad grade on a test, do not quit.
Do not lock yourself in your room and cry
But rise to the occasion
And study harder than you ever have
To gain the grade you desire.
Asking for help is not shameful,
In fact your teachers will respect you for it.
Go to review sessions. 
You will get out of it what you put in.

X. Do not let another person define your worth.
So when your best friend tells you that he needs you
For more time than you give to yourself, it is time to let him go.
Codependency is too romanticized for it to be healthy.
Your mind is too fragile to take care of anyone else’s
At this stage of the game
You’re too young to carry the world
On your adolescent shoulders.
Maybe someday you will be ready
But until then your only responsibility is to yourself.

This poem is about: 
Me

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