Skills to acquire before college


Lan Anh Nguyen/

Everyone has a different high school experience, but I hope we all build a strong sense of self before we go into the real world.

   When I was in elementary school, I could not wait to go to high school because it was glamorized by the movie High School Musical. I thought I would be the main character, Gabriella. In my opinion, she was the prettiest, smartest, and most liked person in the room.

   However, when I entered Eastern Regional High School, realization hit me that I was not going to be the main character, and the most disappointing realization was that I’m not even good at singing or dancing.

   Although I was not the main character, I don’t think anybody can be the main character in reality, and I still had an experience that will equip me with long-lasting life skills that will help me after high school. 

   One thing that I will never regret doing in high school is working hard. Working hard taught me discipline, consistency, determination, and delayed gratification. If I extremely wanted something, I would work extremely hard on it. I would be disciplined and not be distracted with instant gratification. Sometimes, I might not have achieved what I have wanted, but knowing that I worked hard is enough to give me satisfaction.  

   The second most important thing that I’ve learned in high school is who I am. I wanted to achieve a strong sense of self because I didn’t want to go to college confused with my identity. 

   Throughout my high school years, I have learned to not chase popularity. I have learned that quality is better than quantity for friends. I’ve learned that being myself is bold, real, and not an embarrassment. I have learned ways to handle my stress and cope with anxiety. I learned to drink a lot of water everyday, sleep at least seven hours every night, and do my skincare routine consistently. 

   Lastly, high school taught me how to have a balanced life. Between family, friends, and school work, I was overwhelmed with anxiety. I didn’t want to miss out on parties, or family events, but I also didn’t want to fail a class. 

   This problem taught me how to not procrastinate. I would get my work done as soon as possible in order to go out on the weekends. I also learned how to prioritize. I would sacrifice going to a friend’s party for a family event if I already went to a friend’s party the week before. Sometimes I would sacrifice going out, and choose to stay home and do my school work instead. 

   Everyone has a different high school experience, but I hope we all build a strong sense of self before we go into the real world. I hope you enjoy yourself along the way, have a balanced life, and remember that hard work will always pay off.